2005 California Government Code Sections 65300-65303.4 Article 5. Authority for and Scope of General PlansGOVERNMENT CODE
65300. Each planning agency shall prepare and the legislative body of each county and city shall adopt a comprehensive, long-term general plan for the physical development of the county or city, and of any land outside its boundaries which in the planning agency's judgment bears relation to its planning. Chartered cities shall adopt general plans which contain the mandatory elements specified in Section 65302. 65300.5. In construing the provisions of this article, the Legislature intends that the general plan and elements and parts thereof comprise an integrated, internally consistent and compatible statement of policies for the adopting agency. 65300.7. The Legislature finds that the diversity of the state's communities and their residents requires planning agencies and legislative bodies to implement this article in ways that accommodate local conditions and circumstances, while meeting its minimum requirements. 65300.9. The Legislature recognizes that the capacity of California cities and counties to respond to state planning laws varies due to the legal differences between cities and counties, both charter and general law, and to differences among them in physical size and characteristics, population size and density, fiscal and administrative capabilities, land use and development issues, and human needs. It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this chapter to provide an opportunity for each city and county to coordinate its local budget planning and local planning for federal and state program activities, such as community development, with the local land use planning process, recognizing that each city and county is required to establish its own appropriate balance in the context of the local situation when allocating resources to meet these purposes. 65301. (a) The general plan shall be so prepared that all or individual elements of it may be adopted by the legislative body, and so that it may be adopted by the legislative body for all or part of the territory of the county or city and such other territory outside its boundaries which in its judgment bears relation to its planning. The general plan may be adopted in any format deemed appropriate or convenient by the legislative body, including the combining of elements. The legislative body may adopt all or part of a plan of another public agency in satisfaction of all or part of the requirements of Section 65302 if the plan of the other public agency is sufficiently detailed and its contents are appropriate, as determined by the legislative body, for the adopting city or county. (b) The general plan may be adopted as a single document or as a group of documents relating to subjects or geographic segments of the planning area. (c) The general plan shall address each of the elements specified in Section 65302 to the extent that the subject of the element exists in the planning area. The degree of specificity and level of detail of the discussion of each such element shall reflect local conditions and circumstances. However, this section shall not affect the requirements of subdivision (c) of Section 65302, nor be construed to expand or limit the authority of the Department of Housing and Community Development to review housing elements pursuant to Section 50459 of the Health and Safety Code. The requirements of this section shall apply to charter cities. 65301.5. The adoption of the general plan or any part or element thereof or the adoption of any amendment to such plan or any part or element thereof is a legislative act which shall be reviewable pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure. 65302. The general plan shall consist of a statement of development policies and shall include a diagram or diagrams and text setting forth objectives, principles, standards, and plan proposals. The plan shall include the following elements: (a) A land use element that designates the proposed general distribution and general location and extent of the uses of the land for housing, business, industry, open space, including agriculture, natural resources, recreation, and enjoyment of scenic beauty, education, public buildings and grounds, solid and liquid waste disposal facilities, and other categories of public and private uses of land. The land use element shall include a statement of the standards of population density and building intensity recommended for the various districts and other territory covered by the plan. The land use element shall identify areas covered by the plan which are subject to flooding and shall be reviewed annually with respect to those areas. The land use element shall also do both of the following: (1) Designate in a land use category that provides for timber production those parcels of real property zoned for timberland production pursuant to the California Timberland Productivity Act of 1982, Chapter 6.7 (commencing with Section 51100) of Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5. (2) Consider the impact of new growth on military readiness activities carried out on military bases, installations, and operating and training areas, when proposing zoning ordinances or designating land uses covered by the general plan for land, or other territory adjacent to military facilities, or underlying designated military aviation routes and airspace. (A) In determining the impact of new growth on military readiness activities, information provided by military facilities shall be considered. Cities and counties shall address military impacts based on information from the military and other sources. (B) The following definitions govern this paragraph: (i) "Military readiness activities" mean all of the following: (I) Training, support, and operations that prepare the men and women of the military for combat. (II) Operation, maintenance, and security of any military installation. (III) Testing of military equipment, vehicles, weapons, and sensors for proper operation or suitability for combat use. (ii) "Military installation" means a base, camp, post, station, yard, center, homeport facility for any ship, or other activity under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Defense as defined in paragraph (1) of