Purpose and Process

In the summer of 2015, the City of Ceres embarked on an exciting multi-year project to update its General Plan, which was adopted back in 1997. The General Plan update provides a unique and important opportunity for community members to participate in guiding the city’s future.

The General Plan is a policy document adopted by the City that serves as the city’s primary guide for development, housing, transportation, environmental quality, public services, and parks and open spaces. General plans typically look forward several decades to define and implement a long-range vision. Ceres’ new General Plan will cover the period through 2035.

Residents have the opportunity to get involved at all stages of the planning process, from the initial visioning and exploration of plan alternatives to the selection of the Preferred Plan and review of the draft General Plan and its accompanying Environmental Impact Report. At the end of the process, the City Council will adopt a General Plan with policies and regulation to effectively implement the vision.

In conjunction with the General Plan, we will be preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which is the environmental documentation that must accompany the plan according to State law. The EIR ensures that environmental opportunities and constraints are identified and available for public review and that mitigation measures are identified. The EIR is a public process as well, and we invite your participation and input during this stage of the planning effort.

Building on our Strengths
Conveniently located between Turlock and Modesto in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, Ceres is a distinctive community with small-town charm.  Ceres’s positive attributes have attracted significant growth, and the city hosts new neighborhoods and shopping destinations. At the same time, Ceres has maintained close ties to its agricultural heritage and is now home to the County’s new Agricultural Center. The city’s current General Plan dates back to 1997, and new challenges and opportunities have arisen in recent years. The updated General Plan will address priorities for the future of the city to enhance the community’s quality of life.

The General Plan update is anticipated to be completed by late 2017. The diagram below illustrates the phases of the scheduled planning process with particular emphasis on opportunities for public participation. Click on the diagram below to enlarge it.

Please see the bottom of the Home Page for an explanation of each phase. On the Home Page you can also find the current status of the project and the next opportunities to get involved.

Key Issues
The General Plan update will address issues spanning many aspects of life in Ceres including, but not limited to:

  • Economic development
  • Farmland preservation
  • Downtown revitalization
  • City’s fiscal health
  • Growth management
  • Public safety and municipal services
  • High quality design of new development

Consultant Team
Dyett & Bhatia, Urban and Regional Planners is leading the consulting team.

Additional consultants, with specializations in different disciplines, are: