Planning and Development

Long-Range Plans and the Development Code

Long-Range Plans and the Development Code

The City of Fresno uses a variety of long-range plans to chart a successful future for Fresno. Some plans look at the entire city, while others may focus on a district or neighborhood. The Development Code (aka Zoning Ordinance) implements the land use component of these plans by regulating the development of property into houses, apartments, shopping centers, and mixed use neighborhoods as envisioned in the long range-plans.

General Plan

California State Law requires every city and county to adopt a comprehensive General Plan to guide its future development. The General Plan essentially serves as a “constitution for development”— the document that serves as the foundation for all land use decisions. Every jurisdiction’s General Plan includes seven required “Elements” that are mandated by State law; local governments may adopt additional optional Elements to address local priorities and planning goals.

The Fresno General Plan was adopted on December 18, 2014. It is forward‐looking, comprehensive, and long‐range. It supports the community’s vision to preserve the desirable qualities that make the city of Fresno an ideal place to live, work, and play. The Plan recommends strategies to address prevalent existing conditions and trends that impede achieving and maintaining greater human, community, environmental, and economic health and prosperity. The Plan envisions Fresno as a vibrant, growing city, infused with a sense of heritage and community.

The Plan describes a balanced city with an appropriate proportion of its growth and reinvestment focused in the central core, Downtown, established neighborhoods, and along Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors. A successful and vibrant Downtown is necessary to attract investment needed for infill development and rehabilitation of established neighborhoods, which are priorities for the Plan.

Balancing a vibrant Downtown will be self‐sufficient suburban Development Areas. This will result in a city with a revitalized Downtown and established neighborhoods and with livable new suburban neighborhoods supporting one another.

Entire Plan

By Chapter


The California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) has General Plan Guidelines that all jurisdictions must follow. Each year, all jurisdictions are required to provide OPR and the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) with a General Plan Annual Progress Report (GP APR) per Government Code Sections 65400 and 65700. The GP APR summarizes progress made on implementation of General Plan policies over a given year.

California state law also requires that the City present the GP APR to the public. The purpose of the public hearing is to afford the public an opportunity to provide public testimony and written comment on the GP APRs. Each year, the City makes available the GP APRs to the public via this web site. Below you will find downloadable GP APRs and pertinent documents.

Housing Element


The City of Fresno Housing Element is a comprehensive strategy for promoting the production of safe, decent, and affordable housing for all community residents. The current Housing Element, which is valid until 2023, includes 28 programs that together make up the City’s housing strategy.

Fresno Housing Element, adopted on April 13, 2017


The City of Fresno is partnering with community organizations to host housing element workshops. See bilingual flyer for dates and locations.


State law requires an Annual Progress Report (APR) for each calendar year. The report is intended for the public and decision-makers to track progress on Housing Element programs. To learn about the current Annual Progress Report, Public Workshops are held every spring. Below are the Housing APRs that have been completed to date, along with multilingual highlights brochures and presentations. For the General Plan Annual Progress Reports please click on this link: General Plan APR

2022 City of Fresno Annual Progress Report Presentation
2022 City of Fresno Annual Progress Report Response to Public Comment
2022 City of Fresno Annual Progress Report
2021 City of Fresno Annual Progress Report
2021 City of Fresno Annual Progress Report Presentation
2021 Highlights Brochure, English
2021 Highlights Brochure, Spanish
2021 Highlights Brochure, Hmong
2021 Highlights Brochure, Punjabi
2020 City of Fresno Annual Progress Report
2020 Highlights Brochure, English
2020 Highlights Brochure, Spanish
2020 Highlights Brochure, Hmong
2020 Highlights Brochure, Punjabi
2020 City of Fresno Annual Progress Report Presentation
April 20, 2021, Workshop Recording
April 27, 2021, Workshop Recording
2019 City of Fresno Annual Progress Report
2018 City of Fresno Annual Progress Report
2017 City of Fresno Annual Progress Report Presentation
2017 City of Fresno Annual Progress Report Presentation
2017 Highlights Brochure – English
2017 Highlights Brochure – Spanish
2017 Highlights Brochure – Hmong


The Anti Displacement Task Force was established by City Council resolution 2018-277 on November 29, 2018, to explore ways to provide opportunities for low-income residents and merchants to remain in their neighborhoods if displacement is observed due to substantial and sustained increases in rent. The Anti Displacement Task Force may analyze data and recommend resolutions related to all causes and areas of displacement beyond those called for in the Housing Element, so long as the requirements of Housing Element Program 12A are satisfied.

