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Engaging the Public in Planning Stories



Case Story City of South Gate

South Gate’s Path to Community Participation and a Healthier Community

Ten years after a highly publicized corruption scandal, the City of South Gate is implementing a visionary general plan that seeks to develop a healthy, inclusive and economically vibrant community that is rich in community participation and transparency. The city invested almost one million dollars to develop the plan, which included extensive community participation. As a result of the robust public engagement process and the visionary updated general plan, South Gate has received numerous grants to support its implementation and related projects.  

Case Story

The City of El Cerrito Engages Residents in Five-Year Strategic Planning Process

The El Cerrito City Council adopted a strategic plan in April 2013 to help fulfill its mission to serve, lead and support its diverse community.  The plan is the result of a year-long public engagement effort that employed a variety of strategies. Among these strategies were: a media strategy, focus groups, an online survey, outreach at community events and more.  

Case Story

City of Pacifica – Creating a Blueprint for a City

In September 2008, Pacifica launched its General Plan Update with the desire to stimulate the economy, engage the community, and set a vision for Pacifica for the next 25 years. Pacifica, a coastal city located south of San Francisco, is long and narrow, and is comprised of pocket neighborhoods. The city’s last General Plan was completed in 1980.

Case Story

Richmond Plans for a More Healthy Future
Western City, September 2008

The City of Richmond is using innovative methods to involve a diverse cross section of residents in updating its General Plan. The resulting plan will be one of the first in the nation to include an element that addresses the link between public health and the built environment.

Case Story

City of Delano Engages Residents in Healthy Planning

The fast growing City of Delano is collaborating with community partners to successfully engage a cross section of residents in the General Plan Update process, with a particular emphasis on public health and safety.

Case Story

Kern County- Engaging Residents in Creating a Coordinated City & County General Plan

Kern County and the City of Bakersfield have the only coordinated city-county general plan in the state, a tradition dating back to the late 1980’s that originated with a joint plan for the Kern River. For the past three years, city and county officials have worked to engage a broad cross section of residents in an update to this joint general plan, in collaboration with a local nonprofit organization and the San Joaquin Valley Council of Governments.

Case Story
Butte County- Building Public Support for a New General Plan – with Video Presentation

Butte County- Building Public Support for a New General Plan – with Video Presentation

In the spring of 2006, Butte County staff began what they knew would be a controversial process to update the county’s General Plan for the first time since 1977. The three and a half year process began with a series of twenty meetings in twenty different communities, where over a thousand residents were educated about the General Plan update process.

Case Story

Ventura County- Involving Residents in Planning for a Sustainable Future

The compact for a sustainable Ventura County is a partnership of ten cities, the county, and other agencies that have agreed to work together to address the challenges posed by long term growth and to plan a sustainable future for the region. In order to gauge public support for different long range planning options, a committee representing the partnership hired an experienced consulting firm to help them design and implement a public engagement process.

Case Story

Lancaster’s Master Plan for Parks, Recreation and Arts

In 2006, the City of Lancaster, like many areas of California, predicted large growth over the next 15 years. In order to meet the needs of its residents in the future, Lancaster developed a master plan for its parks, recreation, and arts. The civic engagement element involved a series of interviews and focus groups with local decision-makers and interest groups, phone surveys, plus an assessment of Lancaster as compared to similar cities.

Case Story

Creating a Livable Community – An Alameda County Experience

The Eden Area is a collection of five unincorporated urban communities – Castro Valley, Ashland, Cherryland, Fairview, and San Lorenzo — sandwiched between the cities of Hayward, San Leandro and Oakland in western Alameda County. The Eden Area Livability Initiative (EALI) began as an effort to increase the ability of these communities to compete with neighboring municipalities for businesses and resources. From this, the effort evolved with the central focus of building a relationship of trust and understanding among county staff, community leaders, community members, and community based organizations on a wide range of issues.

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