General Plan


All California cities are required to prepare and adopt a general plan to use as a guide in making land use decisions. It is essentially a blueprint for future development and focuses on big-picture and long-term goals. The Signal Hill General Plan includes the following six elements.

2021-2029 Housing Element

The Housing Element provides an assessment of the current and projected housing needs for all economic segments of the population. State law recognizes that local governments play a vital role in the supply and affordability of housing. The Housing Element is unique in that it is the only one reviewed by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to determine its compliance with state law. The HCD pays particular attention to the required inventory of adequate sites. This inventory demonstrates how cities will accommodate their fair share of projected population growth on a parcel-specific level. The fair share is determined at a regional level by the Southern California Association of Governments and is called the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA).

The 5th Cycle Housing Element was adopted at the February 4, 2014 City Council meeting and the HCD certified that the Element is in full compliance with the State Housing element law on March 18, 2014. The Element is available for public review in the Community Development Department and by accessing the Housing Element (PDF).

The 6th Cycle Housing Element will be adopted during 2021 and run through 2029.  Read our FAQ document for more information.

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We need your comments!  Please read the full Fourth Draft Housing Element - July (PDF) document and send your comments and questions to Economic Development Manager Elise McCaleb at

You can also: 

Read the full Third Draft Housing Element - June (PDF) document.

Read the full Second Draft Housing Element Update - March (PDF) document.

Read the full First Draft Housing Element Update 6th Cycle (PDF) document.

Read the full Housing Element Recirculated Draft EIR (PDF) document.

Read the full Final Housing Element Developmental Impact Report (PDF) document.

Appendix A (PDF)

Appendix B (PDF)

Appendix C (PDF)

Appendix D (PDF)

Appendix E (PDF)

Appendix F (PDF)

Appendix G (PDF)

Appendix H (PDF)

Appendix I (PDF)

Housing Element Update - Community Survey

As part of the Housing Element Update, a community survey was circulated from April to August, 2021. 150 people responded, split between residents, students, and employees. Highlights include:

Question: Respondents were asked to rank areas where housing should be built (1-5, 1 being your first choice). 

Response: The table indicates that 70% would like housing to be built in the Civic Center neighborhood, followed by 64% located near commercial centers. 

Question: Respondents were asked to rank the type of type of housing needed in the City of Signal Hill (1-6, 1 being the first choice). 

Response: The table indicates that 71% believe that housing should be available to service workers, 68% noted that housing should be affordable to working professionals, and 63% identified housing should be affordable to service workers.

Question: Respondents were asked to rank the items they consider the highest priority when it comes to housing developments.

Response: Approximately half believe that proximity to amenities such as grocery stores, religious facilities, schools, etc. are important. 

Question: Respondents were asked to identify the top three development types most suitable for future study to accommodate the mandated RHNA allocation.

Response: The re-purposing of former oil property received 67% of the responses.

Timeline for Submittal of 6th Cycle Housing Element Update

Sites ID (location and size)                                                                                             Oct.30, 2020

  • Refine per Orange Bluff site over Walnut Bluff site; and                  
  • Refine per Creston Commons Phase I only and < units                                         Nov. 30, 2020        

ID Sites Constraints and Mitigation                                                                                               

  • ID well abandonments/re-abandonments                                                             Jan. 30, 2021
  • Prepare Phase I                                                                                                Feb. 30, 2021
  • Prepare Phase II and HHRA reports as needed                                                    June 15, 2021

Draft 6th Cycle HEU (Depending on HCD docs.)                                                                  Aug. 5, 2021       

Survey Monkey and Outreach                                                                                          April 1, 2021

Final Project Description and NOP (30 day review)                                                             May 14, 2021

PC Public Workshop #1 for 6th Cycle ZOA/GPA/CEQA Scoping Mtg.                                    May 18, 2020

PC Public Workshop #2 for 6th Cycle ZOA/GPA/CEQA                                                       Aug. 17, 2021

Draft Submittal to HCD (60 days to comment)                                                                     Sept 15, 2021

PC Public Workshop #3                                                                                                 Sept. 21, 2021

Governor Signs AB 1398 (Extends submittal deadline to Oct. 2022)                                    Sept. 28, 2021

Draft CEQA Doc. Circulation for Public Comment (45 day review)                                        Sept. 30, 2021

CC Status Report                                                                                                          Oct. 26, 2021       

45- Day Review Period Ends                                                                                          Nov. 15, 2021

Receive Draft Comments from HCD                                                                                 Nov.15, 2021

Recirculate EIR (45 days)                                                                                                Jan. 20, 2022

CC Status Report                                                                                                         Jan. 25, 2022

Post, Publish and Circulate Revised Draft HEU                                                                 Mar. 7, 2022

End of 45 day EIR Recirculation                                                                                          Mar. 7, 2022

Submit Revised Draft HEU to HCD (*60 days to comment)                                                 Mar. 15, 2022

Comment preview conference with HCD staff                                                                April 29, 2022

Received 2nd HCD Comment Letter                                                                               May 12, 2022

PC PH for 6th Cycle ZOA/GPA/CEQA/HEU                                                                        May 17, 2022

Post, Publish and Circulate 2nd Revised Draft HEU                                                          June 13, 2022

Submit 2nd Revised Draft HEU to HCD (*60 days to comment)                                          June 20, 2022 

PC PH for 6th Cycle ZOA/GPA/CEQA/HEU                                                                     June 21, 2022

CC Introduction of 6th Cycle ZOA/GPA/CEQA/HEU                                                             July  12, 2022

CC 2nd Reading and Approval 6th Cycle ZOA/GPA/CEQA/HEU                                             July 26, 2022

End of HCD 60 Day Comment Period                                                              August 19, 2022 (or earlier)

CC Approval of 6th Cycle HEU                                                                August 23 or September 13, 2022

HCD Deadline for ZOAs, Adoption, & Certification (AB 1398)                                                Oct. 15, 2022

For more information on the Housing Element Update, please visit the Planning page.

Land Use

The Land Use Element (PDF) identifies the distribution and intensity of uses within the city. It sets out goals and policies and includes a land use map showing the location and intensity of types of uses, such as business, industry, housing, education, public buildings, and open space.


The Circulation Element (PDF) establishes guidelines and policy direction for the development and maintenance of a comprehensive transportation system for the city.

Environmental Resources

The Environmental Resources Element (PDF) combines the open space and conservation elements into one document to address the long-term and comprehensive preservation and conservation of open space. It also details the conservation, development, and use of natural resources such as water, forests, soils, rivers, and mineral deposits. In 1989, the City also adopted its Parks and Recreation Master Plan (PDF) and included it as an appendix to the Environmental Resources Element. The Master Plan documents the City’s open space and recreation goals. It also discusses where parks may be site, how to fund park acquisitions and how parks are maintained.


The Safety Element (PDF) focuses on identifying natural or human-made hazards in the City and specifies policies and programs to mitigate hazards to the public. The local Hazard Mitigation Plan satisfies state and federal requirements and provides eligibility to receive federal funding for pre-disaster mitigation and post-disaster relief. The City’s Hazard Mitigation Plan is integrated into the Safety Element as an appendix.


The Noise Element (PDF) identifies and assesses noise problems within the community and establishes guidelines to achieve noise-compatible land uses.