Frequently Asked Questions
The City has embarked on a comprehensive update to the SSF General Plan, to be referred to as ‘Shape SSF 2040,’ to create a forward-looking document will serve as the blueprint for the City's vision for the future. This revised policy document will replace the 1999 General Plan.
Shape SSF 2040 will address future land use, growth, all modes of transportation, housing, safety, conservation, open space and parks, noise, public health and social equity, sustainability, sea level rise, and economic development.
The General Plan articulates a vision for the City, but it is not merely a collection of ideas and wish lists. Broad objectives such as “quality of life” and “community character” are meaningful only if translated into actions that are tangible and can be implemented – the General Plan will clearly set forth new actions and programs to be undertaken by the City, accompanied by policies that focus on what is concrete and achievable.
The General Plan is both general and long-range. The General Plan will be designed to be flexible and easily updatable in the future; it is quite common for cities to update their General Plans to adjust to regional demands and market forces between real estate cycles, as well as a community’s specific desires and goals that may get reprioritized.
- General Plan. All chapters of the existing General Plan, except for the Housing Element, will be comprehensively updated.
- Environmental Impact Report (EIR). An Environmental Impact Report will be prepared, including the analysis and disclosure of the potential impacts of the General Plan on the environment. This process is required by the State’s California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
- Climate Action Plan (CAP). The team will prepare a comprehensive update to the City’s existing CAP, including the vision for climate action, quantitative goals and tracking metrics, recent accomplishments and implementation actions related to climate and sustainability efforts, and programs/actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase community resiliency.
- Zoning Code. To streamline implementation of the General Plan, the City’s Municipal Zoning Code will be updated in parallel.
The City’s Housing Element was certified in 2015 and is valid until 2023. The Housing Element will be updated for the 2022 to 2030 cycle beginning later in the General Plan process.
In recent years, the City of South San Francisco has embarked on a number of ambitious planning processes. The General Plan will build off of recent citywide, area, specific, and master plans, such as the Downtown Station Area Specific Plan and the East of 101 Mobility Plan by pulling together all of these efforts and initiatives into a single, unified vision for the future. This will include integrating common themes, data, and implementation activities from the plans.
A multi-faceted public engagement program is critical to the success of this effort. As part of the General Plan Update, there will be a Citizen’s Advisory Committee, community workshops, neighborhood-specific workshops, and many other opportunities to interact and share your feedback. Visit Get Involved to learn more.
The primary phases of process are as follows:
- Phase 1: Visioning + Existing Conditions (June 2019 – March 2020). The first part of the project is to document the existing conditions in the City, including data collection, reviewing existing City documents and policies, and holding initial meetings with the community. The result will be a long-term vision, series of guiding principles, and a detailed Existing Conditions Report.
- Phase 2: Alternatives (January 2020 – August 2020). During this phase, areas of the community where land use and physical change are possible will be identified and then a series of land use and mobility scenarios will be developed for how these areas could transform over time.
- Phase 3: Policy Development (September 2020 – February 2021). To support the alternatives, policy and implementation frameworks will be developed for land use, community design, climate change, social equity, mobility, parks, conservation, and other General Plan topics. These frameworks will be reviewed with the community.
- Phase 4: Draft + Final Plans (March 2021 – December 2021). After consolidating comments on the policy frameworks, the General Plan, EIR, CAP, and Zoning Code will be prepared. All four plans will undergo review by outside agencies, the community, the CAC, and the Planning Commission and City Council. The final documents will be adopted by the City Council.