In summer 2013, the City of Half Moon Bay initiated a process to update its General Plan, Local Coastal Program (LCP), and Zoning Ordinance. The current General Plan and LCP elements are dated from the early 1990s, and are no longer reflective of the community’s current conditions or priorities. This project presents an opportunity for the community to define a common vision for the future, and will provide planning policies and regulation to effectively carry out that vision.

The update process will:

  • Involve a collaborative process to define a vision for the future
  • Comprehensively evaluate and map the city's resources to provide a basis for decisions about key issues like growth and conservation
  • Confirm and carry forward effective existing goals, strategies, and policies
  • Offer fresh solutions that build on the community's unique advantages and aspirations
  • Focus on maintaining and enhancing the community's character and quality of life
  • Promote fiscal sustainability

A fully updated General Plan and LCP will ensure that future development enhances community character and identity, provides a sound framework for economic growth, and protects coastal resources and public coastal access.

Building on our Strengths

Perched against a backdrop of the Pacific Coast, open bluffs and forested hills, Half Moon Bay is one of the most scenic settings in the Bay Area. The oldest town in San Mateo County, Half Moon Bay has a historic downtown and unique agricultural heritage. Its Main Street boasts a variety of shops, galleries, restaurants, and bed and breakfasts that draw both visitors and locals alike. Meanwhile, the surrounding city and coastside are home to numerous nurseries and farms, as well as roadside stands selling locally grown fruit, vegetables, beans, and herbs.

Half Moon Bay is also one of the most popular recreational destinations along the coast, thanks to its many trails, beaches, and parks. Its fully paved segment of the California Coastal Trail means that pedestrians, bicyclists, and equestrians all have easy access to the shore. The area is notable for water sports, such as surfing and kayaking, as well as for its natural beauty and biodiversity. Here, the public can find many ways of accessing and enjoying the coast.

All of these features have made Half Moon Bay the most-visited coastal community in the Bay Area. Combine them with the entrepreneurial and community-oriented nature of our residents, and it’s easy to see what makes it such a great place to live and work.

Building Blocks

See the City staff report on Building Blocks.

Earlier this year (2015), the City Council directed staff to implement a refocusing of the General Plan Update process onto the four identified Building Blocks  - the primary topic areas addressed by the General Plan and Local Coastal Program. Those building blocks are: Conservation and Open Space; Climate Action plan + Healthy Community; Transportation; and Land Use.

This refocusing allowed a shift in attention to open space, conservation, and sustainability, while the transportation and land use components would be brought back to the community following progress on the conservation and open space building block.

Additional consultants, with specializations in different disciplines, are: