General Plan FAQs
This page provides frequently asked questions on the General Plan. Seven years in the making, the General Plan update is scheduled to be adopted by the end of the year. It is important that we have a General Plan that reflects the needs of a thriving community. This is an exciting opportunity for the Beverly Hills community to stay involved with the process and to provide continued direction for our City’s neighborhoods, commercial districts and open space areas and to identify how we can implement that vision into the future.
What is a General Plan?
The General Plan serves as a ‘blueprint’ or a long-range planning document that sets forth the City’s goals, policies and direction for the next 20 years. General Plan’s must be updated periodically to reflect current community values, update technical information and address locally relevant issues. The General Plan sets policy for the community's infrastructure, protects the community's resources, and defines the community's character. All actions made by the City must conform to the General Plan.
What is in the General Plan?
Typically a General Plan is made of seven sections that address Land Use, Housing, Circulation, Conservation, Open Space, Safety and Noise. Policies in these elements influence new projects such as street maintenance, traffic reduction, use and protection of resources, maintenance and development of new parks and recreation activities, preservation of historic structures and other City services and amenities.
The Beverly Hills General Plan update will also recognize the importance of critical environmental issues and will be provided shortly before the City releases an innovative Sustainability Master Plan – a comprehensive policy framework which will ensure sustainability concerns are incorporated into City decision-making in the future.
The most important functions of the Beverly Hills General Plan update are to protect and preserve our residential neighborhoods while ensuring the economic health of the community. Through the General Plan update, the City will be able to continue to provide high-quality services and amenities to the community. The General Plan serves as the community’s guide to programs, policies and services. It governs regulations on such projects as building and development, water, streets, parks and recreation.
What is in the new General Plan?
There will be an emphasis towards sustainability both in terms of the environment and the economy. Environmental sustainability focuses on such topics as reducing air pollution and conserving resources. Economic sustainability will assure that the City is able to continue requiring the highest quality in development practices and continue to provide the best services to the community.
The new General Plan will also address the need for housing by encouraging mixed-use buildings, in which housing could be built above shops and offices in select commercial areas. Additionally, the City’s new plan will include policies aimed at encouraging affordable housing as mandated by the State of California.
What is the status of the General Plan Update?
The City is nearing completion of its General Plan update process. Check back regularly for general plan updates and meeting announcements.
What has happened in the General Plan Update Process so far?
To prepare for the General Plan update, and to help shape the vision of Beverly Hills' future, the City engaged a broad cross-section of the community.
Related General Plan activities included:
· 170 community members served on committees that explored seven key topics, including residential issues and commercial standards.
· Two City commissions, Planning, Traffic and Parking, held joint public meetings to review critical transportation issues, including the Santa Monica Boulevard corridor and traffic in residential neighborhoods.
· More than a dozen community meetings provided public feedback on alternatives to existing land use.
· Four City commissions, as well as the Beverly Hills Unified School District, offered input on preliminary policies dealing with such subjects as community services, public safety, housing, and historic preservation.
How can I stay involved?
It is important that the general reflect the shared vision of the community. Public hearings on amending the general plan will be scheduled over the next few months. Participation by you and other community members is important to the Planning Commission and the City Council. Check back regularly for meeting announcements and updates in the amendment process.