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Thread: Do specific plans establish zoning or general plan designations?

  1. #1
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    Do specific plans establish zoning or general plan designations?

    If I am referring to a specific plan designation, is that designation considered a zoning designation or a general plan designation? For instance, on our staff reports, there is a section that describes the zoning and general plan designation of adjacent sites. If the adjacent site is in a specific plan, is the zoning of that site whatever the specific plan designation is? Is the general plan designation whatever the specific plan designation is? The land use designations within the specific plan are different than any designations we have in our zoning code or general plan. Please let me know what has been done in other jurisdictions. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Here in Albuquerque, the specific plan takes precedent over Comp Plan designations.

    Often the local plans (or Sector Development Plans as we call them) use zoning definitions found in the Master Plan, but its also not unusual to find a designation in the local plan that is unique to that area (maybe it allows commercial activity, but only within certain hours, or it is the same as, say, C-1 zoning, except for certain parking regulations that are waved because its a dense area - stuff like that). It sounds like this is what you are running into.

    This makes things confusing, for certain, but the sector plan update process takes place more frequently and with more nuance (and local input) than the comp plan. The idea is that at the local level, zoning designations get tweaked to allow for the desired development that is unique to that specific place (ie. context-sensitive).

    Hope that's helpful.
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  3. #3
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    I'm more caught up in the technicality of what to call the specific plan designations. If a new land use designation is created through a specific plan, can I refer to it as the zoning designation for the properties it applies to? Should I refer to it as the general plan designation for the properties it applies to? This becomes even more complicated when preparing zoning and general plan maps.

    I've seen some zoning and general plan maps that don't show the land use for specific plan areas. They simply label the entire area as specific plan. You then have to find the specific plan to figure out what the land use designations are for the affected parcels.

    I know it's a very minor issue, but no one around here can seem to agree on a standard. How do other jurisdictions handle this?

  4. #4
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    No, a plan designation is not (usually) the same as zoning classification.

    Plan designations are usually more general - low density residential, commercial, office, mixed use, etc.

    Whereas a zoning classification is the zoning district within which a certain property is located. That could be a the Low Density Residential District, Transitional Office District, Highway Commercial District, etc. Where the specific district allows a range of uses and bulk regulations.

    Hope that gives you some direction.
    Last edited by mendelman; 17 Apr 2008 at 5:21 PM.
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  5. #5
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    In California, "(i)t is a separately adopted general plan implementation document."

    Have you reviewed this completely? You better know this well before going down that path.

    Oops, wrong link...hold on.

    Doesn't seem to work...type in Specific Plan in the Enter Term box. It'll pop up.

    http://ceres.ca.gov/search/index.epl
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