In the State of California, cities are required to develop a General Plan. A General Plan is a comprehensive policy document that informs future land use decisions. It establishes land use designations and policies that identify a range of zoning options that can be applied to property. These policies assist decision makers as they review planning approvals for a new project or consider a proposed ordinance or policy, in order to ensure consistency with the General Plan.
By identifying these land use categories and corresponding zones, the General Plan provides the foundational guide for planning — outlining how land is used and how the city allocates its resources. The General Plan is however more than just the legal basis for all local land use decisions; it is the vision for how a city will evolve, reflecting the values and priorities of its communities.
General Plan Elements
The Framework Element can be considered the organizing Element — with policies addressing and connecting all the Elements.