Sacramento General Plan update pushes city toward more density

The General Plan projects growth along existing commercial corridors and in the central city.

Sacramento General Plan update pushes city toward more density

Sacramento's updated 2040 General Plan estimates that the city will build 60,000 new houses in the next 17 years. But don't expect many of them to be on greenfields.

The plan reflects both smart-growth principles as well as a goal of limiting greenhouse gas emissions. It projects growth in existing commercial corridors, and the central city.

He said that based on the input of citizens collected over the past few years, his desire was for the city to continue growing in an equitable and sustainable way.

Plan reflects these requests in several ways. It emphasizes walking, cycling and transit options in areas where new housing will be built, and expands the types of housing that are allowed in neighborhoods zoned for single-family houses.

Mendoza admitted that the idea of duplexes or triplexes being built in these neighborhoods is a source of concern for residents. He said that increasing density would also mean more amenities in those neighborhoods.

He noted that some residents raised the issue of ensuring adequate city services for an increase in density. He added that some residents have accepted the idea of higher density.

The plan update does not envision growth of the city by annexing land for development. He said that the costs of infrastructure as well as other impacts caused by sprawl make it a good idea to build around existing infrastructure.

Environmental justice is another important aspect, as it's a requirement of state law. The plan considers how many neighborhoods have access to fresh food, open space and healthy activities and how much pollution they experience.

Mendoza stated that one city goal would be to ensure residents could walk to parks or open spaces in no more than 10 minute, as a way to address environmental injustice.

On June 5th and 29th, city planners will host webinars to introduce and explain the Plan Update and its components. They will also guide interested parties on how to comment. The comment period is open until the end of August.

The city will then make any necessary adjustments in response to comments, and issue a final report on the environmental impact of the plan update. This will be released by the end of the summer. Sacramento City Council will likely see the final version of the update in early 2024.

Mendoza stated that while Sacramento updates its General Plan five times a year, not all jurisdictions update theirs. Mendoza said that updating the General Plan on a five-year cycle increases flexibility while also taking into account changes to state law.