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About Us

Planning for the Future

The Planning Division is responsible for both long range planning, which involves guiding the City's future through preparation of community-based planning and policies, as well as current planning through the review of development proposals. These efforts are all coordinated to contribute to making San José a great place to live, work, and play. Specific examples of long range planning activities include:

These policies and plans determine where and how the City will grow in future years and how that growth will be balanced with the availability of infrastructure and services and with the needs of the growing city.

Inter-Department Coordination

The plans, policies, and ordinances developed by planning staff and adopted by the City Council provide the policy framework for the other work of the Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Divisions of the Department. Planning staff reviews and acts on specific proposals for development to ensure consistency with the City's General Plan and land use regulations. These plans and regulations also provide the overall direction for the final stages of the City's land use and development review activities -- the permitting and the enforcement activities of the Building and Code Enforcement Divisions.

Planning Commission Staff Support

The Planning Commission acts on Conditional Use Permits and Environmental Impact Reports, is the appeal body for Development Permits, and recommends to the City Council on rezonings and General Plan Amendments.

The Commission also has other responsibilities mandated by state law and City charter. These include review of redevelopment plans and the Capital Improvement Program. The department ensures that the commissioners receive the necessary information and analysis for carrying out their responsibilities. The department also administers the Commission's schedule, communicates Commission actions to the City Council, prepares study sessions on items of special interest, and generally acts as support staff to the Commission.

Historic Landmarks Commission Staff Support

The Planning Division provides staff support to the Historic Landmarks Commission and other related support for the City's historic preservation program. This responsibility includes the evaluation of the City's historic resources through review and update of the Historic Resources Inventory, which catalogs nearly 4,000 historic structures, the designation of City Landmarks, and review of Historic Preservation Permits.