Cities are required by State law to adopt General Plans that lay out plans for development and growth, with elements that cover housing, land use, open space, and other needs. When cities plan for development of a large parcel or area, they often choose to create specific plans, a tool included in California law that implements the General Plan, but allows for a customized set of development standards to be legally adopted for that specific area.

A specific plan can range from a set of broad policy concepts to a comprehensive plan that provides significant details about the land uses, infrastructure, and resources.

Precise plans are similar to specific plans, though they are more loosely defined, allowing more flexibility in defining the priorities for a selected area. Some cities may use the terms interchangeably.

While San Jose has adopted specific plans, including the Midtown Specific Plan and the Evergreen Specific Plan, in recent years it has adopted a new planning concept called Urban Villages.

Specific Plans

Approved Plans