subsection (e) of Section 2687 of Title 10 of the United States Code. (b) A circulation element consisting of the general location and extent of existing and proposed major thoroughfares, transportation routes, terminals, any military airports and ports, and other local public utilities and facilities, all correlated with the land use element of the plan. (c) A housing element as provided in Article 10.6 (commencing with Section 65580). (d) A conservation element for the conservation, development, and utilization of natural resources including water and its hydraulic force, forests, soils, rivers and other waters, harbors, fisheries, wildlife, minerals, and other natural resources. The conservation element shall consider the effect of development within the jurisdiction, as described in the land use element, on natural resources located on public lands, including military installations. That portion of the conservation element including waters shall be developed in coordination with any countywide water agency and with all district and city agencies that have developed, served, controlled or conserved water for any purpose for the county or city for which the plan is prepared. Coordination shall include the discussion and evaluation of any water supply and demand information described in Section 65352.5, if that information has been submitted by the water agency to the city or county. The conservation element may also cover the following: (1) The reclamation of land and waters. (2) Prevention and control of the pollution of streams and other waters. (3) Regulation of the use of land in stream channels and other areas required for the accomplishment of the conservation plan. (4) Prevention, control, and correction of the erosion of soils, beaches, and shores. (5) Protection of watersheds. (6) The location, quantity and quality of the rock, sand and gravel resources. (7) Flood control. The conservation element shall be prepared and adopted no later than December 31, 1973. (e) An open-space element as provided in Article 10.5 (commencing with Section 65560). (f) A noise element which shall identify and appraise noise problems in the community. The noise element shall recognize the guidelines established by the Office of Noise Control in the State Department of Health Services and shall analyze and quantify, to the extent practicable, as determined by the legislative body, current and projected noise levels for all of the following sources: (1) Highways and freeways. (2) Primary arterials and major local streets. (3) Passenger and freight on-line railroad operations and ground rapid transit systems. (4) Commercial, general aviation, heliport, helistop, and military airport operations, aircraft overflights, jet engine test stands, and all other ground facilities and maintenance functions related to airport operation. (5) Local industrial plants, including, but not limited to, railroad classification yards. (6) Other ground stationary noise sources, including, but not limited to, military installations, identified by local agencies as contributing to the community noise environment. Noise contours shall be shown for all of these sources and stated in terms of community noise equivalent level (CNEL) or day-night average level (Ldn). The noise contours shall be prepared on the basis of noise monitoring or following generally accepted noise modeling techniques for the various sources identified in paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive. The noise contours shall be used as a guide for establishing a pattern of land uses in the land use element that minimizes the exposure of community residents to excessive noise. The noise element shall include implementation measures and possible solutions that address existing and foreseeable noise problems, if any. The adopted noise element shall serve as a guideline for compliance with the state's noise insulation standards. (g) A safety element for the protection of the community from any unreasonable risks associated with the effects of seismically induced surface rupture, ground shaking, ground failure, tsunami, seiche, and dam failure; slope instability leading to mudslides and landslides; subsidence, liquefaction and other seismic hazards identified pursuant to Chapter 7.8 (commencing with Section 2690) of the Public Resources Code, and other geologic hazards known to the legislative body; flooding; and wild land and urban fires. The safety element shall include mapping of known seismic and other geologic hazards. It shall also address evacuation routes, military installations, peakload water supply requirements, and minimum road widths and clearances around structures, as those items relate to identified fire and geologic hazards. (1) Prior to the periodic review of its general plan and prior to preparing or revising its safety element, each city and county shall consult the Division of Mines and Geology of the Department of Conservation and the Office of Emergency Services for the purpose of including information known by and available to the department and the office required by this subdivision. (2) To the extent that a county's safety element is sufficiently detailed and contains appropriate policies and programs for adoption by a city, a city may adopt that portion of the county's safety element that pertains to the city's planning area in satisfaction of the requirement imposed by this subdivision. 