What is a General Plan?
The General Plan is one of the most important documents for city planning. Required for all cities by the State of California, it lays out the future of the City’s development in general terms through a series of policy statements depicted in text and maps. Sometimes the General Plan is referred to as a City’s “blueprint” for achieving residents’ vision for the future. City decisions related to development, growth, infrastructure and environmental management must be consistent with the policies contained in the General Plan. The General Plan is also called a “comprehensive plan” because of its wide ranging approach to addressing the interrelated building blocks of a city.
City of El Cerrito 1999 General Plan
Note: In some cases, graphics may be missing from the posted text. A full color copy of the General Plan, including all figures, is available for purchase at City Hall. The full document is also available for public review at City Hall and the Library.
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View the General Plan Land Use Map
The General Plan is organized into chapters, with several appendices containing technical or explanatory materials:
Chapter 1: A Guide to the General Plan, provides an introduction to the General Plan and a brief summary of how it was developed.
Chapter 2: Strategic Approach , focuses on the small number of strategic actions that will ensure the achievement of this General Plan's primary goals and policies.
Chapter 3: Planning Background, summarizes background information on the City of El Cerrito, which is useful in understanding the context of the General Plan.
Chapters 4 through 7 set forth goals and policies that address specific planning issues. These goals and policies are preceded by a discussion of relevant background information and trends, and followed by implementation strategies.
Chapter 4: Community Development and Design, addresses land use, community design, housing, and growth management. The section on land use contains the future land use plan map and a description of the land use categories used in the plan.
Chapter 4 - Part 1
Chapter 4 - Part 2
Chapter 4 - Part 3
2013 Growth Management Element
Chapter 5: Transportation and Circulation, addresses the movement of people and materials by transit, automobiles and trucks, bicycles, and walking.
Chapter 5 - No Graphics/Text Only
The following sections contain the graphics for this chapter:
Chapter 5 - Part 1
Chapter 5 - Part 2
Chapter 5 - Part 3
Chapter 5 - Part 4
Chapter 5 - Part 5
Chapter 6: Public Facilities and Services, deals with three topics: parks, recreation and open space, non-residential civic and community facilities, and public services and infrastructure.
Chapter 6 - Part 1
Chapter 6 - Part 2
Chapter 7: Resources and Hazards, addresses natural and historic resources in its first major section. The natural resources discussion includes wildlife, air quality, and storm runoff. The second major section addresses hazards - geologic hazards, fires, flooding, and noise.
Chapter 8: Putting the Plan to Work, addresses how the Plan can be used as an effective management tool to achieve its goals.
Appendices: The appendices contain additional information, including a glossary of planning terms.
Appendix A: Certified 2015-2023 Housing Element (Adopted by the City Council & certified by the State in 2015).
Appendix B: Traffic Data
Appendix C: Design & Development Guide (no graphics)
Appendix D: Summary of Issues
Appendix E: Glossary of Terms
Appendix F: Council Resolution
Appendix G: Bibliography
2014 Amendments: These amendments supersede the text in the 1999 General Plan to implement the San Pablo Avenue Specific Plan.