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The General Plan and Zoning Code go hand-in-hand. The General Plan establishes broad, long-term policies to guide both private sector development and City investments. The Zoning Code implements General Plan policies through detailed development regulations that specify what activities can happen where, and that specify standards for the height and design of new buildings. State law requires that the Zoning Code be consistent with the General Plan. Chino's Zoning Code will updated in parallel with the General Plan to ensure consistency. The Zoning Code will also be updated to address new State housing laws.
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All cities and counties in California are required to have a general plan, which serves as the blueprint for growth and conservation, adopted by the City Council. It lays out the city’s long-term vision, and includes text, diagrams, and maps to communicate how the vision will be implemented. The plan is used a basis for land use decisions and is used by government officials such as the Planning Commission and the City Council to guide urban development. A general plan is also called a comprehensive plan because it covers the entire geographic area within city limits – both privately-owned and publicly owned properties – and a broad range of issues including physical, social, and economic development. Click here to view Chino’s current General Plan.
The General Plan covers all public and privately owned land within the City limit. However, the State of California encourages cities to look beyond their borders when preparing a General Plan, as issues are not necessarily confined to political boundaries. Accordingly, the planning area for the Chino General Plan Update includes land adjacent to the city to the northwest in Chino's Sphere of Influence (SOI). The SOI represents Chino's probable future boundary and service area. Land in the SOI may one day be annexed into the City, and while the City doesn't have jurisdiction there now, it can "pre-zone" land in the SOI for the purpose of determining the zoning that will apply to properties if they are annexed to the City in the future. For this reason, the General Plan will cover all land within the City limit and the SOI.
State law requires that a general plan cover at least eight mandated topics: Land Use, Circulation, Housing, Conservation, Open Space, Noise, Safety, and Environmental Justice. General plans may also address other topics that are important to the community. Chino's General Plan includes optional chapters (called "elements") addressing economic development, air quality, and public health.
The City's current General Plan was adopted in 2010, but emerging trends and new State laws are now triggering the need for an update. These trends include demographic change, the rise of internet shopping, growth in the logistics industry, new transportation technologies and more. Additionally, a series of new State laws enacted since the General Plan was last comprehensively updated mean the City must incorporate strategies to address multi-modal mobility, environmental justice, climate vulnerability, and emergency evacuation among other topics. In short, now is the time for both new and longtime residents to come together and define a shared vision for the future, clearly articulate goals and priorities, and for the City to put in place new policies that will guide growth and development over the next two decades.
An environmental impact report (EIR) is a detailed analysis of how the environment would be affected by a plan or a development project. It analyzes impacts on a range of environmental resources, identifies alternatives to the proposed plan or project, and presents ways to reduce or avoid environmental impacts. Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a general plan update is considered a project, and thus requires an EIR to be completed in conjunction with the plan. Community members and other government agencies can contribute at two different phases in the EIR process. The first phase is the Scoping Period which starts with the release of a Notice of Preparation (NOP) declaring that an EIR is going to be prepared and asks the public to comment on the scope of the EIR. The second phase is when the Draft EIR is released, and public comments are invited. Public comment is also welcomed when the Final EIR is considered at public hearings before City decision-makers.
The update involves four main phases, shown on the graphic below. Through this process, we will:
The update will take about two years and is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2024.
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