65302.1. (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (1) The San Joaquin Valley has a serious air pollution problem that will take the cooperation of land use and transportation planning agencies, transit operators, the development community, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and the public to solve. The solution to the problem requires changes in the way we have traditionally built our communities and constructed the transportation systems. It involves a fundamental shift in priorities from emphasis on mobility for the occupants of private automobiles to a multimodal system that more efficiently uses scarce resources. It requires a change in attitude from the public to support development patterns and transportation systems different from the status quo. (2) In 2003 the district published a document entitled, Air Quality Guidelines for General Plans. This report is a comprehensive guidance document and resource for cities and counties to use to include air quality in their general plans. It includes goals, policies, and programs that when adopted in a general plan will reduce vehicle trips and miles traveled and improve air quality. (3) Air quality guidelines are recommended strategies that do, when it is feasible, all of the following: (A) Determine and mitigate project level and cumulative air quality impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code). (B) Integrate land use plans, transportation plans, and air quality plans. (C) Plan land uses in ways that support a multimodal transportation system. (D) Local action to support programs that reduce congestion and vehicle trips. (E) Plan land uses to minimize exposure to toxic air pollutant emissions from industrial and other sources. (F) Reduce particulate matter emissions from sources under local jurisdiction. (G) Support district and public utility programs to reduce emissions from energy consumption and area sources. (4) The benefits of including air quality concerns within local general plans include, but are not limited to, all of the following: (A) Lower infrastructure costs. (B) Lower public service costs. (C) More efficient transit service. (D) Lower costs for comprehensive planning. (E) Streamlining of the permit process. (F) Improved mobility for the elderly and children. (b) The legislative body of each city and county within the jurisdictional boundaries of the district shall amend the appropriate elements of its general plan, which may include, but are not limited to, the required elements dealing with land use, circulation, housing, conservation, and open space, to include data and analysis, goals, policies, and objectives, and feasible implementation strategies to improve air quality. (c) The adoption of air quality amendments to a general plan to comply with the requirements of subdivision (d) shall include all of the following: (1) A report describing local air quality conditions including air quality monitoring data, emission inventories, lists of significant source categories, attainment status and designations, and applicable state and federal air quality plans and transportation plans. (2) A summary of local, district, state, and federal policies, programs, and regulations that may improve air quality in the city or county. (3) A comprehensive set of goals, policies, and objectives that may improve air quality consistent with the strategies listed in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a). (4) A set of feasible implementation measures designed to carry out those goals, policies, and objectives. (d) At least 45 days prior to the adoption of air quality amendments to a general plan pursuant to this section, each city and county shall send a copy of its draft document to the district. The district may review the draft amendments to determine whether they may improve air quality consistent with the strategies listed in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a). Within 30 days of receiving the draft amendments, the district shall send any comments and advice to the city or county. The legislative body of the city or county shall consider the district's comments and advice prior to the final adoption of air quality amendments to the general plan. If the district's comments and advice are not available by the time scheduled for the final adoption of air quality amendments to the general plan, the legislative body of the city or county may act without them. The district's comments shall be advisory to the city or county. (e) The legislative body of each city and county within the jurisdictional boundaries of the district shall comply with this section no later than one year from the date specified in Section 65588 for the next revision of its housing element that occurs after January 1, 2004. (f) As used in this section, "district" means the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. 65302.2. Upon the adoption, or revision, of a city or county's general plan, on or after January 1, 1996, the city or county shall utilize as a source document any urban water management plan submitted to the city or county by a water agency. 65302.3. (a) The general plan, and any applicable specific plan prepared pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 65450), shall be consistent with the plan adopted or amended pursuant to Section 21675 of the Public Utilities Code. (b) The general plan, and any applicable specific plan, shall be amended, as necessary, within 180 days of any amendment to the plan required under Section 21675 of the Public Utilities Code. (c) If the legislative body does not concur with any provision of the plan required under Section 21675 of the Public Utilities Code, it may satisfy the provisions of this section by adopting findings pursuant to Section 21676 of the Public Utilities Code. (d) In each county where an airport land use commission does not exist, but where there is a military airport, the general plan, and any applicable specific plan prepared pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 65450), shall be consistent with the safety and noise standards in the Air Installation Compatible Use Zone prepared for that military airport. 65302.4. The text and diagrams in the land use element that address the location and extent of land uses, and the zoning ordinances that implement these provisions, may also express community intentions regarding urban form and design. These expressions may differentiate neighborhoods, districts, and corridors, provide for a mixture of land uses and housing types within each, and provide specific measures for regulating relationships between buildings, and between buildings and outdoor public areas, including streets. 