General Plan Organization & Use

General Plan Organization and Use 
The General Plan is comprised of this Introduction, the six elements, and a Glossary, plus the separate Implementation Program (Appendix A). The elements and the Implementation Plan will help the city achieve its vision for the future. Each of the six elements, with the exception of the Housing Element, is organized according to the following format: (1) Introduction; (2) Important Terms and Concepts; (3) Related Plans and Policies; and (4) Issues.

The introduction of each element presents a discussion of each element's purpose and defines the scope and content of the element. To help readers understand certain technical terms used in each element, the Important Terms and Concepts section defines those terms. The Related Plans and Programs section of each element examines pertinent programs that affect Monterey Park and the way the city plans for development and growth.

The Issues section of each element addresses identified planning issues, goals, and policies related to the element topic. The issues, goals, and policies are based on input received from the community during workshops, a community survey, through meetings of the General Plan Update Committee (GPUC), and as a result of City Council and Planning Commission hearings conducted for the General Plan.

Planning goals are overall statements of community desires and are comprised of broad statements of purpose or direction. The policies serve as guides to the City Council, Planning Commission, and city staff in their review of development proposals and execution of decisions that affect development.

The structure of the Housing Element differs slightly because state law is very specific about issues that must be addressed in housing elements. In addition to broad goals and policies, the Housing Element contains numeric goals for housing rehabilitation and new housing construction, as well as descriptions of programs the city will pursue toward those goals.

The structure of the elements allow readers to easily locate issues of interest and to read a summary of the city's goals and policies relative to a particular topic. However, General Plan readers should realize that the General Plan is an integrated document. The policies contained in the various elements are interrelated and should be examined comprehensively. For example, many of the Economic Development Element policies tie closely to policies contained in the Land Use Element. All policy components must be considered together.

Community Participation 
Public participation plays an important role in the development of the Monterey Park General Plan. Because the General Plan reflects the community goals and objectives, citizen input is essential to identifying issues and formulating goals. Public participation and education in the General Plan preparation process occurred through the following methods:
  • A series of meetings with a General Plan Update Committee. Members of the public attended committee meetings as well.
  • Community workshops that encouraged residents and business people to identify issues important to Monterey Park.
  • A public opinion survey made available to every household and business.
  • Information about the General Plan program on the city's website.
  • Frequent articles in Cascades, the city-produced monthly newspaper.
  • Public hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council.
  • Approval of the General Plan by city voters per city ordinances requiring such a procedure.