Land Use Element (Public Hearing Draft, 5/1/13)
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Land Use Element

The Land Use Element is an essential tool in achieving San Clemente’s vision, as described in the “2009 Vision San Clemente Final Report” and “2009 Vision and Strategic Plan” for San Clemente. It is one of thirteen chapters, or “elements” that comprise the Centennial General Plan. Traditionally, the Land Use Element is considered the General Plan’s most important policy document because it describes the allowed types and configurations of land uses and where they can be located, including residential, commercial, mixed-use, industrial, open space, recreation and public uses. In combination with the other elements, the Land Use Element guides how we plan, arrange, develop and conduct these land uses and serves as a key tool in ensuring a high quality of life for our citizens. Land use decisions have the potential to add value to our community in terms of safety, convenience, environmental quality, aesthetics and economic benefits.

To help guide land use and development-related decisions, this Element provides:
  1. a Land Use Plan that graphically depicts where different types of land uses are allowed;
  2. a description of Land Use Designations that comprise the Land Use Plan, including density and development intensity standards;
  3. a summary of population and employment buildout estimates for the City; and
  4. goals and policies that help guide public and private land use actions.
The Land Use Element provides more detailed goals and policies for Focus Areas. Following the 1993 General Plan, which focused on managing growth and development in the City’s inland Ranch areas, this General Plan focuses on land use changes in eight geographic areas and on maintaining and enhancing the overall quality of life San Clemente citizens and visitors enjoy.


Achieve the City’s Vision by establishing and maintaining balance of uses that provides:
  1. a diversity of residential neighborhoods and housing opportunities;
  2. distinct and vibrant commercial and industrial areas offering a range of retail, service and employment uses that complement rather than compete with one another;
  3. a mix of passive and active recreational areas available to all of our residents and employees;
  4. access to a host of historic, cultural and social amenities and resources;
  5. protected open space and natural resource areas that offer solitude and a respite from urban life, recreation and views, diverse and healthy natural habitats for a variety of plant and animal species, and distinct community edges; and
  6. a mix of public and institutional uses that provide lifelong learning opportunities, places of worship and City facilities offering a wide range of services and cultural amenities.

  1. Land Use Plan
  2. Residential Land Uses
  3. Commercial Land Uses
  4. Mixed Use Land Uses
  5. Industrial Land Uses
  6. Automobile-Related Land Uses
  7. Public and Institutional Land Uses
  8. Focus Areas
    1. Camino De Los Mares
    2. North Beach/North El Camino Real
    3. Los Molinos
    4. Rancho San Clemente Business Park
    5. Del Mar/T-Zone
    6. Pier Bowl
    7. South El Camino Real (West of Interstate 5)
    8. South El Camino Real (East of Interstate 5)


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Focus Areas

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