Imagine Livermore 2045

About the General Plan Update

What is a General Plan?

The City of Livermore is updating its General Plan, the plan that guides City decisions about housing, transportation, jobs, parks, shopping, services, and more. The current General Plan was adopted in 2004 and looks out to the horizon year 2025. This update process will revisit and refresh this important plan to reflect the issues, ideas, and aspirations of today and plan ahead for the next 20 years. The General Plan Update will address:

  • The vision for Livermore in 2045 and guiding principles to get us there.
  • Housing choices and affordability.
  • How and where we walk, bike, take transit, drive, and park.
  • Local businesses and jobs.
  • Access to City services.
  • Public health.
  • Natural and human caused hazards and a changing climate.
  • Arts, culture, local history, and community events.

Project Components

Creating a General Plan that represents Livermore residents’ shared core principles and values is the top priority of the General Plan Update. The first step in the General Plan Update is to establish the community’s vision, which will describe the future of Livermore as the community would like it to be in 2045. We will also establish guiding principles to guide City policies and decisions about housing, jobs, transportation, public services, and more.

An early task of the General Plan Update will be to research and document baseline conditions in Livermore. We will produce a series of technical reports covering the following topics:

  • Land use and urban design
  • Equity and community health
  • Climate change and resilience
  • Historic and cultural resources
  • Environmental resources and hazards
  • Economics and market trends
  • Transportation
  • Public services and infrastructure

The existing conditions reports will inform the development of the land use alternatives, Draft General Plan, and Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

The land use alternatives will explore different ways Livermore can meet the requirements of State housing law and prepare for projected population and job growth. These alternatives will be evaluated and compared in relation to their outcomes for equity, climate change and resilience, open space and biological resources, historic and cultural resources, urban design, and utilities, public services, the City’s fiscal health, and transportation infrastructure needs. This evaluation will inform the community process to select a Preferred Land Use Alternative. Evaluating and comparing the land use alternatives will initiate a highly interactive and participatory phase of the project. This process will involve community events, stakeholder interviews, and General Plan Advisory Committee, Planning Commission, and City Council meetings to create a Preferred Land Use Alternative by mixing and matching ideas from the land use alternatives.  The Preferred Land Use Alternative will ultimately be the basis for the General Plan Land Use Map and will guide the type, pattern and location of land development and conservation in the city.

Once we have a vision for Livermore in 2045, the next step will be to update the General Plan document.

Every City and County in California must adopt a General Plan. A General Plan sets specific goals, policies, and actions related to a range of civic issues. These issues are organized into topic-specific “Elements” or chapters of the General Plan. The following eight  Elements are required by State law: Land Use, Open Space, Transportation, Housing, Conservation, Safety, Noise, and Environmental Justice (for cities that have disadvantaged communities). These Elements can be combined or presented in any order that best fits the community.

The City of Livermore’s General Plan addresses all State requirements and organizes the General Plan in its own unique format. The General Plan Update will start from the existing General Plan to update each of these Elements. However, the specific contents of the Elements may change and evolve based on input from the community.

  • Introduction. Describes what a General Plan is, how it was developed, major proposals, how it is organized and implementation of the Plan.
  • Land Use. Establishes a comprehensive set of explicit goals, policies, and implementation actions to guide the future use and development of land in Livermore and the unincorporated area within its adjacent “sphere of influence.”
  • Community Character. Provides information on visual and urban design resources, natural setting, and cultural resources and guidance to identify, protect, and enhance these features.
  • Circulation. Describes existing and proposed roadways and other means of transportation such as public transit, bikeways, pedestrian routes, and parking facilities. Analyzes traffic conditions and needed improvements so that existing and projected transportation needs may be adequately met.
  • Infrastructure and Public Services. Identifies goals and policies to maintain adequate service levels for water facilities and service, wastewater collection and treatment, water recycling, and storm water collection facilities as well as public services such as schools, parks, and recreation.
  • Open Space and Conservation. Sets forth the City’s goals and policies regarding the preservation of open space and the conservation, development, and use of natural resources.
  • Noise. Addresses noise to ensure land use compatibility in the community and analyzes, quantifies current and projected noise levels from a variety of sources, and includes guidance to address current and foreseeable noise problems.
  • Public Safety. Establishes goals and policies to protect the community from risks associated with the effects of seismic hazards, other geologic hazards, flooding, and wildland and urban fires.
  • Economic Development. Encourages the development of desired economic activities throughout the City, as well as ensure the fiscal vitality of the community. The Element facilitates and maintains a balanced mix of economic activity and to encourage the development of particular economic sectors in Livermore.
  • Climate Change. Establishes the policy direction to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the community’s resiliency against climate change.

The Housing Element is one of the required Elements of the General Plan. It will identify policy direction to meet the housing needs of the City, both by preserving existing homes and by clarifying priorities for new construction. The plan will include an overview of housing policies and programs and will identify locations that can accommodate future housing. The City anticipates releasing the Draft Housing Element in April 2022 which will be reviewed by the General Plan Advisory Committee, Planning Commission, and City Council over a series of meetings through April and May 2022. Once the City Council provides direction on the Draft Housing Element, the City will submit the document to the California Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) for review and comment. Per State guidelines, the City Council must consider adopting the Housing Element no later than January 2023.

State law requires an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) of the General Plan to identify potential environmental impacts of adopting the updated plan. The EIR will ensure that land use activities and policies do not negatively affect our community.

Project Schedule

The General Plan Update process, including the General Plan and Environmental Impact Report (EIR), is anticipated to be completed by Summer 2024.