Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is included in the General Plan?

The City’s existing General Plan contains eight elements:

  • Land Use and Growth Management
  • Community Design
  • Transportation
  • Open Space, Parks, and Public Facilities
  • Environmental Conservation
  • Health and Safety
  • Noise
  • Housing

As a part of updating the General Plan, the existing elements may be reorganized and new elements may be added to emphasize new planning issues that have arisen since the existing General Plan was adopted.

Why create a new General Plan?

The City of Rohnert Park last updated its General Plan in 2000. Over the past 18 years, the city has grown and changed, requiring a reevaluation of the existing General Plan and an updated vision for Rohnert Park that reflects contemporary issues. This planning effort will also allow the General Plan Team to use the most current planning strategies to make Rohnert Park resilient to future risks while also improving quality of life. In short, it is time for a new vision and set of guiding principles that reflect the important changes of the last decade and capture the community’s aspirations for the future.

What are the legal requirements to update the General Plan

State law requires the City to adopt a General Plan to address land use, circulation, housing, conservation, open space, noise, and safety. General plans may also address and emphasize other subjects of local importance. The updated and integrated plan will guide how Rohnert Park should develop and change, and where funds and resources for infrastructure, services, and programs should be directed.

What is the difference between the General Plan and the Zoning Ordinance?

The General Plan sets forth long-term policies that guide future development. It identifies the types of development that will be allowed, the spatial relationships among land uses, and the general pattern of future development. The Zoning Ordinance implements general plan policies through detailed development regulations, such as specific use types and building standards. However, the land uses specified in the General Plan will usually be reflected in the local zoning maps as well. State law requires that zoning be consistent with maps and policies in the General Plan. Development must not only meet the specific requirements of the Zoning Ordinance, but also the broader policies set forth in the General Plan.

What is an Environmental Impact Report (EIR)?

Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the potential environmental impacts of all major development projects must be assessed, disclosed, and appropriately mitigated. The results of this environmental review process are conveyed in the form of an environmental impact report, or EIR.


As required by CEQA Guidelines, the Rohnert Park General Plan EIR will identify the potential environmental impacts associated with an implementation of the General Plan. This analysis will assess and, if necessary, include measures to mitigate potential impacts related to CEQA-required topics. These topics include air quality; greenhouse gases; hazards and hazardous materials; hydrology; land use; noise; population and housing; public services; recreation; traffic and transportation; utilities; agricultural and forest resources; biological resources; cultural resources; geology, soils, and mineral resources; and aesthetics.

When will the New General Plan be completed?

The General Plan is anticipated to be completed in 2020.

Why should I get involved?

The General Plan process provides all residents and businesses with the chance to help guide the future of Rohnert Park. A successful General Plan will reflect the community’s vision and priorities, and we need public input to set the vision and priorities.

How can I get involved?

The General Plan process is an opportunity for community members to discuss the City’s future. There will be many opportunities to participate, including meetings, workshops, and public hearings. We have created numerous opportunities for the community to contribute their ideas to the Rohnert Park General Plan Update process, including...

  • Attending a public workshop, event, or meeting
  • Engaging with the latest posts on EngagementHQ
  • Joining the e-mail list to receive notifications of upcoming events
  • Mail your comments to: City of Rohnert Park, ATTN: Jeffrey Beiswenger, 130 Avram Avenue, Rohnert Park, CA, 94928

How will my feedback be used?

Public input from every engagement opportunity is meticulously recorded and cataloged to ensure that City staff and decision-makers have a full understanding of public sentiment when drafting goals and policies. Public feedback on General Plan materials (including goals and policies) will be considered when making final revisions.