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Catalog of Models
Publication Date: Jan. 21, 2014
The Riverside County Healthy Communities Element is the first optional Health Element incorporated into a County’s General Plan in the State of California. This model highlights three of the most innovative aspects of the Healthy Communities Element:
- Changing the Narrative. The Element process acted as a catalyst for the County of Riverside Department of Public Health's role as a major driver for making health an important consideration in planning.
- Catalyst for Collaboration. The Element served as the means to convene non-traditional partners for collaboration in planning.
- Results across the Region. Since the Element’s adoption, cities across Riverside County and other local and regional agencies have become more receptive to considering health as part of their decision-making processes, resulting in tangible changes on the ground.
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Publication Date: April 24, 2013
The Fullerton Plan is a model for how a plan can be developed in a tight economy and still tackle the big issues. The Fullerton Plan is both driven by vision and grounded in implementation.
- The planning process defined a community vision that drives the Fullerton Plan, and the Plan is designed for usability.
- The Plan identifies objectives for focus areas in the Vision statement and prioritizes placemaking rather than land use decisions. This approach produced a streamlined, succinct plan and allowed the Plan to focus both on bigger picture issues and quality of life.
- The Plan acknowledges that Fullerton is a player in the region, but does not have control over issues outside its boundaries, and includes policies for different levels of geography -- from the region down to the project level.
- The City’s implementation plan uses a short time frame of 3 to 5 years, which forces the City to prioritize actions that can reasonably be accomplished. This approach acknowledges that implementation tools are going to change over time, and that new, creative approaches may emerge over the life of the Plan.
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Publication Date: Sept. 29, 2012
The Orange General Plan guides change by using a context-based approach to protect the community’s diverse and distinctive characteristics. The Plan strikes a balance between preservation and growth and has capitalized on opportunities for the city.
- The Plan anticipates change: how substantial that change will be depends on the context. Using careful attention to context, the plan permits denser forms of development along major corridors as well as expanded protection for historic neighborhoods.
- In developing the Plan, planners reached a series of "break-through" moments while collaborating with other departments. These breakthroughs resolved long-standing policy issues and paved the way for more effective implementation in the future.
The result was a Plan that is built for action. The development and implementation of the Plan increased the credibility of planning and demonstrated the value of the General Plan.
View City of Orange...
Publication Date: July 18, 2012
The Riverside 2025 General Plan tackles important challenges that many General Plan preparers face.
- An extensive and creative outreach effort engaged the entire community. Because they played a big role in creating the plan, the community helps assure the plan is implemented.
- The planners confronted the major issues head-on, asking the Planning Commission and the City Council to address key questions about growth early on. Support from these officials allowed the plan to include bold, smart growth policies.
The General Plan Program included simultaneous updates to the Zoning Code, Subdivision Code, and Citywide Design and Sign Guidelines. This approach allowed the Plan and its key implementing tools to be prepared efficiently. Issues could be resolved so that all the documents are consistent and unified. And the Plan was ready for implementation at the time of adoption.
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Publication Date: April 10, 2012
The Watsonville General Plan is one of the few General Plans in California that makes social equity a central focus. Watsonville is a diverse community with exceptional agricultural assets. The Watsonville General Plan reflects this context through the following approaches:
- The Plan supports low-income residents by protecting agricultural jobs, improving neighborhoods, and promoting walkability.
- The Plan uses compact development to preserve agricultural resources and support the local economy.
- The Plan was developed through a culturally sensitive process that included bilingual outreach.
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Publication Date: Nov. 2, 2011
In Sunnyvale, the General Plan has become a tool for better management, not just a land-use plan. The Sunnyvale planning structure and process demonstrates how a General Plan can build confidence in government, while ensuring that the Plan remains relevant and current even as conditions change.
Among the strengths of the City’s planning structure:
- The General Plan is the City’s central policy document. Not just land use decisions, but every action of the City must be consistent with the General Plan.
- Sunnyvale has developed a sophisticated monitoring system to keep the Plan relevant and responsive to evolving issues, and to ensure that it is faithfully implemented. Monitoring includes Community Condition Indicators, Service Performance Indicators, and a Balanced Growth Profile.
- The planning process has been strengthened by incorporating a Community Vision, formulated by the residents and businesses of the City. A Mid-Range Strategic Planning process has also been initiated to better link current actions, strategies and budgets to the long-range goals and policies.
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Publication Date: Oct. 21, 2010
For a community undergoing rapid change, it is vital to have a General Plans with a consistent, widely shared vision that can guide the many essential decisions the community makes as it moves toward its future. The Ontario Plan, adopted in 2010, achieves this challenge through remarkable use of technology and organizational commitment, including:
- A completely paperless general plan format, with an easy-to-use, easy-to-track General Plan website that contains all of the Plan's components and frameworks for easy access, updating and feedback by City staff, elected officials, and the public.
- A commitment to using the Plan to guide day to day decisions the City makes, with every City employee understanding its importance in guiding all interaction with City residents and other stakeholders.
- A Plan that is continually used, reassessed and updated as it is implemented, to ensure it is not a stale, outdated document as the City changes
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Publication Date: Sept. 8, 2010
The 2008 San Diego General Plan is a great model for communities looking to reorient growth toward infill and renewing existing neighborhoods.
- The General Plan provides a clear description of the City of Villages concept and establishes strong principles to guide compact and walkable development.
- Hands-on involvement by city staff and vigorous community engagement ensured that the plan reflects local concerns while requiring a smaller General Fund investment.
- A clear roadmap in the General Plan Action Plan and the use of redevelopment funds help assure the plan's implementation.
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Publication Date: Sept. 6, 2010
The 2007 Marin Countywide Plan is a pioneering and effective model for planning sustainable communities.
- The first General Plan to evaluate the impact on greenhouses gases, the Marin Plan tackles the tough issue of effectively planning the community's role in resolving larger environmental problems.
- The simple organization and excellent graphics make the plan accessible.
- An easy to use online "See-it-Viewer" allows for straightforward tracking of progress toward benchmarks, holding county staff and leaders accountable for implementing the plan.
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Publication Date: Sept. 4, 2010
The City of Sacramento General Plan is a model for the transformative potential of a regionally-focused General Plan. Among its award-winning qualities:
- Community livability and sustainability are overarching themes that serve as the framework for all Plan goals and policies.
- Innovative illustrations, including a unique map that depicts the City’s intentions for areas where growth would be targeted.
- Helping guide the creation of great places by describing their characteristics in place-based categories based on the character and form of places, rather than traditional zoning categories.
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Publication Date: Sept. 2, 2010
The 2006 Truckee General Plan is a model of accommodating positive change while protecting the unique elements and character that make this mountain town a popular resort destination. Among the Plan's noteworthy features:
- A Community Character Element that defines the most important features of the Town, to be protected as the town continues to grow.
- An unprecedented public outreach process which listened to voices from throughout the community, including typically underserved populations.
- An effective two-phase process which saw early public support converted into strong leadership by the Town Planning Commission, reducing rancor and leading to a smooth adoption process.
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