General Plan

General Plan Overview

What is a General Plan?

 A General Plan is a comprehensive policy document that guides the City’s growth and development. The Plan establishes how land is used, and serves as a basis for land use and planning decisions. Essentially, a General Plan outlines the City’s vision to address the projected long-term needs of the community regarding land use and development.

General Plan Graphic

What is the goal of the General Plan?

The General Plan projects and directs future growth and development. The Plan sets forth the City’s long-range goals, policies, and implementation measures to guide land use and planning decisions. As a policy guide, the General Plan provides broad direction for long-range planning intended to maintain compatibility and continuity throughout the City and with neighboring regions.

What is in the General Plan?

The General Plan consists of policy maps, diagrams, and text which express the City’s long-range goals and policies. The chapters, or elements, in the Tustin General Plan are:

General Plan Graphic3

Each element includes the following major sections:

  • Introduction
  • Summary of Issues, Needs, Opportunities, and Constraints
  • Goals and Policies
  • Element Implementation Program

Collectively, the sections outline the purpose, scope, analysis, goals, policies, and plan for each element. 

Download the City of Tustin General Plan
General Plan Graphic2
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Why Does the City Need a General Plan?

The General Plan addresses matters which are related to and influence land use decisions. The General Plan provides a foundational guide for decisionmakers to evaluate new proposals for land use and planning-related policies, programs, and projects. The Plan helps ensure new developments embody the current and long-term needs of the community.

Who uses the general plan?

The General Plan informs the City Council and Planning Commission in their decisions regarding land use and planning. The Plan guides City Staff in administering development projects and community programs. Community members can reference the General Plan to obtain a perspective on the City’s policies on land use and planning.

How does the general plan benefit the community?

The General Plan reflects the community’s aspirations, values, and goals. The Plan helps uphold a safe, welcoming, accessible, and equitable environment for all members of the community. The Plan also helps promote economic vitality by encouraging well-planned expansion and diversification of commercial and industrial development.


Tustin adopted its first General Plan in 1966. As State Law changes and as the City develops, the General Plan is periodically amended.

In October 2021, the City adopted an update to the Housing Element section of the Plan which reflects current housing legislation and other requirements for the next eight year planning cycle (2021-2029). In accordance with State law, the City’s Housing Element must be reviewed and certified by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The City submitted the updated Element to HCD following adoption and it is currently under review. HCD’s review is anticipated to be complete sometime in January 2022.