--> City of El Centro

Development Department

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Planning Documents

    General Plan

Every city and county in California is required to adopt a comprehensive plan of their physical development. The General Plan is a set of long-term goals and policies that decision makers will use to guide growth and development and address the community's goals.  The plan is divided into various elements that include the Land Use Element, Circulation Element, Housing Element, Conservation Element, Open Space Element, Noise Element, Safety Element, and any additional topics of local significance. Each of these elements detail policies and programs to achieve the established goals. The City of El Centro's current General Plan was first adopted in 2004 with a focus update in 2021 to revise the Land Use Element, Mobility Element (formally Circulation Element), and a new Environmental Justice Element. The Housing Element is required to be updated every eight years and was last updated in 2013. Please click on the bold titles below to open the link for each General Plan element:

Executive Summary - Contains an overview of the 2040 General Plan Update that updated the Land Use, Mobility, and new Environmental Justice Element. 

Land Use Element - Designates the proposed general distribution, general location and extent of uses of land within the city focusing on preserving established land uses and accommodating the future growth and physical development of the community.

Mobility Element - Provides an overall guidance to satisfy the local circulation needs of our residents, visitors and businesses.  It coordinates with the Land Use Element and future land use patterns to address connectivity that serve vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians to improve the balance between environmental concerns and the City's objectives for mobility and safety.

Environmental Justice Element - Addresses civic engagement, pollution exposure, public facilities, food access, physical activity, safe and sanitary housing, and any other unique or compounded health risks not otherwise included in these topic areas. Due to the broad and interdisciplinary nature of environmental justice issues, this element directly relates to each of the other General Plan elements.

Housing Element - Addresses the production, preservation and improvement of housing in the community.  The Housing Element analyzes existing and future housing needs and the various constraints to meeting those needs.  In addition, it identifies land, financial and administrative resources for housing and sets forth goals and policies by establishing and implementing housing programs to meet the community's housing needs.

Conservation / Open Space - Establishes a comprehensive and long-range conservation plan for of local resources such as agricultural land, deserts, water, air quality and energy and other open space area.  This element of the General Plan also provides guidance related to the protection of habitat/wildlife resources and provides policy direction for parks and open space areas with an overall goal of maintaining quality of life. 

Noise - Ensures that considerations of noise are incorporated into the land use planning and decision-making  process.  Identifies the major noise sources in the city and contains goals and policies to protect citizens from excessive noise exposure.  The Noise Element is consistent with applicable state and local noise standards and guidelines to control noise exposure and promote land use compatibility with the noise environment.

Safety - Provides a strategy for City Staff, residents, developers, and business owners to effectively address natural and man-made hazards, including seismic and geological issues, flood hazards, fire hazards and disaster preparedness, response and recovery.  The policies and action items provide the community with a primary goal to create a community that is minimally at risk and that responds quickly, effectively, and efficiently to hazards. 

Economic Development - Provides an opportunity for El Centro to strategically position the City to resume growth by taking advantage of the larger globalization forces that are shaping the economy of Southern California and the U.S. Mexico border area. 

Public Facilities - Ensures that sufficient levels of public services are provided as El Centro develops. It addresses several public services including Parks and Recreation, Education, Police, Cultural, Civic, Fire, Water, and Sewer services. 



Active Transportation and Safe Routes to School Plan 


The Active Transportation and Safe Routes to School Plan (ATP/SR2S) was adopted by the El Centro City Council in February 2019. Please click on the underlined text to open each respective section of the ATP/SR2S.

Cover and Table of Contents

1. Introduction

  2. State of Practice

  3. Existing Conditions

 4. Community Engagement

  5. Recommendations

6. Funding



  Vision 2050 Strategic Plan 

The Vision 2050 Strategic Plan identifies broad goals and objectives that will achieve the community's vision. The Plan is a blueprint for community leaders, City Staff, and the community at large with the overarching purpose of creating positive change within the community. 

  Service Area Plan 2016 

The 2016 Service Area Plan (SAP) outlines the City's existing public services and facilities, estimates the current and anticipated demand for such facilities and services, and describes how necessary facilities and services will or may be developed and extended to meet demands. The SAP is intended to demonstrate the City's intent and ability to provide adequate services to the sphere of influence boundaries at the time of annexation. An approximately 10-year planning horizon is used to forecast growth, and the estimated demands and provisions to meet demands are based on population projections for 2025. 

  Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan 

The Parks and Recreation Master Plan (Master Plan) serves as a guide to the future development and improvement of parks and recreational facilties in the City of El Centro.