Policy Planning

The Policy / Advanced Planning section develops policies, programs and ordinances that protect the quality of life and natural resources in Santa Cruz County. The County Board of Supervisors provides direction for this work, offering many opportunities for community participation.

The General Plan is the blueprint that captures the community vision in chapters covering land use, community design, housing, conservation, recreation, traffic circulation and safety. Adopted by the Board of Supervisors, the General Plan establishes goals, policies and programs to accommodate residential needs, promote economic growth and conserve farmland, timber, biotic and water resources.

Our work also includes habitat conservation planning, regulatory reform, planning for climate change, transit-oriented development, neighborhood preservation and other initiatives that support a livable, sustainable community. Pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), our staff manages preparation of environmental documents such as Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs) and Initial Studies.

To find out how to be involved shaping the future of your community, protecting the environment and guiding land use, please visit the Policy Planning section’s community forums and public meetings page.