Natural Resources: Land Use and Planning

Natural Resources: Land Use and Planning

Support planning that provides for orderly growth within Butte County in conformity with existing General Plans. General Plans should be kept updated in a timely fashion, following State law, and should fulfill the intent of State law. (Land use and planning positions are also found in: Parks and Greenways, Bidwell Park, Energy, Transportation, and Water Resources of Butte County.)
Position In Brief: 

1. Planning—General Principles

a.      Support planning that incorporates elements required for state and federal funding and that recognizes the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), the Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) and the Butte County Association of Governments (BCAG) as having special responsibilities and authority to represent state requirements in local planning.

b.      Support the use of all available and most current data in making land use and zon­ing decisions. County and cities should have sufficient professional and clerical staff to promote effective land use decision-making, including monitoring of com­pliance with EIRs, general plans, mitigation measures, etc.

2. County-Cities Coordination

a.      Support coordination of land use decisions among planning agencies. Support the establishment and utilization of special boundaries, “spheres of influence,” and overlay zones to encourage orderly growth and long-range planning. Such zones may include agricultural lands, green belts, scenic areas, recreational areas, aquifer recharge protection, open space for environmental protection, natural hazard lands, etc.

b.      Planning agencies and departments should analyze the cumulative impacts of growth and future development both within the planning boundaries and as they affect neighboring jurisdictions and plans should coordinate where county and city boundaries interface and sphere of influence boundaries overlap.

c.      Support coordinated planning for high impact projects, such as shopping areas and school sites.

d.      Support the identification of all the costs of providing urban services and infra­structure. Planning agencies and departments have the responsibility to identify and quantify economic impacts of planning decisions, then identify the source of funding that will pay for those impacts, and also to be certain that mitigations are funded and implemented before they can be accepted as a basis for future plan­ning.

3. Public Participation

a.      Support provisions for substantial public participation with legal requirements rep­resenting a minimum, not the limit, of public involvement. Appointees should represent a broad cross-section of the community.

b.      Support adoption by local governmental agencies of simple, uniform notification procedures of land use processes and decisions.

c.      Planning agencies and departments have the responsibility to make the public aware of vacancies on planning boards, notices of planning actions, land use and zoning changes. Planning department websites should be kept up-to-date on all agendas, plans, ordinances, public hearings and notifications of public comment periods, etc.

4. Standards-Urban Development

a.      Support the integrity of new and existing communities by providing for open space around them, including preservation of natural riparian habitats and wood­lands. Also provide useable open recreational space within the urban areas.

b.      Support preservation of the downtown city centers.

c.      Support improvements, such as sewers, sidewalks, drainage, curbs, light, fire hy­drants, and parking, as appropriate. Planning should include consideration of the availability of water for any new development and consideration of the costs of providing urban services and infrastructure.

d.      Support mixed housing for all socio-economic groups.

5. Standards-Agricultural Lands

a.      Support efforts to preserve prime agricultural land by encouraging appropriate agricultural zoning (i.e. parcel sizes large enough to support an economic unit) and the elimination of A-2 type zoning that encourages “leapfrog” development.

b.      Support Butte County’s “right to farm ordinance” and discourage industry not es­sential to the processing of agricultural commodities from locating in agricultural areas.

c.      Support integrated pest management practices to reduce the use of hazardous ma­terials.

6. Standards-Open Space

a.      Support the establishment of special overlay zones (green belts, scenic and recrea­tional areas, watersheds, wetlands, native vegetation, wildlife habitat, migratory corridors and open space) to encourage orderly growth and long range planning.

b.      Support utilization of land banks for public acquisition of land where develop­ment is undesirable.

Position History: 

Planning - Original Study, 1964-1966
Update & Extension, 1971-1972
Land Use - Original Study, 1972-1974
Update, Revision, and Consolidation, 1977
Update and Revision, 1993
Edited and Reorganized, 2007

Edited 2019


League to which this content belongs: 
Butte County