General Plan Update

Latest Updates and News

The 30+ day public comment period for the Community Involvement Strategy was highlighted by two Community Conversations meetings, including one Spanish only program.  The nearly 60 participants that participated in these meetings and in individual discussion with the Project Team generated over 70 individual comments and questions.  

Next, the City Council will review the Community Involvement Strategy on August 18th.  Live-stream video and telephone links for that meeting will be provided here.  

The Community Involvement Strategy document and summaries and video recordings of the Community Conversation meetings are listed below.

Your comments and questions regarding the Community Involvement Strategy and the General Plan Update are always welcomed.  Email them to the Project Team at

Help Shape the Future of Santa Rosa!

Santa Rosa is in a time of incredible change. The recent fires, housing crisis, electrical grid blackouts, and calls for social justice and equality provide a backdrop for an immensely important discussion on how the City will grow and change over the coming years and decades. It is now time to discuss how Santa Rosa can become an even more sustainable, resilient, healthy, and inclusive community.

The General Plan Update project will provide an important opportunity for the community to discuss ways to ensure housing for all, improve neighborhood quality and connectivity, foster economic development, improve public health, create more equitable access to community amenities and services, enhance education, and reinforce environmental stewardship. Below you will find information on ways you can be involved in the community discussion, and additional information on project updates and the components that go into a general plan. 

How Can I Get Involved?  

An update to the City’s General Plan cannot be done without involvement from everyone in the community. We need your help! 

Community outreach and input will be a key component to the General Plan Update process. Please return to this website for the latest information. To be added to the email notification list, please click on the "email notifications" link on the upper right side of this page.

Upcoming Events - Please join us.

Project Updates

Community Involvement Strategy (July 2020)

The Project Team has prepared a draft Community Involvement Strategy (CIS) for public review.  It details all community engagement activities and events that will take place during the course of the project. The CIS bolsters the use of social media platforms, websites, virtual engagement tools, and other online tools as means to engage the public when in-person meetings or public assemblies are not allowed. It also sets forth the role of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) and its membership.  

The Community Involvement Strategy and a summary are linked below

The City will be hosting a series of on-line Community Conversations in July 2020 to solicit feedback on the CIS and ideas on how the City can best engage the Santa Rosa Community. 

Please join the online meeting either by the live streaming link below.  You can also use our meeting tool to sign-up and receive online meeting instructions.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.  Email them to no later than July 29th and they will be presented with the draft CIS to the City Council on August 18th.  The notice of that meeting will be posted on this webpage and emailed to the General Plan Update notification list.

In the meantime, the Project Team is working with the City’s Communications and Intergovernmental Relations Office and Community Engagement Division to develop a website, on-line surveys and other tools to assist in information gathering and targeted outreach that is inclusive of all members of the community.

COVID-19 Related Project Changes (April 2020)

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the California and Sonoma County shelter-in-place orders postponed the project’s initial start in February. However, the Project Team continues to work remotely on the project during this time, primarily on community engagement, planning, background research, and development of the project website.

Profile and Existing Condition Reports (April 2020)

On April 16, staff convened the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), including City department representatives, using videoconferencing technology. City staff introduced the Project Team to the TAC, provided an overview of the General Plan Update , and asked TAC members to provide existing studies, data and reports. The Project Team will use this information to prepare the City Profile Report and Existing Conditions Report, that is anticipated to be released in Summer 2020.

General Plan Consultant Team Selected (December 2019)

The City of Santa Rosa selected a multi-disciplinary team led by PlaceWorks and MIG, two planning consulting firms based in Berkeley, California, to help prepare the Santa Rosa General Plan Update. The two firms are statewide leaders in General Plan preparation and together build an impressive bench of expertise in North Bay transportation, disaster recovery, environmental justice, and community engagement strategy as well as in areas of land use, economic, engineering, and environment. This dedicated and collaborative team offers the expertise and passion needed to engage and move the entire community forward into the future.

Community Conversations and Survey (Summer 2019)

The Planning and Economic Development conducted an initial round of Community Conversations and Survey to gain ideas and input ahead of the General Plan Update project. The City extends its appreciation and thanks to everyone who attended the one of the eight meetings from May 13, 2019 through June 13, 2019, and who completed the What Matters Most survey. The public input we received supports the need for a comprehensive update of the current 2035 General Plan.

The result of nearly 500 completed What Matters Most surveys is provided below. Respondents expressed their opinion regarding the City’s future by selecting three of eight listed survey topics listed in the survey they consider most significant.  While these results do not reflect the sentiment of the entire community, they do indicate issues that are foremost for Community Conversation participants. 

The following chart and table illustrate that housing development and homelessness is the top issue of concern.  73% of respondents selected it as a top three What Matters Most issue. This sentiment was borne out by public comments made at the Community Conversations meetings.

Environmental Protection and Climate Change, and Neighborhood Character and Community Development both ranked equally high at 49% and 48%, respectively, as a top three concern.

Public Services and Safety trailed a few percentage points behind at 44%.

While these results are a snapshot of the sentiment of the Community Conversation participants, the City will address all the issues listed in the What Matters Most survey equally and fully through the 2050 General Plan project.

Community Conversations Maps and Presentations (Summer 2019)

Below are copies of the maps that were available for review at the Community Conversations:

  • Development Map (existing General Plan land use designations, depicting what types of general land uses can be located)
  • Environment Map (existing environmental constraints)
  • Mobility Map (existing and future bicycle, pedestrian and transit facilities and routes)
  • Services Map (locations of existing and future shopping centers, emergency services and schools)

Below are copies of the presentation provided at the Community Conversations:

What is a General Plan?

A General Plan is a comprehensive policy document that provides the general framework for all zoning and land use decisions within a community. It establishes a community’s long-term vision for the future and contains goals and policies that will shape future housing, support job growth, foster healthy and resilient neighborhoods, protect and manage natural resources, ensure community safety, and promote social and economic equity. The City’s current general plan was last updated in 2009 (General Plan 2035).  

While the goals and policies of the General Plan guide day-to-day planning decisions (housing, commercial development, infrastructure improvements, public services, facility improvements), it also supports programs that provide neighborhood social services and protect natural resources.

Since the 2009 General Plan was adopted, the City has experienced low housing production and increased homelessness, the destruction of housing and displacement of residents by the Tubbs fire, the impact of cannabis business activity on industrial and commercial land, and the annexation of the Roseland community into the City (an approximately 714 acre area in southwest Santa Rosa). In addition, State Law now requires the City’s General Plan to address infrastructure and service deficiencies, and environmental degradation within designated disadvantaged community areas within the City. 

Because of these reasons and many others, it is a good time to discuss with the Santa Rosa community how the city should change over the coming years. For more information on the State’s requirements, visit the State of California Office of Planning and Research website, which has detailed guidelines for the development of general plans.

Existing City Policy Documents and Resources

Email Notifications

  1. Andy Gustavson

    Senior Planner
    Phone: 707-543-3236