General Plan: A General Plan is the City's guide for its future growth and development. Every city is mandated by the state of California to adopt a General Plan. The lifespan of a General Plan is typically 20-30 years and must be updated periodically. The General Plan is required to cover seven topics called elements, such as Land Use, Housing, Transportation and Safety.
General Plan Framework: An element of the City's General Plan that states the goals and policies on a number of topics related to growth and services. All General Plan Elements need to be consistent with the Framework.
Community Plan: A component of the Land Use Element. It focuses on a particular area or community within the City. (e.g. Southeast LA Community Plan.)
Land Use: Land Use designates the general location of the different uses of land, such as residential, industrial, commercial and open space. Each land use designation has a list of corresponding zones.
Zoning: Zoning determines the uses permitted on a parcel and provides regulations for development including height, bulk and setbacks.
Implementation Tools Overlay: Zones or plans that will be in addition to the zoning regulations and will be a part of the Community Plan that will make sure the goals of the plan are met when new development takes place.
Transit Oriented Development: Development that is located near transit. The City’s General Plan encourages locating new housing and businesses near transit as a way to give people the option of using transit and getting around by travel means other than a car (e.g. walking, bicycle, public transportation).
Density: (residential) The number of units permitted per acre of land.
Floor Area Ratio (FAR): The ratio of the gross floor area of a building to the area of the lot where it is located.
Height District: Establishes the height and FAR limitations.
Infill Development: Development of vacant or underutilized land within urban communities that are nearly fully developed.
Infrastructure: The public and quasi-public facilities required in order to serve the development and operational needs of a community, such as roads, water and sewer systems.
Mixed-Use Development: A project that combines compatible uses within the same structure such as residential uses above ground floor commercial space.
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA): State law that requires any new development or project to have environmental review to determine the potential environmental impacts of the project.
Environmental Impact Report (EIR):
Type of environmental review prepared when the City determines that a project may potentially have significant impacts.
Ordinance: A law or statute enacted by a city government. Zoning is established by ordinance.
Planning Commission: A permanent committee of five or more citizens who are appointed by the City to review matters related to planning and development.