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Safety Element Update

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At their December 20, 2022 Public Hearing, City Council adopted the latest version of the Safety Element.

Link Here: Draft Safety Element


The City’s General Plan Safety Element incorporates safety considerations in the planning and decision-making process. It includes policies related to future development that will minimize the risk of personal injury, loss of life, property damage, and environmental damage associated with natural and human-made hazards. State law requires each city and county to update the Safety Element every eight years. The Safety Element address the City’s natural hazards and human activities that may pose a threat to public safety within the following topic areas:

  1. Geologic and Seismic Hazards
  2. Flood Hazards
  3. Fire Hazards
  4. Hazardous Materials
  5. Climate Change

The Safety Element references and is incorporated in local hazard mitigation, disaster preparedness, and emergency response plans. Because of this, any amendment to the Safety Element must coincide with these plans to ensure a coordinated response to disasters. The City is currently updating their Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, which will be incorporated into the Safety Element as an appendix to comply with state laws. 

Why did The City update the Safety Element?

In addition to the eight-year review, recently adopted State laws require the following to be performed, updated, and included in the Safety Element: 

  1. Identify and update information related to
    1. Seismic and geologic hazards
    2. Evacuation routes
    3. Military installations
    4. Peak-load water supply requirements
    5. Minimum road widths and clearances around structures
    6. Flood hazards
    7. Fire hazards.  
  2. Prepare a climate change vulnerability assessment and develop climate adaptation and resilience strategies.
  3. Identify residential developments in any hazard area that does not have at least two evacuation routes.
  4. Assessment of evacuation routes and their capacity, safety, and viability under a range of emergency scenarios.