Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the Downtown Waterfront Strategic Plan?

The Downtown Waterfront Strategic Plan will provide a vision for a connected and unified downtown and waterfront area. The Strategic Plan will illustrate physical connections, public realm improvements, and provide a unified brand and design guidelines for the area. The Strategic Plan will also identify near term projects to achieve the physical and economic integration of the downtown and waterfront areas.

What is a General Plan?

​The State of California requires that all cities adopt a general plan. A general plan is an overarching policy document that guides city actions, like a blueprint for a city. It addresses issues that impact the entire community, such as how land is used, where buildings are built, the locations of roads and parks, safety, noise, and more. All city plans, zoning, and private development must be consistent with the diagrams and policies in the general plan.

What is a Local Coastal Plan?

​Per the California Coastal Act of 1974, most of the City of Morro Bay is within the Coastal Zone. Areas in the Coastal Zone must comply with the permitting and land use requirements established by the Coastal Act, as implemented by the California Coastal Commission. Most types of private development must obtain a Coastal Development Permit from the California Coastal Commission as part of the entitlement process. However, if a local government, such as the City of Morro Bay, has a Local Coastal Plan that is approved by the California Coastal Commission, the City generally has the authority to make land use decisions and furnish permits without getting approval from the Coastal Commission. In other words, the Local Coastal Plan allows for local authority on most land use and development decisions in the Coastal Zone.

Why is the City updating its General Plan and Local Coastal Plan?

​Morro Bay has changed considerably since the last comprehensive update to the City’s General Plan and Local Coastal Plan in 1988 and 1983, respectively. Additionally, new laws affecting general plans and Local Coastal Plans have been passed, new social and environmental issues have emerged, and new planning strategies and practices have been developed. This update looks ahead to the year 2040, making adjustments based on current issues and emergent trends, and positioning Morro Bay for the next 20 years. The update also brings both plans into compliance with new legal requirements. How is the project funded? Much of the project is funded using external grant resources provided by the California Coastal Commission and the Ocean Protection Council, in combination with funds from the City’s General Fund.

How can I get involved?

In order to collect community input in an open, engaging, and actionable way, the City has designed a series of community outreach opportunities that will allow you to participate in the planning process, including:

​ • CityVoice Telephone Survey
​ • Stakeholder Interviews and Focus Groups
​ • Community Group Meetings
​ • General Plan Advisory Committee Meetings (open to the public)
​ • Public Hearings

​ Dates will be posted under the Participate section of this webpage as they become available. If you wish to be added to our mailing list to receive project updates and invitations to meetings and events, join our mailing list. How will my feedback be used? At each public meeting, community input will be carefully recorded and aggregated to ensure that City planners and decision-makers have a full understanding of public opinion when drafting, reviewing, and approving plan goals and policies. Public feedback will be considered throughout the process.

Why is my participation important?

The City of Morro Bay is committed to involving the community in the planning process. The plan update process offers all residents and businesses the chance to help guide the future of our community. A successful General Plan and Local Coastal Plan will reflect the community’s vision and priorities. We believe that your voice is vital to producing plans that reflect your vision for the city’s future.