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General Plan
All California cities are required to prepare and adopt a general plan to use as a guide in making land use decisions. It is essentially a blueprint for future development and focuses on big-picture and long-term goals. The Signal Hill General Plan includes the following six elements.

The Housing Element provides an assessment of the current and projected housing needs for all economic segments of the population. State law recognizes that local governments play a vital role in the supply and affordability of housing. The Housing Element is unique in that it is the only one reviewed by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to determine its compliance with state law. The HCD pays particular attention to the required inventory of adequate sites. This inventory demonstrates how cities will accommodate their fair share of projected population growth on a parcel-specific level. The fair share is determined at a regional level by the Southern California Association of Governments and is called the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA).

2013-2021 Housing Element Update
The City has updated its General Plan Housing Element for the planning period of 2013-2021. The State requires Housing Elements to be updated on a regular basis and the State Department of Community Development (HCD) reviews the Updates and provides certifications if the documents meet the statutory requirements. Under new rules, cities in our region that adopt their Updates by the February 2014 deadline will be on an eight-year cycle for future updates. Those that miss the deadline will revert to a four-year cycle. 

During the last year, City staff and housing consultant Ralph Castaneda have spent a great deal of time and effort to prepare the draft Update, by conducting community outreach, taking surveys and holding public workshops to describe the many legal mandates for the Update and the City’s proposed methods to meet them. The Update was adopted at the February 4, 2014 City Council meeting. The Update is available for public review in the Community Development Department and by accessing the attached PDF

Land Use
The Land Use Element identifies the distribution and intensity of uses within the city. It identifies goals and policies and includes a land use map showing the location and intensity of types of uses, such as business, industry, housing, education, public buildings, and open space.

The Circulation Element establishes guidelines and policy direction for the development and maintenance of a comprehensive transportation system for the city.

Environmental Resources
The Environmental Resources Element combines the open space and conservation elements into one document to address the long-term and comprehensive preservation and conservation of open space. It also details the conservation, development, and use of natural resources such as water, forests, soils, rivers, and mineral deposits.  In 1989, the City also adopted its Parks and Recreation Master Plan and included it as an appendix to the Environmental Resources Element. The Master Plan documents the City’s open space and recreation goals. It also discusses where parks may be site, how to fund park acquisitions and how parks are maintained.  

The Safety Element establishes policies and programs to protect the community from risks associated with hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, floods, and wildfires.

The Noise Element identifies and assesses noise problems within the community and establishes guidelines to achieve noise-compatible land uses.

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