General Plan Update

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In 1990 the California Supreme Court held that the general plan is the “constitution for all future developments” and confirmed that it is “the single most important planning document”.  Government Code Section 65302 mandates that a city's general plan contain seven mandatory elements and may include optional elements.  The mandatory elements are land use, circulation, conservation, open space, safety, noise and housing.  While state law does not dictate general plan update time-frames for most of the elements, it does place a priority on the housing element with a 5 to 7 year update horizon.  Brisbane's adopted Housing Element is for the period 2007 to 2014.  The Community Development Department is currently updating the 2015 - 2022 Housing Element.  For most cities the rest of the general plan will usually have a 20 to 25 year horizon.  The City of Brisbane has been in the process of updating its General Plan, and with the forthcoming Environmental Impact Report and decisions on the potential build-out of the Baylands subarea, the general plan update process will be completed.
 
The City of Brisbane’s 1994 General Plan has over 900 policies and programs. The policies provide guidance to the Planning Commission and the City Council when making decisions on development proposals. The programs are additional actions that can be taken to implement the policies in the plan.  Brisbane's General Plan update process began in 2004 with a series of community workshops to reconfirm or modify the original Plan Goals and vision for the City. The update is an ongoing process and there are three primary methods that the City is utilizing to gather community input, these are: community visioning workshops, community survey and workshops for the review of policies, programs and land use. 

Community Visioning Workshops were held at the beginning of the General Plan update process to reconfirm or modify the General Plan goals.  Other workshops and presentations were provided to the community to help inform decisions on Placemaking for key areas of the City and on the Baylands, through the Baylands Speaker Series, and have provided a wealth of information on which to draw to further inform the General Plan Update.

On November 8, 2005, the City mailed a Community Survey to the registered voters in Brisbane to gather public input on those things that are important to the community and that relate to the Elements of the General Plan.  The survey results are being used to guide discussions on the General Plan update. The Survey Report and Appendix B Frequency Tables are provided here and the complete survey report is available at City Hall.

The existing General Plan divides the City into 13 subareas (i.e., Central Brisbane, Sierra Point, etc.) for the purposes of analysis.   Public workshops on policies, programs and land uses have or will review the following:

  • State law for general plans
  • Input from previous workshops (i.e. visioning and place making)
  • Results of the community survey
  • The build out (density and intensity of residential and non-residential land uses) allowed under the existing plan for each subarea
  • The development that has occurred since the existing plan was adopted
  • Current development proposals
  • Demographic and other projections
  • Infrastructure capacity
  • Environmental constraints
  • The policies and programs in the plan


These topics provide the basis for a public discussion of the revisions that should be made to update the plan. The revised draft of the plan will be the subject of additional public hearings before undergoing environmental review.  For information regarding upcoming General Plan meetings, please contact the Community Development Department at (415) 508-2120, or kjohnson@ci.brisbane.ca.us. Please also see Planning Commission and City Council meeting agendas.