General Plan Amendment

What is the process?

Step 1: Application & Cost Accounting Agreement

Complete a General Plan and Ordinance Amendment Application Package with Cost Accounting Agreement.

IMPORTANT: An application can only be processed if a completed Coast Accounting Agreement is submitted.

Step 2: Apply Online

  1. To apply online, click Land Use Permit Application
  2. Click Apply
  3. Log In or Register
  4. Upload the completed General Plan and Ordinance Amendment Application Package with Cost Accounting Agreement before clicking Submit.


Planning staff will look over the application submittal package and contact the primary contact with any questions. 


Step 3: Pay Invoice

Planning staff will email the billing contact an invoice. Pay invoice here*.

Once the invoice is paid, the project review timeline will begin.

Please note for all Planning and Building applications, after 15 days of non-payment of invoice, the application will be voided and resubmittal will be required.

Step 4: Conduct Initial Review

Planning Staff will do an initial review of the applicant and may ask for additional information.

Step 5: Authorization of Application

Planning Staff schedules the application for authorization to process the GPA at the Board of Supervisors. The Board at their discretion may authorize the processing of the application or not. If they decide to not authorize the application for processing, then the process is terminated. If they authorize processing, then Planning Staff can proceed to the next steps.

Step 6: Distribute Project Referrals

Project referrals, which include application packet and any corresponding maps, are distributed to government agencies and community advisory councils. 

Step 7: Provide Additional Information

If additional information and or environmental studies are required, the project will remain on information hold until that information is provided, the applicant withdraws the application, or County staff deems the application withdrawn. 

Step 8: Conduct Environmental Review

Staff will conduct environmental review, which could result in the preparation of an Environment Impact Report. 

Step 9: Attend Planning Commission Hearing

Planning Staff will present the amendment, provide recommendations, and the Commission will provide a decision. 

Step 10: Attend Board of Supervisors Hearing

Planning Staff will present the amendment, provide recommendations, and the Board will provide a decision. 

Step 11: Attend Coastal Commission Hearings

If in the amendment is within the Coastal Zone, Coastal Commission hearings are required.

Is there a charge for this service?

Please refer to the Department of Planning & Building Fee Schedule for application fees.

When and where is this service offered?

Proposed General Plan amendments are consolidated and processed quarterly.

Location, directions and hours of operation

Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information

Monday - Friday 8-5

976 Osos Street Room 200
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

Tel: (805) 781-5600

Fax: (805) 781-1242

Permits/Inspections: (805) 788-6602


A General Plan Amendment is a type of planning application where a person, group, or the County wants to change the policies or rules for how or where development and land uses can happen. The Department of Planning & Building can help you decide if your project needs a General Plan Amendment or not. We can also explain any proposed General Plan Amendments that you may have heard about or are concerned about.  

The Permit Center is where to start if you have questions about a General Plan Amendment. A Permit Center consultation usually last about fifteen (15) minutes. If you want to apply for a General Plan Amendment or think you may want to apply, after meeting with the staff at the Permit Center, you will need to have a pre-application meeting. At a pre-application meeting the issues of the proposed General Plan Amendment will be discussed in much greater detail than can be explained at the Permit Center. Those issues may include subjects like the environment, the neighborhood, safety, and resources, such as water supply. Staff from other departments, such as Public Works, County Fire, or Health Department will likely be in attendance at a pre-application meeting, which lasts about one hour. You will also get an idea of how much the General Plan Amendment application will cost and how long it may take to process. After having a pre-application meeting you would then decide if you want to apply for a General Plan Amendment or not.