What is a General Plan?

It’s a policy document 

A General Plan sets forth a city’s long-range planning policies that reflect the aspirations and values of residents, land owners, businesses, and organizations within the community. City Councils and Planning Commissions rely on the general plan in considering land use and planning-related decisions, and City staff use the General Plan day-to-day in administering land use and development activities. Residents may reference the General Plan to understand the city’s approach to development. 

It’s a legal document 

A General Plan is a legal document, and much of its content, such as background data, analysis, maps, and exhibits, is established by statutory requirements. California law requires every city and county to prepare and adopt a comprehensive long-range General Plan to form the basis for zoning, subdivision, and public works actions.

It’s a comprehensive document 

A General Plan is considered comprehensive because it addresses a wide range of issues that affect a city such as the physical development of the jurisdiction or economic and social concerns that can affect the overall quality of life. A General Plan is considered “long-term” because it looks 20 years or more into the future. Each jurisdiction can establish a time horizon that best fits its individual needs. The State General Plan Guidelines recommend that General Plans be updated periodically to ensure that they remain relevant and reflect local physical and demographic changes and broader changes in culture and technology.

The City of Piedmont General Plan

The Piedmont General Plan is a State-mandated document containing the city's official long-range policies for land use and development. Its policies affect a wide range of topics, including transportation, housing, natural resources, parks, public services, community design, and infrastructure. The General Plan was adopted by the City Council on April 6, 2009. The Housing Element, which is part of the General Plan, was adopted on June 6, 2011. 

The Plan is organized into 11 elements (or chapters) plus the table of contents. Each link below will open one of the Elements. A link to the City's General Plan Map is also included. The General Plan Map may also be found in Chapter 3: Land Use Element.

Each link below provides a PDF copy of one of the chapters.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Framework
3. Land Use Element (with amendments adopted 2/20/24)
4. Transportation Element (with amendments adopted 2/20/24)
5. Natural Resources and Sustainability Element
6. Environmental Hazards Element
7. Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Element
8. Design and Preservation Element
9. Community Services and Facilities Element
10. Housing - See below for the adopted Housing Element
11. Agenda for Action

Piedmont General Plan Map

The 2023-2031 Housing Element (PDF) was adopted by the City Council on March 20, 2023 and found to be in substantial compliance with Housing Element law by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) on November 9, 2023. The Element is part of the General Plan and includes the City's policies for housing construction, conservation, and affordability.

Other Policy Documents

The City of Piedmont has developed and adopted other policy documents that fulfill General Plan goals or expand on General Plan policies, including:

The Climate Action Plan

The Pedestrian & Bicycle Master Plan

The Local Hazard Mitigation Plan

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