Centennial General Plan
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San Clemente Centennial General Plan
In 2010 the City kicked off a two year process to develop a new General Plan for the City. The General Plan is a very important document to the City in that it establishes the goals and policies for just about every issue the City is confronted with. As such, it is typically referred to as the “blue-print” to the City. Our current General Plan was adopted in 1993. At that time, much of the focus was on our inland ranch areas. Click here to view the City's current General Plan.

Adoption of the General Plan is expected to occur in early 2012. General Plan Schedule.

The direction of the new General Plan has been established following an extensive visioning process which occurred in 2009. Background of this effort is provided below

2010 Accomplishments

  • Community Profile: A Community Profle was also created which presents the broad range of issues confronted by the community as well as what we can expect in the future. It’s a great snap-shot of our great City and is sure to provide some valuable insight.

  • Guiding Principles: The General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) established the Guiding Principles which express what is most important to the San Clemente community. The principles operate as reference points—the overarching rationale—for the General Plan’s goals and policies.

  • Public Awareness: Extensive efforts have been made to make the community aware of this process and provide opportunities for participation. Notification has been conducted in a myriad of methods in attempt to reach all aspects of the community including: inserts in the water bill; email blasts; articles in the local papers; posters and flyers distributed to businesses along El Camino Real, Del Mar and the Pier Bowl; banners on El Camino Real; attendance at local group meetings (rotary, Kiwannis, Downtown Business Association); and of course the City website. Updates have also been provided at the beginning of each Council meeting.

  • Focus Area Workshops/Stakeholder Meetings: The awareness campaign detailed above proved successful with great attendance at the six Focus Area Workshops conducted over the summer and the seven stakeholder meetings (business & property owners of key areas within the city).

  • Focus Area Land Use Alternatives: Based on the comments received at the public forums each Focus Area was evaluated to determine if any land use changes were needed to achieve the long term vision of the area. Following extensive review, the GPAC finalized their review of potential land use alternatives in December.


  • 2011 Next Steps

  • Finalize Land Use Alternatives: The City Council/Planning Commission confirmed the land use alternatives at the Joint General Plan Workshop on February 3rd. Download the final Focus Area Land Use Alternatives here. the February 3rd joint meeting staff report is available here. Once the preferred land uses are established the technical studies (traffic, noise, air quality, green house gas inventory) can be conducted. These documents will be utilized in the development of the Environmental Impact Report and Climate Action Plan.

  • Issue Discussion: Through discussions with the GPAC and Council in 2010, a list of issues that will be considered for the General Plan has been created. These issues are detailed in the memo.

  • Continuation of Public Participation: We’ve compiled a pretty extensive email database as a result of the workshops/meetings conducted in 2010. This periodic email blasts will be conducted to notify the public prior to key milestones of the project and opportunities for participation. All GPAC meetings are open to the public and we will also continue to utilize the local papers, Council meeting briefings, and local groups. A community wide workshop is anticipated to occur later in 2011 to present the draft Plan.


  • General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC)
    The next meeting dates for the GPAC will be held on Monday, May 2nd at 6pm on the second floor of the Community Development building located at 910 Calle Negocio. Click here to find out more information about the GPAC.

    Click the links to take you to the Agendas and the Minutes for the GPAC meetings. To best explore potential topics to be addressed in the General Plan, the General Plan Advisory Committee has established a series of subcommittees. The subcommittees met on the following dates at the City Offices at 910 Calle Negocio. Members of the public were also involved and provide comments on the topics. Notes on the meetings were completed and are provided as links to the subcommittee topics below.

    Technology: Monday, February 28th Notes
    Dark Skies: Wednesday, March Notes
    Arts & Culture: Wednesday, March Notes
    Historic Preservation: Monday, March 7th Notes
    Permaculture: Wednesday, March 9th Notes
    Tree Preservation: Wednesday, March 9th Notes

    Focus Areas Workshops
    Now that the ranch areas a just about built-out, there is a need to consider the older parts of the City. Some of these areas, such as the downtown T-Zone, have experienced changes in the last 10 years which have included improvements to the public right-of-way and a resurgence of new businesses. The T-Zone has become a cherished area for the residents who have expressed their appreciation for the new businesses, but seek to maintain the city’s small town feel. While the downtown has evolved into a vibrant business district, this has triggered the need to manage parking more efficiently and consider potential impacts to surrounding residential uses. Another question for the T-Zone is, “how can the “small-town” feel be maintained while ensuring the success of the downtown continues?”

    Other older areas of City have remained untouched and, in fact, have experienced a downturn in business development with vacant properties and unoccupied storefronts. So, what can the City do to assist with the redevelopment of these areas?

    Click on the link to see the map of the Focus Areas that were identified during the Vision process.

    What have people said at the first three workshops for Los Molinos, South El Camino Real West of the I-5 and South El Camino Real East of the I-5? A summary can be found here.


    Community Profile
    A Community Profile has been created that illustrates the current and forecast characteristics of San Clemente’s natural and built environments, as well as the Socioeconomic and Governance systems. This document provides the basic framework for understanding the broad range of issues for community planning and development. The Community Profile describes relevant topics and compares San Clemente to other similar-sized communities in major issues and identifies what the City may face in the future. The document has a number of uses including providing context for the General Plan and EIR, it can also be used by the City for marketing, outreach and an educational tool for parties involved in the General Plan process.

    The Community Profile consists of three distinct components:
    Community Survey – Identifies where the City is today related to its Natural Environment, Built Environment, Human and Social Capital and Local Governance.

    Forecast – Illustrates the trends and projections the City is heading in regards to population, employment, retail sales housing and other categories. It can also address a desired change to the Vision that was developed and what changes can be made.

    Environmental Scan – Describes national, state and regional trends that may affect the approach to and implementation of the General Plan.

    Here is the link to view the Community Profle

    Vision & Strategic Plan, 2009
    In 2009, as the first step to the General Plan process, the City implemented Vision San Clemente which included a broad-based public outreach process that focused on what San Clemente residents think about the City and how you would like to see it in 20 years. Through your input and participation, the City identified strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities to successfully plan for its future. A strategic framework and plan was created that details the community’s priorities and identifies specific tools and mechanisms to achieve the desired goals. Here is a link to the Vision & Strategic Plan that was developed in 2009.

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