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General Plan

Photo of the La Boheme Project

The City's General Plan is its constitution for development. It is comprised of ten elements that provide a comprehensive slate of citywide policies and further the City of Villages smart growth strategy for growth and development.

The General Plan was comprehensively updated by unanimous vote of the City Council in 2008 . The City Council also certified the General Plan Program Environmental Impact Report and adopted associated amendments to the Land Development Code . The General Plan update did not include land use designation or zoning changes, which is the purview of the City’s community plans.

Community plans work together with the General Plan to provide location-based policies and recommendations in the City’s 50+ community planning areas. Community plans are written to refine the General Plan’s citywide policies, designate land uses and housing densities, and include additional site-specific recommendations as needed. Read more about how the General Plan and Community Plans work together.

Additional background information on the development of the General Plan, the public hearings, and the update process is documented in the staff report to City Council (PDF).

General Plan Amendments (2012)

On January 31, 2012, by Resolution 307262, the City Council approved amendments to the Conservation Element to provide policy support for urban agriculture. Urban agriculture is the production of food in and around cities for local consumption. The amendments, shown in strike-out/underline formatting, are documented below. The amendments have been incorporated into the online posting of the General Plan.

General Plan Amendments (2010)

On December 6, 2010, by Resolution No. R-306419, the City Council approved minor amendments to the General Plan Land Use and Community Planning Element; Public Facilities, Services and Safety Element; Recreation Element; and Glossary. The amendments, shown in strike-out/underline formatting, are documented below. The edits have been incorporated into the online posting of the General Plan.

General Plan Action Plan

The General Plan Action Plan was approved by City Council unanimously on July 7, 2009. The Action Plan is the comprehensive implementation program for the 2008 General Plan. View the General Plan Action Plan (PDF).

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General Plan Monitoring

The 2012 General Plan Monitoring Report has been prepared to assess progress in implementing the General Plan. The 2011 and 2010 reports are also available.

General Plan and Sustainability

The General Plan has a strong sustainability focus and provides local policies to address global climate change. The General Plan Conservation Element, Section A , provides an overview of climate change issues.

General Plan Executive Summary

The Executive Summary of the City of San Diego General Plan is a full color reprint of the Strategic Framework Section of the General Plan, with some additional photos and graphics.  It provides a concise summary of the central ideas contained within the City’s General Plan.

General Plan (2008)

Printed copies of General Plan publications are available for purchase at the offices of City Clerks, 202 C Street, 2nd Floor, phone: 619-533-4000, in the following formats:

  • Adopted 2008 General Plan document - $30
  • Executive Summary brochure - $10
  • Compact Disc of 2008 General Plan - $5

Printed copies of General Plan publication maps are available for purchase through SanGIS:

San Diego Geographic Information Source
5510 Overland Ave., Suite 230
San Diego, CA 92123

The General Plan may also be viewed at CPCI offices, and City libraries.

Please note that the adopted Housing Element is available under separate cover.

While the Housing Element is an element of the City’s General Plan it is provided under separate cover from the rest of the General Plan due to the need for frequent Housing Element updates, and to facilitate compliance with the state reporting requirements.  State law requires local governments to update their General Plan Housing Elements every eight years in order to periodically address the changing housing needs of their communities and to establish action plans to meet those goals. 

How the General Plan and Community Plans Work Together

San Diego has an established community planning program that is an essential part of the planning process. Together the General Plan and 42 Community Plans work to guide growth and development in San Diego. Read more about how the General Plan and Community Plans work together.

The General Plan covers a comprehensive range of topics. The General Plan update did not include land use designation or zoning changes, as site-specific recommendations are deferred to the community plans.