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Our City. Our Future.


Project Components and Schedule

The General Plan Update is anticipated to be completed in the fall of 2026. The steps of the project and schedule are outlined below.

  1. Briefing Book and Visioning. The first step in the General Plan Update is to establish the community’s vision for Modesto in 2050. Creating a General Plan that represents Modesto residents’ shared core principles and values is the top priority of the General Plan Update. To support this visioning process, we researched and documented baseline conditions in Modesto, which was compiled in an online Briefing Book.
  2. Land Use Alternatives. In this phase, we’ll ask community members to identify areas where land use changes may be needed to support the community’s vision. The land use alternatives will consider opportunities for infill development, revitalization, economic diversification, stimulation of commercial areas, and job growth, as well as opportunities to enhance connections to Downtown, the Tuolumne River, Dry Creek, and other destinations. These alternatives will be evaluated and compared in relation to community character, market viability, circulation, utilities and infrastructure, community services, and the City’s fiscal health. This evaluation will inform the community process to select a Preferred Land Use Alternative.
  3. Preferred Land Use Alternative. After identifying and evaluating a range of alternative land use patterns, we’ll ask community members to help identify a Preferred Land Use Alternative. This phase of the project will be highly interactive and participatory; we’ll engage community members through a variety of outlets to mix and match ideas from the land use alternatives to create a Preferred Land Use Alternative.  The Preferred Land Use Alternative will ultimately be the basis for the General Plan Land Use Map and will guide the type, pattern, and location of land development and conservation in the city.
  4. Policies for Key Issues. Following identification of the Preferred Land Use Alternative, we’ll work with community members to write a new set of policies that support the planned land uses and the community’s vision. We will also explore options for new and expanded policies and actions that are needed to fill gaps in the existing policy framework, including to address changes in State law.
  5. Draft General Plan. Once we have the vision, land use map, and key policies formulated, the next step will be to update the General Plan document. Every city and county in California must adopt a general plan. A general plan establishes goals, policies, and actions related to a range of civic issues. These issues are organized into topic-specific “elements” or chapters of the general plan. The following eight elements are required by State law: land use, open space, transportation, housing, conservation, safety, noise, and environmental justice. Jurisdictions in the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, including Modesto, are also required by the State to prepare an air quality element. These elements can be combined or presented in any order that best fits the community.

    The City of Modesto’s existing General Plan addresses all State requirements and organizes the General Plan in its own unique format. The General Plan Update will start from the existing General Plan to update each of these elements. However, the specific contents of the elements may change and evolve based on input from the community.

  6. General Plan Review and Adoption. The Draft General Plan will be released for public review and feedback before the Planning Commission and City Council considers it for adoption. During this phase, the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will also be released. As required by California law, the EIR will thoroughly analyze the potential environmental impacts of the updated General Plan to ensure that future development and policy changes do not negatively affect our community. After review and feedback, the Planning Commission and City Council will consider the General Plan for adoption. At this time, an accompanying Implementation Plan will be also prepared.

Project Schedule