RAPID/Roadmap/1-CA-a

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RAPID

Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

California Land Use Planning (1-CA-a)

Land use planning in California is delegated to city and county governments.


Land Use Planning Process

1-CA-a.1 - Land Use Planning Delegated to Cities and Counties

Under California Government Code Section 65030.1, land use planning decisions (which should be made in accordance with officially approved statewide goals and policies) are delegated to the over 500 incorporated cities and counties in California. Local jurisdictions are required by CGC Section 65300 to adopt “comprehensive, long-term general plan[s] for physical development.” Long-range planning documents must include elements for land use, housing, conservation, open space, noise, and safety. The California Land Use Planning Information Network contains electronic records of local land use plans and may be accessed at http://ceres.ca.gov/planning/.

Development must be in accordance with land use restrictions as defined by the local jurisdiction.


Geothermal and Solar

Three plan elements are of particular relevance for geothermal and solar project developers:

  • The land use element defines the allowable uses of land within the plan area;
  • The conservation element addresses the conservation, development, and use of natural resources including water, forests, soils, rivers, and mineral deposits; and
  • The open-space element details plans and measures for preserving open-space for natural resources, the managed production of resources, and areas containing major mineral deposits.


Hydropower

Four plan elements are of particular relevance for hydropower project developers:

  • The land use element defines the allowable uses of land within the plan area;
  • The conservation element addresses the conservation, development, and use of natural resources including water, forests, soils, rivers, and mineral deposits; and
  • The open-space element details plans and measures for preserving open-space for natural resources, the managed production of resources, and areas containing major mineral deposits.
  • The safety element requires certain measures to protect communities from unreasonable risks such as (but not limited to) dam failure and flooding.



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