The City of San Carlos is committed to addressing the housing needs of its community. In 2019, the City Council directed its staff to explore options to ensure that a variety of housing types, accessible to all income levels, could be built in San Carlos. Not only is this a priority of the San Carlos City Council, housing is also essential to the State as set forth in California Housing Law for over 50 years. As such, the City is embarking on updating the Housing Element, which will serve as the city’s primary housing policy document over the next eight years. Along the same timeline, this project will also be reviewing and updating the city’s Environmental Safety Element.
As defined by the California Government Code, a general plan is a long-range visionary document that establishes a framework for how a city will grow and change over the next two decades. It establishes goals, policies, and actions guiding growth, conservation, and enhancement. In California, general plans serve as a “constitution” or blueprint for all future development. General plans are required to have chapters or “elements” that discuss land use, circulation/mobility, open space, conservation, noise, environmental justice, air quality, safety, and housing. Our general plan is known as the San Carlos General Plan: Envision 2030.
The City of San Carlos is specifically updating two of its General Plan elements – Housing Element and Environmental Safety Element -- as required to address recent State law mandates. The Housing Element focuses on the provision of adequate housing for all current and future San Carlos residents. The Environmental Safety Element focuses on reducing the potential short and long-term risks resulting from fires, floods, droughts, earthquakes, landslides, climate change, and other hazards. Changes to the Housing Element or Environmental Safety Element may necessitate changes to other elements such as the Land Use Element to ensure consistency between the elements. The General Plan elements’ revisions may also necessitate a zoning code or map revisions as well. The revisions will undergo environmental review through an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which will be prepared in compliance with CEQA requirements.
Woven throughout the Elements’ update is a comprehensive community engagement program, which may include stakeholder/focus groups, online surveys, and community workshops; all conducted in Covid-19 compliance.