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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a specific plan?

A. A Specific Plan is a comprehensive planning and zoning instrument that guides the visioning and implementation of that vision for a defined geographic region of a City. It implements a City’s General Plan, providing development standards and guidelines to be utilized by landowners, developers, and the City when considering development plans for the area. These regulations replace and are used to address the unique qualities of each property within the Specific Plan area. In the case of this Transit Villages Specific Plan, unique qualities to consider include:

  • The accommodation of SBCTA’s proposed Arrow passenger rail stations, which will catalyze the development of adjacent, underutilized land with mixed-use, transit-oriented development.
  • New development that integrates seamlessly with Downtown Redlands’ historic commercial core, the University of Redlands, the ESRI campus, and surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Circulation and streetscape improvements that provide better, more scenic connections to the Transit Villages.

Properties within a specific plan area do not have any other zoning designations other than “Specific Plan.” Specific plans are often generated to promote development and amenities beyond those expected under a conventional development, to provide greater flexibility in design, and/or to update allowed land uses. They can be used to allow mixed use developments, to require the inclusion of public amenities (such as open space or unique streetscapes), to enable special parking arrangements, to encourage the consolidation of properties, to generate a beautiful and economically vibrant urban form, and to promote other transit-oriented land use principles.

Q. How is a specific plan adopted?

A. As with zoning districts, a Specific Plan must be in conformance with the General Plan. The Planning Commission reviews a Specific Plan and recommends action to the City Council. Because of its legislative nature, a Specific Plan can only be adopted by the City Council. To approve a Specific Plan, the City Council must make the following findings:

  • The proposed change of zone will not adversely affect the adjoining property in regards to value, precedent, or detriment and will be in accordance with the principles of good land use by promoting sound development.
  • The change of zone will not adversely affect the public health, safety, and general welfare.
  • The proposed zone change is consistent with the General Plan.

A final determination will be made at a public hearing held before City Council (anticipated to be in the Winter of 2019 for this project). Once approved, an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance will be made incorporating the new specific plan. There is a thirty (30) day appeal period before the amendment becomes effective.

Q. What is a general plan?

A. A General Plan is a long-term planning document consisting of text and maps that indicate the desired development form of a community over time. The General Plan’s goals, policies, and actions form the basis of the detailed development regulations found in the Zoning Ordinance and any Specific Plans within a city. Decisions made by policymakers on public improvements and private developments within a city must be consistent with the General Plan. All cities and counties in California are required by law to have General Plans. The City of Redlands adopted its most recent General Plan, the 2035 General Plan, on December 5, 2017.

Q. How will the proposed Transit Villages Specific Plan implement the City’s 2035 General Plan?

A. The Transit Villages Specific Plan will fully develop the vision and strategy contained in the 2035 General Plan that encourages future development to be directed within transit villages in the core areas of the city, and preserve the agricultural and open space land around the periphery of the city. In-fill development in the core areas of the city and transit villages would also more efficiently use existing infrastructure (such as roads, water systems, public and private utilities, wastewater and stormwater systems, etc.) and moderate the future costs of public services. The Specific Plan will provide policies (building upon those already in the 2035 General Plan), detailed land use and building standards, architectural and landscape guidelines, and a circulation plan for the areas located within approximately one-half mile of the three proposed train stations. For further information, please go to the About section of this website.

Q. How can I get involved?

A. We welcome citizen participation throughout all phases of the project. Please visit the Meetings and Workshops page for details on upcoming events, or contact us directly with your thoughts and questions.