General Plan

2040 General Plan

San Mateo is updating its General Plan, which is the plan that expresses the community’s vision for how the City will look, feel, and change over the next 20 years. So far, as part of the 2040 General Plan process, the community has expressed that San Mateo should be: “a vibrant, livable, diverse, and healthy community that respects the quality of its neighborhoods, fosters a flourishing economy, is committed to equity, and is a leader in environmental sustainability.” 

Visit to learn more about the 2040 General Plan.

2030 General Plan

In 2010, the City of San Mateo updated its General Plan - "Vision 2030". The General Plan provides the framework for all zoning and land use decisions within a community. State planning law requires that the General Plan include a comprehensive, long-term plan for a city’s physical development. City policy requires periodic review and updating of the General Plan. This update provides for an extension of the General Plan to the year 2030, and includes revisions to existing goals, policies and associated text.

  • Vision - The Vision of San Mateo in 2030
  • Introduction* - The Introduction describes what a General Plan is, how it was developed, major proposals, how it is organized and implementation of the Plan. 
  • Land Use* - The Land Use Element establishes a comprehensive set of explicit goals, policies and implementation actions which will guide the future use and development of land within the City of San Mateo and the unincorporated area within its sphere of influence to the year 2030. 
  • Circulation - The Circulation Element describes existing and proposed roadways and other means of transportation such as public transit, bikeways, pedestrian routes and parking facilities. It analyzes traffic conditions and needed improvements so that existing and projected circulation needs may be adequately met. 
  • Housing*- The Housing Element serves to identify significant problems and resources associated with the provision of housing in the City of San Mateo. It provides policy direction in meeting the housing needs of the City, both in terms of preservation of existing housing stock and in establishing priorities for new construction. 
  • Urban Design* - Urban design refers to the physical form and development of a city from the individual neighborhood to the overall cityscape. 
  • Conservation - The Conservation, Open Space, Parks and Recreation Element (C/OS) sets forth the City’s goals and policies regarding the development, management, and preservation of San Mateo’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources. 
  • Safety - The Safety Element sets forth the City’s goals and policies which are intended to minimize risk to people and property associated with natural and man-made hazards. 
  • Noise - The Noise Element sets forth the City’s goals and policies regarding the control of environmental noise and the protection of citizens from excessive noise exposure.
  • Acknowledgements 
  • Glossary 
  • Maps and Appendices

Environmental Impact Reports

Measure Y Administrative Amendment to General Plan

In the November 2020 General Election, the residents of San Mateo approved Measure Y, a ballot initiative that applies to land use developments in the City through 2030. It sets forth maximum density and intensity of development through limits on building height, residential density and floor area. It also included a number of provisions that amended the City’s General Plan. Since Measure Y is a voter approved initiative, these amendments to the General Plan do not require approval by the City Council at a public hearing. Staff has completed the administrative changes necessary to incorporate the Measure Y ballot measure language into the General Plan. The General Plan’s Introduction, Land Use Element, Housing Element, Urban Design Element, Appendix B and Appendix C were amended and links to the amended text are noted with an “*”. 

Additionally, a copy of the City Council Resolution with the Measure Y ballot language is available for reference below:

Contact Information: If you have any questions or comments please contact Zachary Dahl, CDD Deputy Director, at (650) 522-7207 or by email