Policy studies focus on a particular policy question and involve the community in identifying specific recommendations to answer the policy question. Once adopted by the City Council, a policy study can then be used in the evaluation of development proposals to make sure that the proposal is implementing the policy recommendations, or can be refined and adopted formally by the City Council.
For example, the Riparian Corridor Policy Study supplements the riparian (rivers, streams, creeks, etc.) policies of the General Plan. The study identifies all the significant riparian corridors in the City and describes how development adjacent to these corridors should be limited or controlled to avoid environmental damage and to begin to compensate for past damage. Area Development Policies have also been adopted to set development parameters and phasing in certain subareas of the City to make sure that infrastructure (e.g., transportation, flood protection) are available as development is constructed (e.g., North San José Development Policy, Evergreen Development Policy).