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San Luis Obispo County, California

 > County of San Luis Obispo > Planning and Building > General Plan and Ordinances

General Plan and Ordinances

Hollister PeakCalifornia state law requires each city and county to adopt a general plan "for the physical development of the county or city, and any land outside its boundaries which bears relation to its planning."

The general plan is a local agency's constitution for future development. The San Luis Obispo County General Plan expresses the county's development goals and embodies public policy relative to the distribution of future land uses. It identifies county's land use, circulation, environmental, economic, and social goals and policies as they relate to land use and development. It provides a basis for local government decision making and informs citizens, developers, and decision-makers of the ground rules that guide development within the county.

State law requires that every general plan must contain the following components or "elements": Land Use, Conservation, Noise, Circulation, Open Space, Safety and Housing. In addition, state law allows for the adoption of additional or optional elements of a general plan. These elements may address any other subjects that, in the judgment of the legislative body, relate to the physical development of the county. The County of San Luis Obispo has adopted seven optional elements: Recreation, Historic and Esthetic, Energy, Off-shore Energy, Economic and Agriculture. To learn more, read the User's Guide to the General Plan.

Click on any of the following links to read the documents of the County General Plan, ordinances, design plans and other planning documents.

General Plan Amendment Process

Before any portion of the general plan can be changed, a thorough review of the requested change must be completed. Amending the general plan is an important decision. The process is governed by state law that requires each amendment request to be evaluated by the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors at public hearings before a decision is made. To learn more, read the General Plan Amendment Users Guide.

Ordinance Amendment Process

The Land Use Ordinance or other ordinances can be changed through amendments approved by the Board of Supervisors. Amending an ordinance is an important decision and is supported by a detailed review. To learn what is involved read more about the process.