Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in the General Plan?

The City’s existing 2003 General Plan contains 6 elements:

  • Community Development
  • Economic Strategy
  • Circulation
  • Growth Management
  • Safety and Noise
  • Housing

As a part of updating the General Plan, the City may reorganize or add to existing elements and/or may add new elements to emphasize new planning issues that have arisen since the current General Plan was adopted.

Why Update the General Plan?

The City of Pleasant Hill adopted its current General Plan in 2003.  While the existing General Plan is serving the community well, the City has initiated the update to refine the Plan, address emerging trends and recent State laws, consider new issues, and remove completed implementation measures.  This effort is intended to be a fine-tuning of the existing General Plan, rather than a comprehensive overhaul of the document.  This planning effort will also allow the General Plan Team to implement best practices in planning to ensure Pleasant Hill is resilient to future risks while also improving quality of life.

What are the legal requirements to update the General Plan?

State law requires the City to adopt a General Plan to address land use, circulation, housing, conservation, open space, noise, safety, and environmental justice.  General plans may also address and emphasize other subjects of local importance.  The updated and integrated plan will guide how Pleasant Hill should develop and evolve, and where funds and resources for infrastructure, services, and programs should be directed.

What is the difference between the General Plan and Zoning?

The General Plan sets forth long-term policies that guide future development.  It identifies the types of development that will be allowed, the spatial relationships among land uses, and the general pattern of future development.  Zoning implements General Plan policies through detailed development regulations, such as specific use types and building standards.  However, the land uses specified in the General Plan will be reflected in the zoning regulations.  State law requires that zoning be consistent with the General Plan.  Development must not only meet the specific requirements of the Zoning Code, but also the broader policies set forth in the General Plan.

What is an Environmental Impact Report (EIR)?

Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the potential environmental impacts of all major development projects must be assessed, disclosed, and appropriately mitigated.  The results of this environmental review process are conveyed in the form of an environmental impact report, or EIR.

As required by CEQA Guidelines, the Pleasant Hill General Plan EIR will identify the potential environmental impacts associated with the implementation of the General Plan.  This analysis will assess and, if necessary, include measures to mitigate potential impacts related to CEQA-required topics.  These topics include: air quality, greenhouse gases, hazards and hazardous materials, hydrology, land use, noise, population and housing, public services, recreation, mobility and transportation, utilities, agricultural and forest resources, biological resources, cultural resources, geology and soils, and aesthetics.

When will the New General Plan be completed?

The General Plan is anticipated to be completed by May 2021.

Who is on the Consulting Team?

The General Plan consulting team consists of a core group of planners, urban designers, and technical specialists:

  • Mintier Harnish (lead consultant)
  • Rincon Consultants (environmental)
  • Fehr & Peers (mobility)
  • Applied Development Economics (fiscal and economic development)
  • Wallace Roberts and Todd (urban design)

Why should I get involved?

The General Plan Update process provides all residents and businesses with the chance to help guide the future of Pleasant Hill.  A successful General Plan will reflect the community vision and priorities, and we need public input to create the vision and priorities.

How can I get involved?

The General Plan Update process is an opportunity for community members to discuss the City’s future.  There will be many opportunities to participate, including meetings, pop-up events, and public hearings.  We have created numerous opportunities for the community to contribute their ideas to the Pleasant Hill General Plan Update process, including...

  • Attending a pop-up event or meeting
  • Joining the e-mail list to receive notifications of upcoming events
  • Submitting comments via this website
  • Mailing your comments to the Pleasant Hill Planning Division at 100 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill, CA, 94523

How will my feedback be used?

Public input from every engagement opportunity is recorded and cataloged to ensure that City staff and decision-makers have a full understanding of public sentiment when drafting the vision, guiding principles, goals, and policies.  The General Plan team, Planning Commission, and City Council will consider all public feedback on General Plan materials (including goals and policies) when making final Plan revisions.

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