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General Plan

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This page provides links to, and describes the City's General Plan.


On December 2, 2003 the City Council adopted the City's updated General Plan.

What is it? All Cities are required by State law to prepare and adopt General Plans. The General Plan is a document that establishes the long-range goals for the physical development of the community. A General Plan is often referred to as the "constitution" for development in the City, reflecting the long term "vision" of the community through it’s goals, policies and objectives. General Plans are required to be internally consistent, and as a policy document they are general in nature. The Zoning Code, which is the document that implements the General Plan, must be consistent with the General Plan, and is a more specific document that sets development and use standards.

The State requires that General Plans include seven mandatory Elements. These "Elements" are similar to chapters, with each chapter focusing on a separate issue. The City already adopted an updated Housing Element in 2003, which is one of the seven mandatory Elements. By law, Housing Elements must be updated every five years and require certification by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The other Elements of a General Plan do not have State mandated deadlines for updates. The City's updated Housing Element was certified by HCD in June 2003. A General Plan should be updated as often as necessary in order for the Plan information to remain current and to ensure that the Plan continues to reflect the vision of the community. The current General Plan was last updated in 1988.

Public Participation throughout the General Plan process is a key component of the Update, including the formation of a General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) and a Neighborhood Traffic Committee (NTC) to provide early public input as well as policy direction.  The GPAC recommended Goals and Policies were discussed at the Community Workshop which was held on September 21, 2002.  The workshop provided an opportunity for the community to learn more about the General Plan and to provide input on the vision they have for the future of Manhattan Beach.

Planning Commission Public Hearings were held on October 22, and November 12, 2003.  A City Council Public Hearing was held on December 2, 2003 and the Council approved the General Plan Update. 

The Housing Element Annual Progress Report for 2018 and Years 2013-2017 (PDF) was approved by City Council on March 19, 2019 (PDF).

The 2013/2021 Housing Element (PDF) was adopted by City Council on February 4, 2014 through Resolution No. 14-0005.

The former 2008/2014 Housing Element (PDF) was adopted by City Council on January 16, 2013 and was certified by HCD on February 4, 2013. Amendments to the Zoning Code and Local Coastal Program were adopted by the City Council on July 2, 2013 (PDF), to implement the newly adopted Housing Element.

For more information, contact the Planning Division at (310) 802-5520.

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