65302.5. (a) At least 45 days prior to adoption or amendment of the safety element, each county and city shall submit to the Division of Mines and Geology of the Department of Conservation one copy of a draft of the safety element or amendment and any technical studies used for developing the safety element. The division may review drafts submitted to it to determine whether they incorporate known seismic and other geologic hazard information, and report its findings to the planning agency within 30 days of receipt of the draft of the safety element or amendment pursuant to this subdivision. The legislative body shall consider the division's findings prior to final adoption of the safety element or amendment unless the division's findings are not available within the above prescribed time limits or unless the division has indicated to the city or county that the division will not review the safety element. If the division's findings are not available within those prescribed time limits, the legislative body may take the division's findings into consideration at the time it considers future amendments to the safety element. Each county and city shall provide the division with a copy of its adopted safety element or amendments. The division may review adopted safety elements or amendments and report its findings. All findings made by the division shall be advisory to the planning agency and legislative body. (1) The draft element of or draft amendment to the safety element of a county or a city's general plan shall be submitted to the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection and to every local agency that provides fire protection to territory in the city or county at least 90 days prior to either of the following: (A) The adoption or amendment to the safety element of its general plan for each county that contains state responsibility areas. (B) The adoption or amendment to the safety element of its general plan for each city or county that contains a very high fire hazard severity zone as defined pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 51177. (2) A county that contains state responsibility areas and a city or county that contains a very high fire hazard severity zone as defined pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 51177, shall submit for review the safety element of its general plan to the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection and to every local agency that provides fire protection to territory in the city or county in accordance with the following dates as specified, unless the local government submitted the element within five years prior to that date: (A) Local governments within the regional jurisdiction of the San Diego Association of Governments: December 31, 2010. (B) Local governments within the regional jurisdiction of the Southern California Association of Governments: December 31, 2011. (C) Local governments within the regional jurisdiction of the Association of Bay Area Governments: December 31, 2012. (D) Local governments within the regional jurisdiction of the Council of Fresno County Governments, the Kern County Council of Governments, and the Sacramento Area Council of Governments: June 30, 2013. (E) Local governments within the regional jurisdiction of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments: December 31, 2014. (F) All other local governments: December 31, 2015. (3) The State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection shall, and a local agency may, review the draft or an existing safety element and report its written recommendations to the planning agency within 60 days of its receipt of the draft or existing safety element. The State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection and local agency shall review the draft or existing safety element and may offer written recommendations for changes to the draft or existing safety element regarding both of the following: (A) Uses of land and policies in state responsibility areas and very high fire hazard severity zones that will protect life, property, and natural resources from unreasonable risks associated with wildland fires. (B) Methods and strategies for wildland fire risk reduction and prevention within state responsibility areas and very high hazard severity zones. (b) Prior to the adoption of its draft element or draft amendment, the board of supervisors of the county or the city council of a city shall consider the recommendations made by the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection and any local agency that provides fire protection to territory in the city or county. If the board of supervisors or city council determines not to accept all or some of the recommendations, if any, made by the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection or local agency, the board of supervisors or city council shall communicate in writing to the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection or to the local agency, its reasons for not accepting the recommendations. (c) If the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection or local agency's recommendations are not available within the time limits required by this section, the board of supervisors or city council may act without those recommendations. The board of supervisors or city council shall take the recommendations into consideration at the next time it considers amendments pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a). 65302.8. If a county or city, including a charter city, adopts or amends a mandatory general plan element which operates to limit the number of housing units which may be constructed on an annual basis, such adoption or amendment shall contain findings which justify reducing the housing opportunities of the region. The findings shall include all of the following: (a) A description of the city's or county's appropriate share of the regional need for housing. (b) A description of the specific housing programs and activities being undertaken by the local jurisdiction to fulfill the requirements of subdivision (c) of Section 65302. (c) A description of how the public health, safety, and welfare would be promoted by such adoption or amendment. (d) The fiscal and environmental resources available to the local jurisdiction. 65303. The general plan may include any other elements or address any other subjects which, in the judgment of the legislative body, relate to the physical development of the county or city. 65303.4. The Department of Water Resources and the Department of Fish and Game may develop site design and planning policies to assist local agencies which request help in implementing the general plan guidelines for meeting flood control objectives and other land management needs.
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