FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is included in the General Plan?

The City’s existing 1995 General Plan contains the following Elements:

  • Open Space and Conservation
  • Noise
  • Safety
  • Energy
  • Airport
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Historic and Archeological Resources
  • Community Facilities & Services
  • Circulation & Transportation
  • Housing
  • Community Design
  • Economic Development
  • Land Use

As a part of updating the General Plan, the City may reorganize or add new elements to emphasize pertinent planning issues that have arisen since the current General Plan was adopted.

Why Update the General Plan?

The City of Ukiah adopted its current General Plan in 1995. While the existing General Plan is serving the community well, the City has initiated the update to refine the Plan, address emerging trends and recent State laws, consider new issues, and remove completed implementation measures. This effort is intended to be a fine-tuning of the existing General Plan, rather than a comprehensive overhaul of the document. This planning effort will also allow the General Plan Team to implement best practices in planning to ensure Ukiah is resilient to future risks while also improving quality of life.

What are the legal requirements to update the General Plan?

State law requires the City to adopt a General Plan to address land use, circulation, housing, conservation, open space, noise, safety, and environmental justice. General plans may also address and emphasize other subjects of local importance. The updated and integrated plan will guide how Ukiah should develop and evolve, and the allocation of funds and resources for infrastructure, services, and programs.

What is the difference between the General Plan and Zoning?

The General Plan sets forth long-term policies that guide future development. It identifies the types of development that the City will allow, the spatial relationships among land uses, and the general pattern of future development. Zoning implements General Plan policies through detailed development regulations, such as specific use types and building standards. State law requires the City to ensure consistency between land uses specified in the General Plan and the zoning ordinance. Development projects must meet the specific requirements in the Zoning Code, as well as the broader policies set forth in the General Plan.

What is an Environmental Impact Report (EIR)?

Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the project sponsor must assess, disclose, and appropriately mitigate potential environmental impacts of all major development projects. The project sponsor documents the results of this environmental review process through an Environmental Impact Report, or EIR.

As required under CEQA Guidelines, the Ukiah General Plan EIR will identify the potential environmental impacts associated with the implementation of the General Plan. This analysis will assess and, if necessary, include measures to mitigate potential impacts related to CEQA-required topics. These topics include: air quality, greenhouse gases, hazards and hazardous materials, hydrology, land use, noise, population and housing, public services, recreation, transportation, utilities, agricultural and forest resources, biological resources, cultural resources, geology and soils, wildfire, and aesthetics.

When will the New General Plan be completed?

The General Plan is anticipated to be completed by May 2021.

Who is Preparing the General Plan Update?

The General Plan Update is being developed by City staff with direction from the City Council and input from the Planning Commission and the community. The development of the General Plan Update is being lead by City staff from the Community Development Department.

To assist in the development of the Update, the City has also hired a team of advanced planning specialists that include community planners and technical specialists:

  • Mintier Harnish (lead consultant)
  • Rincon Consultants, Inc. (environmental subconsultant)
  • GHD (transportation and mobility subconsultant)

Why should I get involved?

The General Plan Update process provides all residents and businesses with the chance to help guide the future of Ukiah. A successful General Plan will reflect the community vision and priorities, and we need public input to create the vision and priorities.

How can I get involved?

The General Plan Update process is an opportunity for community members to discuss the city’s future. There will be many opportunities to participate, including meetings, pop-up events, and public hearings. We have created numerous opportunities for the community to contribute their ideas to the Ukiah General Plan Update process, including...

  • Attending a pop-up event, community workshop, or public meeting
  • Joining the e-mail list to receive notifications of upcoming events
  • Submitting comments via this website
  • Mailing your comments to the Ukiah Planning Services Division at 300 Seminary Avenue, Ukiah, CA 95482

How will my feedback be used?

Public input from every engagement opportunity is recorded and cataloged to ensure that City staff and decision-makers have a full understanding of public sentiment when drafting the vision, guiding principles, goals, and policies. The General Plan team, Planning Commission, and City Council will consider all public feedback on General Plan materials (including goals and policies) when making final Plan revisions.

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