- What is a General Plan?
- Importance of Updating a General Plan
- General Plan Contents
- Planning Commission
A General Plan is a guide that sketches out all the important details needed to create a thriving, well-balanced community. In Pinole, the General Plan has been instrumental in determining land use with relation to:
- Economic Development
- Natural Resources & Open Space
- Health & Safety
- Growth Management
- Community Facilities & Character
Keeping Pinole’s superior quality of life is crucial. That is why updating the General Plan is so important.
The last time Pinole comprehensively updated its General Plan was 1995. Since that time, Pinole has become much more diverse - from its residents, to its jobs, to its overall appearance. To ensure the General Plan is a useful tool, it must keep pace with these changes and provide workable solutions to the issues facing the City.
- Land Use and Economic Development
- Natural Resources and Open Space
- Health and Safety
- Growth Management
- Community Services and Facilities
- Community Character
Land Use and Economic Development
The Land Use and Economic Development Element is the heart of the General Plan, and the most important Element in determining the implementation of the community’s vision.
The Land Use Element is a guide to planners, the general public, and decision makers as to the ultimate pattern of development for the City at build out. Pinole’s Land Use Element is based on those guidelines and focuses on resource preservation, where and at what rate new development can occur, and where commercial and industrial uses should be located.
The City will post all news and documents to assist the public in understanding and contributing to this very important element during the General Plan update.
Housing Element law requires local governments to adequately plan to meet their existing and projected housing needs including their share of the regional housing need. Housing Element law is the state’s primary market-based strategy to increase housing supply. Unlike the other mandatory general plan elements, the Housing Element is subject to detailed statutory requirements regarding its content, and is required to be updated every five years, and subject to mandatory review by a state agency. Pinole last updated the Housing Element in 2003.
The Circulation Element is not simply a transportation plan. It is an infrastructure plan addressing all forms of circulation for people and goods. The Circulation Element must correlate directly with the Land Use Element. The Circulation Element also has direct relationships with the Housing, Open Space, Noise and Safety Elements.
During the update process, many alternatives for circulation will be reviewed. All new information and reports relating to the Circulation Element will be posted here as they become available.
Natural Resources and Open Space
The Natural Resources and Open Space Element guides the comprehensive and long-range preservation and conservation of open space land. Open space land is defined as any parcel of land or water that is essentially unimproved and devoted to open space use.
Along with the Housing Element, the Open Space Element has the most detailed statutory intent and, next to Land Use, is the broadest in scope. Because of this breadth, Open Space issues overlap those of several elements and the Open Space Element is commonly combined with other elements.
In Pinole, conservation and open space are combined into a single element. It may become evident as the series of General Plan workshops progresses that conservation policies should be covered in a separate element and that a recreation and open space combination will better serve the residents of Pinole.
Health and Safety
The aim of the Health and Safety Element is to reduce the potential risk of death, injuries, property damage, and economic and social dislocation resulting from fires, floods, earthquakes, landslides, and other hazards. Policies should address the identification of hazards and policies for emergency response, as well as mitigation through avoidance of hazards by new projects and reduction of risk in developed areas.
There is a high potential for strong ground shaking throughout the entire San Francisco Bay area. Currently, the Health and Safety Element of the General Plan addresses safety issues related to geologic and seismic risk, flooding, hazardous materials and noise. Through the Update process, it is likely that noise will be combined with other community characteristics into a new Community Character Element.
The City will address existing policies and service standards for growth management and traffic, as well as performance standards for fire, police, parks, sanitary facilities, water and flood control in order to ensure that public facilities are available for the growth projected by the General Plan. At a minimum the City expects to identify ways to coordinate planning efforts with neighboring jurisdictions, regional agencies and other public agencies; maintain and encourage community, retail and commercial service accessibility from residential neighborhoods; and develop additional opportunities for utilizing Measures C and J funding.
Community Services and Facilities
Pinole will examine its existing public facility infrastructure, and prepare a baseline summary of existing and currently planned infrastructure systems with relation to police and fire protection, schools, parks and recreation, public works and utilities, water, wastewater and solid waste collection and disposal.
The Community Character Element will address a variety of issues that affect the character of Pinole's urban areas and open space, including visual resources and aesthetics, noise, historic and cultural resources, and odors.
This Element will bring together policies for these issues, as well as referencing other parts of the General Plan that have a direct effect on community characteristics and quality of life, including traffic and land use.
The General Plan Update will be spearheaded by the Pinole Planning Commission, a seven-person panel that will assist City staff during the General Plan Update.
These individuals, representing a broad cross-section of interests throughout the City, will examine the various issues that will contribute to the General Plan and provide direction through collaboration.
The members of the Planning Commission are:
- Dave Kurrent, Chair
- Patty McGoldrick, Vice Chair
- Thomas M. Brooks
- Paul Sekins
- John Bender
- Maureen Toms
- Norma Martinez-Rubin
All Planning Commission meetings are open to the public.
Information on these meetings can be found here.