Form-Based Codes Institute at Smart Growth America

Tehachapi General Plan

The Tehachapi General Plan is the community vision of how Tehachapi could grow and maintain the local high quality of life and unique character as a small mountain town. It is a form-based general plan addressing all required elements under California State law within the City’s Sphere of Influence. The Town Form Element, in place of the typical Land-Use Element, addresses community structure, form and character, designates growth areas and open space, and describes types of intended change in neighborhoods, districts and corridors. Transects delineate levels of urban intensity utilizing the .25 mile walkable neighborhood radius. Typical land use designations are incorporated within a broader set of topics under transects that address each parcel’s zoning. The regulating plan, in place of the land-use map, illustrates and summarizes the Town Form Element intentions. Some Elements provide guidance on detailed community topics and replace the need for separate master plans.  The Mobility Element works closely with the Town Form Element to address complete streets, traffic congestion and neighborhood centers, and serves as Tehachapi’s Bicycle and Transit Master Plan. The Public Realm Element serves as Tehachapi’s Parks and Recreation, Streetscape, and Pedestrian Master Plan while the Civic Health and Culture Element serves as Tehachapi’s School and Public Facilities Master Plan. Other Elements addressed are Economic Vitality, Sustainable Infrastructure, Natural Resources, and Community Safety.  The Tehachapi General Plan is the result of years of public meetings and charrettes and works closely with other community documents such as the Downtown Master Plan to provide policy-clarification and development standards direction. The General Plan document is highly illustrated with clear and concise diagrams and tables that shape Tehachapi’s urban form, public space, and local character.

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