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Pasadena In Focus
2009 General Plan Special Edition

What’s a General Plan?

Every city in California has a General Plan, a blueprint for growth and development that lays out specific strategies for land use, mobility, housing, open space, conservation, noise and safety. It reflects a community’s values and directs all of the municipal government’s day-to-day decisions, plans and priorities.

A thoughtful General Plan can protect a city’s character, create a vibrant downtown, support a healthy business community, advance the arts, preserve historic treasures, foster diversity, protect open space, promote transit choices, enrich neighborhoods and much more. As times change, about every five years the General Plan is revised to become more meaningful and relevant based on the current state of a community, with an eye toward the future.

Each city’s General Plan is unique, including the level of community participation. Pasadena is proud to have a long history of involving thousands of residents, business leaders and others in shaping our General Plan. The Pasadena you see today is a result of that history. In 1994, for example, more than 3,000 people took part in the General Plan update, many urging that development should be steered away from single-family neighborhoods and closer to downtown, near transportation lines.