General Plan Guidelines

GPG 2016

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research has been engaged in a thorough update of the General Plan Guidelines (GPG). The new GPG will include resources, data, tools, and model policies to help cities and counties update their general plans, and has been informed by extensive outreach and collaboration. This website will include the latest information on the update, including documents and meeting notifications.

A General Plan is the local government’s long-term blueprint for the community’s vision of future growth. OPR is responsible for updating the General Plan Guidelines – the “how to” resource for drafting a general plan. OPR also monitors general plan implementation with annual progress reports from cities and counties, and grants general plan extensions for qualified cities and counties.

A public draft of the update to the General Plan Guidelines for the State of California is available here. This comprehensive update seeks to create a suite of tools for planners, practitioners, and the general public to help update local general plans.

Public Draft of the General Plan Guidelines (October,2015)

Upcoming Workshops

OPR will be holding multiple community outreach events throughout California during the public comment period for the draft GPG update. Planners, practitioners, and community members are invited to attend and learn about the updated guidelines, ask questions, and share their feedback. Check back for upcoming dates, or join our email list to be informed when events are scheduled.

Please see here for the basic PowerPoint presented at all of the Public Review Draft General Plan Guidelines outreach workshops.

Salinas - October 29, 9:15am-12pm, Cesar Chavez Community Library
Register Here for the Salinas Workshop

Santa Rosa (Sonoma County)- November 2, 9:30am-1:30pm,
Register Here for the Santa Rosa Workshop

Eureka - November 3, 9:30am-1:30pm, Redwood Coast Energy Authority
Humboldt County - Redwood Coast Energy Authority. 633 3rd St. Eureka, CA 95501
Register Here for the Eureka Workshop

Oroville (Butte County) - November 5, 1:30-4:30pm
Butte County Board of Supervisors Meeting Chambers. 25 County Center Dr. Oroville, CA 95965
Register Here for the Oroville Workshop

Sacramento - November 6, 9:00am-1:30pm, County Board of Supervisors Chambers
Sacramento - County Board of Supervisors Chambers. 700 H st. Sacramento, CA 95814
Register Here for the Sacramento Workshop

Bakersfield - November 9, 9:30am-1:30
Bakersfield - Kern Council of Governments. 1401 19th St #300. Bakersfield, CA 93301
Register Here for the Bakersfield Workshop

Fresno - November 12, 10am-2pm
2550 Mariposa Mall. Suite 1036. Fresno, CA 93721
Register Here for the Fresno Workshop

Stockton - Monday, November 16, 9:30am-1:30pm
Stockton - San Joaquin Council of Governments. 555 E Weber Ave. Stockton, CA 95202
Register Here for the Stockton Workshop

Truckee - November 17, 10:30am-2pm
Truckee - Airport Community Room A. 10356 Airport Rd. Truckee, CA 96161
Register Here for the Truckee Workshop

San Luis Obispo - November 20, 9:30am-2pm
San Luis Obispo - Library Community Room. 995 Palm St. San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Register Here for the San Luis Obispo Workshop

Los Angeles - November 30, 9:30am-2pm
Los Angeles - Southern California Association of Governments. 818 West 7th St, 12th floor. Los Angeles, CA 90017
Register Here for the Los Angeles Workshop

Los Angeles - November 30, 1:30pm-4pm(*JUST ADDED*)
Los Angeles - Southern California Association of Governments. 818 West 7th St, 12th floor. Los Angeles, CA 90017
Register Here for the Los Angeles Workshop

San Bernardino - December 1, 9:30am-2pm
San Bernardino - San Bernardino Associated Governments. 1170 W. 3rd Street, 2nd floor. San Bernardino, CA 92410
Register Here for the San Bernardino Workshop

San Diego - December 2, 9:30am-2pm
San Diego - San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. 1255 Imperial Ave, Suite 1000. San Diego, CA 92101
Register Here for the San Diego Workshop

San Francisco - December 4, 9:30am-2pm
San Francisco - San Francisco Planning Department Conference Room. 1650 Mission St #400. San Francisco, CA 94103
Register here for the San Francisco Workshop

Oakland - December 7, 9:30am-2pm
Alameda County - Oakland . 1515 Clay Street, Room 1. Oakland, CA 94612
Register Here for the Oakland Workshop

Santa Barbara - December 9, 1:30-4:30pm
City of Santa Barbara, David Gebhard Public Meeting Room - 630 Garden Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Register Here for the Santa Barbara Workshop

General Plan Guidelines Email List

Click here to sign up for the General Plan Guidelines E-List.


General Plan Guidelines
The 2003 General Plan Guidelines provides guidance to cities and counties in the preparation of their local general plans. In addition to the 2003 Guidelines, two subsequent supplements were also developed:

Community and Military Compatibility Planning, Supplement to the General Plan Guidelines
The Community and Military Compatibility Planning, Supplement to the General Plan Guidelines (Military Supplement) assists cities and counties in addressing military compatibility issues when developing, updating or significantly amending their general plans. These guidelines are the result of the passage of SB 1468 (Knight, 2002) and SB 1462 (Kuehl, 2003), which outline the responsibilities of cities and counties regarding the military in the planning and land use decision-making process.

Update to the General Plan Guidelines: Complete Streets and the Circulation Element
This December 2010 update to the 2003 General Plan Guidelines provides guidance on how cities and counties can modify the circulation element to plan for a balanced, multimodal transportation network that meets the needs of all users of the streets, roads, and highways for safe and convenient travel in a manner that is suitable to the rural, suburban, or urban context of the general plan.

Annual Progress Reports
General law cities, applicable charter cities, and counties are required to file annual progress reports on the implementation of their General Plan with their local legislative body, OPR and the Department of Housing and Community Development. These reports are due April 1st of each year.

General Plan Extensions
The Director of OPR is authorized to grant reasonable extensions of time (up to two years) for the preparation of new general plans or the update of existing general plans upon application by cities or counties. The statutory basis of this authority and OPR's procedures and criteria for granting extensions are described here.

Local and Tribal Consultation
State planning law requires cities and counties to consult with California Native American tribes during the local planning process for the purpose of protecting Traditional Tribal Cultural Places. OPR’s consultation guidelines, background information, and training session information are all available online.