The General Plan, which includes the Housing Element, addresses issues related to the physical development and growth of Santa Rosa. It represents a community's aspirations for the future. The General Plan is required by State law, and it has a long range focus, looking 20 years into the future. It guides the City's planning and zoning functions as well as the funding of public improvement projects, such as parks and streets. Santa Rosa's General Plan was adopted by the City Council on November 3, 2009 with the exception of the updated Housing Element which was adopted in February 2023.
Implementation of the General Plan is reviewed by the City Council and Planning Commission annually.