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City Departments

General Plan Amendment

What is the City's General Plan?

The City’s General Plan is the principal set of goals and policies guiding future growth and development of the City. Proposed changes to the General Plan require an application for a General Plan Amendment. Questions related to the City’s General Plan or a proposed General Plan Amendment can be answered by a Planner in the City’s Development Services Department.

Step 1

Submit Application

Development application forms and general submittal requirements are available on the City’s website and at the front counter of the Development Services Department. A City Planner will assist you through the process.

Step 2

City Council Approval of a Cost Recovery Agreement

To initiate the application process for a General Plan Amendment, a Cost Recovery Agreement is required. This provides a mechanism for the City to recover the applicable City staff and consultant costs associated with the application, which vary depending on the scope and complexity of the project.

60 days (typical)
Step 3

City Review

City review includes routing application materials to multiple City departments and other agencies for comments. The comments are compiled into a comprehensive letter to the applicant, which details staff recommendations, including the likely environmental review process and information related to zoning that may be affected by the General Plan Amendment. Once the application requirements are met, including environmental review, City staff will prepare the project for public hearing (steps 6 and 7).

30 days
Step 4

Applicant Response

Some projects require additional information or clarification by the applicant and/or revisions to the plans. This step is the applicant’s response to those requirements. The applicant’s response will be reviewed by the City and steps 3 and 4 may be repeated if necessary.

30 days (typical)
Step 5

Preparation of CEQA Document

General Plan Amendments are subject to environmental review in accordance with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). A City Planner will assist you in understanding the requirements of CEQA.

90 days – 18 months (typical)
Step 6

Planning Commission – Public Hearing

General Plan Amendments require public hearings with both Planning Commission and City Council (step 7).

30 days (typical)
Step 7

City Council – Public Hearing

General Plan Amendments require public hearings with both Planning Commission (step 6) and City Council.

30 days (typical)
Estimated Total Timeframe9 mnths – 2 yrs (typical)*

* General Plan Amendments are typically associated with complex projects, processed concurrently with other applications.

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