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General Plan Update Frequently Asked Questions

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1.

What is the General Plan Update?

 

2.Why Update the General Plan?
3.When was  the General Plan Update completed?
4.Where can I find information about the General Plan Update maps and land use designations? Are these maps available for purchase?
5.Is there a difference between the General Plan and the Zoning Ordinance?
6.Did my current zoning change after the General Plan Update was adopted? What is my minimum parcel (lot) size?
7.What effect did the adoption of the General Plan Update have on a subdivision?
8.Did the County accept a subdivision map application filed in accordance with the old General Plan?
9.What is a “pipeline project”?
10.

What happens if my lot does not meet the minimum density recommended on the the General Plan Update maps and I want to build a house?

 

 1.

What is the General Plan?

The General Plan Update is a comprehensive update of the San Diego County General Plan, establishing future growth and land use development patterns for the unincorporated areas of the County.  The General Plan Update replaces the old General Plan, including the land use map and all elements.

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 2.

Why update the General Plan?

The old General Plan dated back to the 1970s, and during the intervening years much changed within the region. The General Plan Update provides a general plan that more accurately reflects regional growth, resource protection regulations, state law, local ordinances, and provide a guide for future land use patterns based on population forecasts. 

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 3.

When was the General Plan Update completed?

The General Plan Update received a recommendation of approval from the Planning Commission and was presented to the Board of Supervisors for consideration in October 2010.  The General Plan Update was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on August 3, 2011.

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 4.

Where can I find information about the General Plan Update maps and the land use designations? Are these maps available for purchase?

Zoning counter staff can provide information about the draft General Plan Update Land Use Designations.  The General Plan Update website also contains mapping information (click on the “Publications & Maps” link).  Maps are available for review and/or purchase for a cost of $30 per map. You may also purchase these maps or download Geographic Information Systems data through the SanGIS (San Diego Geographic Information Source) website: www.sangis.org.

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 5.

Is there a difference between the General Plan and the Zoning Ordinance?

Yes. A General Plan sets forth long-term policies that guide future development. The Zoning Ordinance implements general plan policies via detailed, parcel specific development regulations for particular areas or “zones”. Although the purpose and intent of zoning is different from the General Plan, State law requires that zoning be consistent with maps and policies in the General Plan.

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 6.

Did my current zoning change after the General Plan Update was adopted? What is my minimum parcel (lot) size?

Changes to zoning that are required for consistency with the General Plan Update are included in the project. Notices were sent to property owners with changes in use regulation or increases in minimum lot size in 2010. Changes can be viewed at http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/dplu/gpupdate/index.html  

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 7.

What effect did the adoption of the General Plan Update have on a subdivision?

Privately owned land located within the unincorporated County is subject to the requirements of the General Plan Update upon final adoption by the Board of Supervisors. The only exception is “pipelined projects” (refer to question #12), which will continue to be subject to existing regulations after adoption of the Update.  Prior to the adoption of the General Plan Update, all projects will continue to be subject to the existing general plan and to other existing land use regulations. 

After the General Plan Update is adopted, all subdivisions will be subject to the provisions of the new General Plan (as updated) unless a project has received Tentative Parcel Map/Tentative Map approval prior to adoption of the General Plan Update or the project is considered to be pipelined. Therefore, after the General Plan Update is adopted, in order for a Tentative Parcel Map or Tentative Map to be issued for a project that is not pipelined, the project must be consistent with the new General Plan. Adoption of the General Plan Update will not affect approval or recordation of a Final Parcel Map or Final Map.

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 8.

Did the County accept a subdivision map application filed in accordance with the old General Plan?

Yes.  The old regulations required that subdivision maps (major or minor subdivisions) be filed in accordance with the old general plan when it was still in effect. Applications were accepted until the General Plan Update was adopted by the Board of Supervisors.  However, if the tentative map is not approved prior to approval of the General Plan Update, it will be subject to the new General Plan. Therefore, there is risk associated with the processing of any map at this time, and especially if that map does not comply with the General Plan Update land use maps. Note: This does not apply to subdivision projects that have received “pipeline” project status (refer to question #12). 

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 9.

What is a “pipeline project”?

On August 6, 2003, the Board of Supervisors approved a “Pipeline Policy” (available at the Zoning Counter and the General Plan Update website).  The Pipeline Policy permits subdivision projects whose applications were deemed complete on or before August 6, 2003 to have pipelined status.  Only projects with pipelined status will be reviewed against existing land use regulations after adoption of the General Plan Update.  After the General Plan Update is adopted, subdivision maps that were not in the pipeline will be subject to the General Plan Update. Please see the Pipelining Policy Fact Sheet at: http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/dplu/gpupdate/docs/pc_feb10_fs01_pipe.pdf

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 10.

What happens if my lot does not meet the minimum density recommended on the General Plan Update maps and I want to build a house?

An existing legal lot does not need to meet General Plan density requirements in order to obtain a building permit. However, lot size requirements are just one factor in lot development. Additional requirements, such as sewage disposal, site constraints, access, emergency service availability, building and environmental approvals may limit your ability to develop your lot. 

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