How should Huntington Beach plan for development through 2040? Public hearing on Tuesday

How should Huntington Beach plan for development through 2040? Public hearing on Tuesday
A full moon looms over the Huntington Beach Pier as a surfer exits the water. The city Planning Commission on Tuesday will hold the first public hearing on an update of the city's general plan, which will guide local development decisions through 2040. (File photo | Los Angeles Times)

The Huntington Beach Planning Commission will hold the first public hearing Tuesday on a document that will guide local development decisions through 2040.

The commission has been reviewing the city's general plan update for months in preparation for the hearing.


The update has been in the making since the City Council voted in 2013 to hire planning consulting firm Michael Baker International to assist.

California cities are required to have general plans and update them at regular intervals. Huntington Beach's general plan hasn't been comprehensively updated since 1996, according to a city staff report.


The plan "guides civic decisions regarding land use, the design and/or character of buildings and open spaces, the conservation of existing housing and the provision of new dwelling units, the provision of supporting infrastructure and public services, the protection of environmental resources, the allocation of fiscal resources and the protection of residents from natural and human-caused hazards," the report states.

The update establishes a development capacity of an additional 7,228 dwellings and more than 5.38 million square feet of non-residential space, the staff report says. The capacity is a projection of development in the city; it does not represent a goal, the report says.

The update also includes a new land use designation — research and technology — to help fuel job and economic growth, the report says.

The designation would allow for industrial and commercial uses that aren't accommodated in the current commercial or industrial areas.

The commission also will consider the environmental impact report of the general plan update.

The draft looks at potential adverse effects on the environment as part of the plan implementation. It delves into air quality, biological and cultural resources and noise, among other issues.

According to a city staff report, most of the possible negative effects can be mitigated through proposed policies in the plan. But some effects are deemed "significant and unavoidable," the report says.

The documents are scheduled to go before the City Council on Sept. 18.

Tuesday's commission meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 2000 Main St.



9:45 a.m. Aug. 14: This article was updated with the time and place of the Planning Commission meeting.

This article was originally published at 2:05 p.m. Aug. 11.