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Planning Services

General Plan Planned Communities

Creation and development of balanced communities in areas identified as suitable for intensive development due to the availability of adequate infrastructure and services.

Planned communities within the County are identified as Planned Communities (-PC): "The Promontory (Russell Ranch)"; "Carson Creek"; "Pilot Hill Ranch"; and "Missouri Flat Area."

Planned Communities should be designed with an emphasis on alternative modes of transportation to minimize the use of personal motorized vehicles to the maximum extent possible. Pedestrian/bicycle pathways shall be encouraged. These pathways should be separated from roadways whenever possible to allow for greater safety for the pedestrian and bicyclist and to allow vehicular traffic to move more freely.

All planned communities are designated with the Planned Community (-PC) overlay designation and, except for the Missouri Flat Area Planned Community, which is governed by Policy, shall require the processing of a specific plan pursuant to Government Code Sections 65450-65457, unless otherwise specified herein. The specific designation of such lands, as well as permissible densities and intensities of use, shall be consistent with the applicable Land Use Summary Table. For these lands, the -PC overlay designation shall function as the General Plan designation governing the types and densities and intensities of allowed land uses and with which implementing planning actions such as adoption of specific plans and zoning must be consistent. Although these lands also have underlying land use designations (e.g., Low Density Residential), those designations will not control the allowed types and densities and intensities of land uses unless the -PC overlay designation and Land Use Summary Table is removed through a General Plan amendment pursuant to Policy Thus, for example, although the underlying designation (e.g., LDR) may seem to permit only residential uses at relatively low densities, the -PC overlay designation will allow the County to approve, without General Plan amendments, specific plans authorizing some residential densities and land use intensities greater than that permissible pursuant to the underlying designation. (See tables below for densities allowed in a specific Planned Community.)

Carson Creek Planned Community Land Use Summary Table


Specific plans for planned communities include negotiable design features for public benefit. Examples of these features are:

  1. Separate bicycle and pedestrian paths that connect residential areas to employment, retail, school, community facilities and recreation areas;
  2. On-street parking;
    Establish reduced mandatory building setbacks that encourage parking lots to the rear of commercial
  3. Street landscaping within medians and along sidewalks;
  4. Bus and commuter transit stops;
  5. Integration of open space amenities to protect environmentally sensitive features;
  6. Common parking structures within business areas;
  7. Pedestrian circulation from one retail site to another;
  8. Pocket parks and plazas and parklands as recommended in the Parks and Recreation Element;
  9. Bicycle parking and/or storage facilities conveniently located;
  10. Satellite job center sites for multiple employers/businesses;
  11. Neighborhood Service Centers;
  12. Outdoor art, statues, etc.;
  13. Town/community centers distinguished with major public buildings, parks/plazas or other focal points;
  14. A financial element that includes payment of all capital costs for infrastructure and ongoing operations and maintenance;
  15. A distribution of housing units to meet the needs of all income levels as specified in Policies and of the Housing Element;
  16. Provide for Neighborhood Service opportunities with residential land uses in accordance with Policy;
  17. Maintain significant historic and prehistoric sites, steep slope areas, and stream corridors in continuous and permanently dedicated open space;
  18. Provide on-site employee services such as restaurants, banks, etc.;
  19. A common continuous landscape program that includes planting and design guidelines consistent with the setting, including street landscaping that creates separate walkways and bicycle routes, where appropriate; and
  20. Shielded, low intensity and efficient lighting.

To achieve a desired mix of uses within a planned community and emphasize the goal of improving the County's employment base, the following target acreage percentages shall be incorporated into the specific plan:

Policy Target Acreage Percentages
Residential 40-50%
Commercial/Office 1-15%
Research & Development/Industrial 0-15%
Public Facilities/Parks/Open Space 20+%

The actual mixture of uses will be refined and defined through the Specific Plan process. Where the mix of uses within a proposed planned community is substantially consistent with these target percentages, a specific plan for such a community may be approved without a General Plan amendment.

In areas designated Planned Community overlay there will be no further land divisions until such time as the County adopts a specific plan. Development pursuant to the underlying land use designation shall not occur unless there is a General Plan amendment to remove the Planned Community designation.

Planned Community densities reflected in a Board of Supervisors approved specific plan or development agreement shall supersede the underlying land use designation.

The County, except where the proponent of a particular project has already received one or more discretionary approvals (other than approval of this General Plan) and has committed to fully participate in any funding mechanism to fund infrastructure within the Missouri Flat Area Planned Community, shall not approve any discretionary land use applications within the Missouri Flat Area Planned Community until September 1996 or such time as a specific plan, redevelopment plan, or a master circulation and funding plan is adopted by the County. The underlying land use designation shall be as specified on the General Plan land use map. The Board of Supervisors in September 1996 may elect to continue this policy or modify it through a General Plan amendment.

Parcels within a Planned Community shall not be subdivided below 40 acres until such time as a specific plan, or other planning document specified herein, is adopted by the County.