Comprehensive Plan Amendment

Comprehensive Plan Amendment

Council directed staff to work with the PTC to develop a work plan to amend the existing Comprehensive Plan and extend the horizon year of the Comp Plan through 2020.  The focus of the amendment would be to ensure the sufficient public services are available to serve new housing development and that sufficient land for neighborhood-serving retail uses is preserved.  

For more information, please navigate to the Comprehensive Plan Amendment website @

Concept Plan Areas

As part of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment process, Palo Alto will prepare Concept Plans for two areas: the California Avenue neighborhood and the East Meadow Circle/Fabian Way neighborhood. Both areas have experienced some change over the past several years and will be studied to determine future land uses for inclusion in the amended Comprehensive Plan.

The Concept Plans will proceed in parallel to one another and will contain land use diagrams, policies and implementation measures specific to each area.  The process for developing the Concept Plans will include stakeholder outreach and a series of three neighborhood workshops in each area to identify key issues, develop land use alternatives and select a preferred alternative for future development. 

For the schedule of upcoming events and more detailed information about the Concept Plan Areas, please navigate to the Comprehensive Plan Amendment website @

Speaker Series Forum - Comprehensive Plan Amendment

Series of presentations sponsored by the Palo Alto Department of Planning & Community Environment to provide insight and guidance for preparing the Comprehensive Plan amendment

Speaker Series #1 "Implementing SB375 - What Local Governments Need to Know" - November 10, 2009

AB32 and SB 375 are intended to create a framework to help California meet the challenges of climate change.  Ted Droettboom from the Joint Policy Committee and Kenneth Kirkey from ABAG will explain how local governments play a crucial role in helping the state implement these new laws and helping to preserve the high quality of life that California residents value.

Speaker Series #2
"Charting the Future under SB375" - February 16, 2010
Suburban Cities and Infill Development

William Fulton, the author of “A Guide to California Planning,” will discuss and initiate a dialogue about how built-out suburban cities are accommodating infill development. Cities throughout the State have been expanding their efforts to incorporate appropriate infill development in response to recent State policy guidance, including AB 32 and SB 375 (the California Sustainable Communities Bill), which focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through transportation and land use planning.


Speaker Series #3 "Sustainable Mobility" - March 11, 2010
Ten Easy Steps to Ease Congestion, Earn Money, and Solve Global Climate Change

Jeffrey Tumlin, Principal and Multimodal/Transit Oriented Development Practice Leader at Nelson/Nygaard in San Francisco, will discuss how transportation should support individual and collective goals by striking a balance between mobility and accessibility transportation objectives.  Mr. Tumlin will describe how our transportation decisions have serious implications on our efforts to curb global warming and discuss ten steps that could make a significant impact in reducing CO2 emissions and achieve green mobility.


Speaker Series #4 "Cities for All Ages" - June 3, 2010
Land Use Planning and our Aging Population

Don Weden will discuss how Santa Clara County is about to be hit by a “senior tsunami.” In less than 20 years, 1/4 of our county’s adult  population will be over 65, as the Baby Boom generation ages. Many will be non-drivers – living in cities that were mostly designed around the automobile. What can we do to adapt our cities to assure that our growing senior population – and others in our community – can live active, interesting, and productive lives, without having to drive or own a car?  Learn more about this rapidly approaching “senior tsunami” and what our cities can do to prepare for it.

Speaker Series #5 "Evolution of Bicycle Transportation" - September 30, 2010
How to Build on Existing Infrastructure and Programs

Ian Moore will discuss how bicycle transportation is evolving nationally in cities such as New York, Portland, and Seattle, and how Palo Alto can build upon successes in those cities to improve its existing infrastructure and programs.  Mr. Moore will describe specific infrastructure trends and approaches to integrating bicycling into a range of street types as well as varying land use and neighborhood  contexts. Mr. Moore will highlight strategies pioneered by Palo Alto, how other communities have evolved these strategies in the past decade, and how Palo Alto can advance further through its current bicycle plan update and current street design projects

The City of Palo Alto will also kick off the Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan update after the forum.


Speaker Series #6 "Quality Schools and Complete Communities" - November 18, 2010
Aligning Public Education and Bay Area Regional Growth

Jeff Vincent will discuss the importance of high-quality public school systems to the vitality of communities. Regional leaders are identifying ways to partner for complete communities with high quality schools meeting the needs of families from all walks of life. The Bay Area’s Sustainable Community Strategy (SCS) presents a tremendous opportunity to connect educators, students, and schools to regional planning, making high-quality education a central consideration for Priority Development Areas and sustainable development.  Exploring how school facilities can be used as community assets, how to improve non-auto routes to school and how schools, students, and parents can be actively engaged are a few of the keys to creating a “win-win” situation in formulating a Sustainable Community Strategy.


Last Updated: Nov 16, 2017