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CEQA and General Plans - Additional Resources

The Attorney General's Office has compiled Examples of General Plan Policies, pdf. to assist cities and counties in their general plan updates.

The Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) provides technical assistance on land use planning and CEQA matters. In December 2010, OPR issued an update to the General Plan Guidelines addressing the Complete Streets and the Circulation Element, pdf. This document is designed to help local governments comply with the Complete Streets Act of 2008, which requires planning for a balanced, mulitmodal transportation network. For more assistance on planning visit OPR's General Plan webpage. OPR’s 2003 General Plan Guidelines include additional guidance, including recommendations for addressing sustainability and environmental justice.

Jar of yellow, number 2 pencils.

The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) provides guidance on many issues specific to general plan housing elements. To view HCD's guidance materials, including the document, Housing Element Policies and Programs Addressing Climate Change, visit HCD's webpage.

In June 2009, the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association released a guidance document, Model Policies for Greenhouse Gases in General Plans. The document includes a discussion of general plan structure, a menu of model policy language, and a worksheet to assist cities and counties in evaluating the effectiveness and cost of potential measures.

In February 2010, the California Department of Transportation issued Smart Mobility 2010: A Call to Action for the New Decade, pdf. Smart Mobility "emphasizes travel choices, healthy, livable communities, reliable travel times for people and freight, and safety for all users" and includes strategies for general plans and regional transportation plans designed to achieve these objectives.

The California Energy Commission's Energy Aware Planning Guide, last updated in 2011, is a comprehensive resource for local governments seeking to reduce energy use, improve energy efficiency and increase usage of renewable energy. The Guide includes recommended strategies related to land use, transportation, buildings, water use, and community energy.

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has developed a Local Government Toolkit containing guidance and resources to help local governments reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money. The Local Government Toolkit is available at CoolCalifornia.org, an online government, university, and non-governmental partnership. CoolCalifornia.org is packed with quick, easy-to-use and reliable tools that all Californians need to save money and reduce their impact on the climate.

Institute for Local Government (ILG) has just issued a new guide, Evaluating Greenhouse Gas Emissions as Part of California’s Environmental Review Process: A Local Official’s Guide (2011). ILG’s guide is written for “the busy local official audience and others” seeking a plain language explanation of the requirements for analyzing and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions under CEQA. Section IV discusses long-range planning. It describes the elements of a Climate Action Plan, and how to use such a plan to streamline the CEQA process.

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