General Plan

General Plan Update

The General Plan sets forth the goals, policies and directions the City will take in managing its future. The General Plan is the citizens' "blueprint" for development; the guide to achieving our vision. California law requires each local government to adopt a local General Plan, which must contain at least seven elements: Land Use, Transportation, Housing, Conservation, Noise, Open Space and Safety.

In addition, under the California Coastal Act of 1976, the City must have a Local Coastal Program, which is part of our General Plan. The City's General Plan also includes three optional elements: Air Quality, Scenic Routes and Seismic Safety.

Each element discusses in detail official policies and programs the City has adopted regarding each topic.

General Plan Element Year of Adoption
Historic Preservation Element 2010
Open Space 2002
Housing 2009
Air Quality:
Part 1 & Part 2 
Mobility Element 2013
Land Use:
Part 1, Part 2 & Map
Seismic Safety 1988
Local Coastal Program (LCP) 1980
Noise 1975
Public Safety 1975
Conservation 1973
Scenic Routes Element 1975
General Plan Maps & Descriptions 1989

The Advance Planning program acts as the "keeper" of the General Plan and ensures that it is comprehensive. Policies established in any one of the elements must not be in conflict with policies established in other elements.

Development proposals are examined by staff to determine consistency with the City's General Plan. If a proposal is inconsistent with the General Plan elements or zoning ordinances, this conflict must be reconciled. This occurs at public hearings where the applicant's proposal may be denied, modified to comply with the General Plan, or the General Plan may be amended.

Activities in which Advance Planners participate include:

  • Consulting with public and private individuals and organization concerning the content and meaning of the City's long-range vision

  • Seeking and coordinating public input on City long-range planning issues

  • Collecting and analyzing demographic, land use and planning-related information, and monitoring trends

  • Forecasting population size and characteristics, as well as housing, employment and educational needs

  • Providing this information to public and private organizations and individuals

  • Drafting resolutions and ordinances to carry out the City's General Plan issues

  • Representing the City and citizens at public hearing, including the California Coastal Commission and Southern California Association of Governments.

The future of Long Beach depends on the involvement of residents and business people. You can become involved by joining your neighborhood or business association, attending Planning Commission and City Council meetings, and keeping planning staff and your Council person aware of your concerns. There are numerous volunteer groups working to make our community a better place. Get involved! Only through a strong partnership between City Hall and the citizens will we be able to realize our vision.

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