From the county’s web site, the General Plan …”provides long-term direction for the growth and development of the unincorporated areas of the County.”
This is considered an update because what is referred to the “Framework” General Plan was completed in 1984. (You will hear this referred to a bunch by those whose secondary purpose (IMHO) is to establish themselves as experts a la Peter Childs and/or Dan Taranto.)
Thus “GP” (General Plan) “U” (Update).
Google-ing a quote in the County’s web site with brings you oddly to this ancient relic of the internet – a “Citizen’s Guide to Planning” created under California’s recalled Governor Grey Davis. Here you get further helpful descriptions of the state-mandated general plans. It is a blueprint …
The local general plan can be described as the city’s or county’s “blueprint” for future development. It represents the community’s view of its future; a constitution made up of the goals and policies upon which the city council, board of supervisors, and planning commission will base their land use decisions. To illustrate its importance, all subdivisions, public works projects, and zoning decisions (except in charter cities other than Los Angeles) must be consistent with the general plan. If inconsistent, they must not be approved.
In the next paragraph they emphasize that the plans are meant to be long – range and distinguishes general plans from zoning.
The general plan is not the same as zoning. Although both designate how land may be developed, they do so in different ways. The general plan and its diagrams have a long-term outlook, identifying the types of development that will be allowed, the spatial relationships among land uses, and the general pattern of future development. Zoning regulates present development through specific standards such as lot size, building setback, and a list of allowable uses. In counties and general law cities, the land uses shown on the general plan diagrams will usually be reflected in the local zoning maps as well. Development must not only meet the specific requirements of the zoning ordinance, but also the broader policies set forth in the local general plan.
I’m glad I accidentally found this web site. It seems to be very useful even though it is dated. It gives the state’s perspective on what the General Plan is meant to be. In it you will find most of the individual components of our GPU – know as the “elements” and it compares, contrasts and defines other important planning terms.
So that is a start. I am going to use this thread for further GPU posts and comments until there is a comment important enough that I want to place it where readers are less likely to miss it.