Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal


This Article first gives background on the health crisis facing those living in low-income urban centers. As the general plan for a city or county is the most comprehensive planning document required by California law, this Article next explains the process surrounding the formulation of general plans, what may and what must be contained in a city or county’s general plan, and how courts should broadly interpret mandatory elements in a general plan to include public health standards. Part III addresses the legal obstacles to requiring public health concerns to be considered in planning, and possible strategies for obtaining court-ordered inclusion. Finally, this Article will detail a possible general planning public-participation success story, including an approach that could avoid litigation all together.