Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a General Plan?

All cities and counties in California are required to have a general plan, which serves as the “constitution” for growth and conservation. The Napa General Plan is adopted by the City Council. It lays out the city’s long-term vision, and includes text, diagrams, and maps to communicate how the vision will be implemented. The plan is used a basis for land use decisions and is used by government officials such as the Planning Commission and the City Council to guide urban development. A general plan is also called a comprehensive plan because it covers the entire geographic area within city limits – both privately-owned and publicly owned territories – and a broad range of issues including physical, social, and economic development. Click here  to view Napa’s current General Plan.

What goes into the General Plan?

State law mandates that all general plans include seven elements – Land Use, Circulation, Housing, Conservation, Open Space, Noise, and Safety. General plans may also additional or optional elements. Optional elements in Napa’s current General Plan include Economic Development, Historic Resources, and Community Services.

Why is the General Plan being updated?

Napa’s current General Plan was adopted in 1998, and much has changed in the city since. In order to reflect the city’s changed goals and priorities, the General Plan needs to be reexamined and revised. In short, the General Plan is being updated to ensure that Napa can continue to offer a high quality of living and proactively guide City throughout the next two decades.  

What is an Environmental Impact Report (EIR)?

An environmental impact report is a detailed analysis of how the environment can be affected by a plan or development. The EIR identifies alternatives to the proposed project and presents ways to reduce or avoid environmental damage. Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a general plan update is considered a project, and thus requires an EIR to be completed in conjunction with the plan. Community members and other government agencies can contribute at two different phases in the EIR process. The first phase is the Notice of Preparation (NOP), which declares that an EIR is going to be prepared and asks the public to comment on the scope of the EIR. The second phase is when the Draft EIR is released, and public comments are invited.

How Do I Get Involved?

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