General Plan 2013-2015

Since 1937, the State of California has mandated that local jurisdictions "make big plans" to guide growth and physical development within their respective boundaries through the adoption of General Plans. Government Code Section 65300 et seq. requires each local jurisdiction to adopt a General Plan that is comprehensive, internally consistent and long term. Although the General Plan is required by State law to address specific issues, the local jurisdiction has the authority to organize the plan in any way that suits its needs. The General Plan should be clearly written, available to all those concerned with the community's development and easy to administer. The planning horizon for a General Plan is typically 20 years.

The current General Plan was completed in 1996, and addresses the County’s growth until the year 2020. At the time of the General Plan adoption in 1996, the State Department of Finance projected Tuolumne County’s population to grow to 97,100 by the year 2020. The 1996 General Plan was based upon the assumption that Tuolumne County would reach that projected population with the caveat that it did not promote the growth of the County’s population to that level.

On June 5, 2012, the Board of Supervisors executed an Agreement for Professional Services with Rincon Consultants, Inc. to conduct a 
General Plan and Regional Transportation Plan Evaluation and Analysis and a Health in All Policies Review. The purpose of this analysis was to identify areas where the General Plan and Regional Transportation Plan could be modified to implement strategies for healthy communities and the preferred growth scenario (Distinctive Communities) identified by the Blueprint Plan and selected by the Board of Supervisors on August 21, 2012. 

On September 17, 2013, the Board of Supervisors accepted the final report prepared by Rincon and directed staff to prepare an update of the Tuolumne County General Plan to implement the preferred growth scenario and to incorporate sustainable community and healthy community principles. The Board directed that all of the mandatory and existing optional elements would be reviewed and updated where appropriate as part of this process. The Board also directed that a Water Element and a Healthy Communities Element be added to the General Plan. This project was undertaken in conjunction with the update of the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). The Board of Supervisors Planning Committee (BOSPC) has been designated by the Board of Supervisors to serve as the steering committee for the General Plan Update project.

As part of the General Plan Update, the land use diagrams are also proposed to be updated. The land use diagrams functions as a guide to planners, the general public, and decision makers as to the ultimate pattern of development for the County at build-out and essentially establishes what land uses can be conducted in which locations. To view the proposed changes to the land use diagrams throughout the County please click here.

For more information regarding the General Plan Update, please contact Quincy Yaley, Assistant Director of Development, at (209) 533-5633 or via e-mail at