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General Plan

The City of Carlsbad is in the process of updating its General Plan. For more information, please see our General Plan Update.

The General Plan is required under state law (Government Code Section 63500) and governs most land use approvals and development within the city. The city must make a formal finding that each of the following is consistent with the general plan before it is approved: zoning; subdivision maps; building and housing regulations; master plans and specific plans; capital improvements; conditional use permits; and open space and parks dedications. It is a policy document that sets the goals, strategies, and, in some areas, regulations regarding the distribution of land and its type and intensity of use, both public and private.

Under state law the document must address seven elements or major topics, with the option for the local agency to add to that list. The Parks and Recreation element and the Arts element are optional.  The Carlsbad General Plan contains the following elements with each element containing maps and figures, policy statements, over-arching goals, more specific objectives, implementing programs, and, in some instances, development standards.

Proposed General Plan amendments are reviewed by the Planning Commission and approved by the City Council through formal public hearing processes. Because of the importance of housing policies in California, any proposal to amend a jurisdiction's Housing Element must also be formally reviewed by the California Department of Housing and Community Development for consistency with state housing laws.