LAND USE ELEMENT
What is a Land Use Element?
The Land Use Element is a mandatory element of a community’s General Plan. The primary purpose of the Land Use Element is to establish the policy foundation that will direct future land use decision-making for Victorville, both within its incorporated boundaries and its Sphere of Influence (SOI) to achieve the community’s long-range goals. It functions as a guide to policy makers, decision makers, the general public, and planners in the City regarding the desired pattern of land use and development in the future.
The Land Use Element is the driving element in the General Plan, to which all other elements must relate. For example, it must accommodate the number of housing units required by the state via the Housing Element, and it must be correlated with the transportation network as well as the distribution of public utilities, which are identified in the Circulation Element. The Land Use Element also will support the new Environmental Justice Element
The Land Use Element inherently shapes the pattern of development by establishing the density, intensity, and types and distribution of land uses throughout our community, including:
- Residential, commercial, and industrial uses;
- Open space, including agricultural land;
- Recreational facilities and opportunities;
- Educational facilities;
- Public buildings, facilities, and grounds;
- Mineral resources, future solid and liquid waste facilities, and areas subject to flooding; and
- Other categories of public and private use of land.
Why update the Land Use Element?
Growth projections indicate that Victorville will grow in population from approximately 123,000 residents in 2020 to approximately 184,000 residents by 2040. This potential growth will mean that Victorville will be facing an increased number of land use decisions, not just for housing, but also for retail and commercial development, personal services, employment and industry, open space, and recreation. The Land Use Element is being updated for several key reasons:
- Guide and accommodate future growth in Victorville in a manner that achieves the community’s vision, enhances our community’s quality of life, and provides a mix of land uses that promote sustainability and economic vitality;
- Address current community issues regarding land use and development;
- Meet new statutory requirements relevant to housing needs identified in the Housing Element update and ensure opportunities for a variety of housing types and affordability levels; and
- Position the City to take advantage of future opportunities and encourage investment and reinvestment.
What is the difference between a Land Use Element and the Zoning Ordinance?
The Land Use Element provides long-term goals and policies that guide future land use and development. The Zoning Ordinance is the regulatory document that implements the Land Use Element via specific development standards and other regulations. State law requires zoning to be consistent with the General Plan, which means rezoning and revisions to the Zoning Ordinance may be required after the Land Use Element is updated.
Density: Density is used for residential uses and refers to the development capacity of residential land. In the Land Use Element, density is described in terms of dwelling units per acre of land (du/ac).
Intensity: Intensity is used for non-residential development and refers to the extent of development on a lot. It is usually expressed as floor area ratio (FAR), which is the ratio between the total gross floor area (total square footage) of all buildings on a lot and the total land area of that lot.
The Land Use Element update process is just getting underway, so please check back frequently to see the latest information and proposals, which we will be posting when they are available. You are also encouraged to attend the public meetings that will be held during the update process to share your ideas and provide input.