The last update was in 1983, based on the county’s original General Plan from 1958. In May 2003, the Board of Supervisors gave direction to begin the current General Plan update process. This is only the third time in the county’s history that the General Plan has been comprehensively updated. While the fundamental land use goals of promoting agriculture and directing urban growth to the cities have not changed, circumstances facing the county have changed. Agriculture requires flexibility to allow it to branch out into processing and tourism related businesses. Similarly, several of the county’s small towns require new infrastructure, investment, and services that can accompany well-designed growth. There is also a greater need for economic development to provide growth and stability to the county revenues that pay for local services. This General Plan update allows the county to examine these issues and chart a course for the future that meets these challenges.
Yolo County is 653,549 acres in size, of which 32,325 acres (just under 5%) lies within the four incorporated cities. Currently, approximately 23,265 residents live in 7,263 homes within the remaining 95% of the county, along side 430 acres of job-producing commercial and industrial land. Under the existing 1983 General Plan, another 11,240 residents, 4,014 homes, and 1,440 acres of commercial and industrial land could be added. The Preferred Land Use Alternative, adopted by the Board of Supervisors on September 18, 2007, is the basis for creating the General Plan update. In addition to the 1983 General Plan, it would allow for another 26,600 residents, 9,500 homes, and 901 acres of economic development through the year 2030.
The four primary proposed land use changes that account for these increases include: