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General Plan Requirements

California state law requires each city and county to prepare and adopt a comprehensive, long‐range general plan to guide its future. A general plan directs the physical growth and conservation of resources within a jurisdiction. It sets policy guidelines for a wide variety of issues such as the City’s economic growth, physical development, and social well‐being. Think of it as a guide for future development and the preservation of resources that are important to you.

The General Plan covers a range of topics that directly affect you such as land use, City services, the natural environment, and housing. The General Plan is divided into 'elements' addressing different topic areas.

Under State law, general plans must contain the following seven elements:

bullet  Land Use
bullet  Circulation
bullet  Housing
bullet  Conservation
bullet  Open Space
bullet  Noise
bullet  Safety

State law also allows cities and counties to include optional elements that address topics of local interest. Once adopted, these optional elements carry the same legal weight as the required elements. Eureka intends to include the following and potentially other optional elements in its updated 2040 General Plan:

 Community Design
 Economic Development
 Public Facilities and Services
 Recreational and Cultural Resources
 Historic Preservation

A general plan must contain an integrated and internally consistent set of goals, policies, and implementation
programs that seek to achieve a community’s shared vision, and address those issues of greatest importance
to the City.

How is it Used?

Once adopted, Eureka’s updated General Plan will be the principal tool for the City to use when determining whether specific land use and development proposals reflect the community’s physical, economic, social, and environmental goals. The General Plan will also present guidance to decision‐makers in establishing priorities for the allocation of resources, provision of public services, and initiation of public improvements. Every service the City provides to you from police protection to water and parks is guided by the goals and policies found in the General Plan. All development projects, subdivisions, zoning regulations, specific plans, capital improvements, and other related plans, regulations, and actions are required to be consistent with the City’s General Plan.



Related Documents

In addition to the General Plan, the City will be updating and/or preparing the following related documents as part of the General Plan process:

Housing Element. The Housing Element establishes a strategy to address the City of Eureka’s
identified housing needs and quantified objectives.

Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan. The Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan provides a land use plan, policies and programs for those portions of the City within the Coastal Zone to ensure compliance with the requirements of the California Coastal Act.

Climate Action Plan. The Climate Action Plan guides future reductions in Eureka’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions consistent with AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act.

Environmental Impact Report. The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) provides a program level analysis of potential adverse impacts from implementation of the General Plan and related documents consistent with the California Environmental Quality Act.