12/16/2021 Meeting Summary
12/16/2021 Agenda
10/28/2021 Agenda
10/28/2021 Meeting Summary  
10/28/2021 Presentation
10/12/2021 Agenda
10/12/2021 Meeting Summary
10/12/2021 Presentation
6/14/2021 Workshop Agenda
2/23/2021 Agenda
2/23/2021 Meeting Summary
9/21/2020 Agenda
9/21/2020 Meeting Summary
6/1/2020 Agenda
6/1/2020 Meeting Summary
10/7/2019 Agenda
6/3/2019 Agenda
6/3/2019 Meeting Summary

ADTF Resolution and Program Area Map
ADTF meeting Agenda 4-29-2019
Presentations from 4-29-2019 meeting
4-29-2019 Meeting Video

Draft 2019 Downtown Displacement Report – English
Draft 2019 Downtown Displacement Report – Spanish


Adoption is expected to occur in late 2023.  Updates will be posted as more information becomes available.

Citywide Development Code

The Citywide Development Code (also referred to as the Zoning Code) establishes zone districts, permitted uses, use regulations, development standards, and development procedures.

The Development Code

Interactive City Map

See also:


The City of Fresno adopted an updated Development Code on December 3, 2015.

Why Was the Development Code Updated?

Like most cities, Fresno has a Development Code, also known as the Zoning Ordinance. The Code is the DNA of the city. It provides rules for development which ensure that Fresno’s growth will take place in an attractive, orderly manner. What parts of the city should have housing, and where are retail businesses allowed? Where can they be mixed together? The Development Code establishes these rules.
In December of 2014, the City Council adopted a new General Plan, which is the grand vision for Fresno’s next twenty years. Normally, the Development Code is an essential tool for implementing this vision, but the former Code had not been updated since the early 1960s and didn’t reflect the fact that tastes and needs have changed over the past five decades. Although there had been several piecemeal efforts to make modifications to the 1962 Code, such amendments resulted in a fragmented code that was difficult to comprehend. A fresh start was needed in order to implement the new vision.

The new code reflects contemporary planning and business practices and sets clear, but fair, criteria for new development. Proposals that conform to the new vision will have a streamlined approval process, which will boost economic development. In addition, infill has never been as feasible in Fresno as it will be under the new Development Code, ensuring that we have balanced growth in the coming years.

For more information on why the Code was updated and how the new Code works, see the User’s Guide to the New Development Code .

The Adoption Process and Associated Materials

Preliminary work on the new Code began in 2010. City staff, consultants, and local stakeholders worked for several years to construct a draft that would achieve the vision of the General Plan, meet local market conditions, would be far easier to use than the old Code. On March 31, 2015 the Public Review Draft of the new Development Code was released. The public comment period was open until June 1. During this period, the City received more than 40 comment letters with over 400 individual suggestions. Staff assessed all of them and incorporated many into the Planning Commission and City Council Review Draft, which was released on September 11, 2015 (Clean Version | Redline Version ).

Click on the following links for additional materials which were released with the September 11 draft to help explain a) how the new Development Code will work and b) what had changed since the March 31 Public Review Draft.

Valley Code Comparison
Response to Comments
Summary of Major Changes

The Planning Commission held a hearing on September 30, 2015 and recommended approval of the draft with changes .

The City Council held workshops on the Code on November 3 and 12. A hearing to receive public comment was held on the evening of November 12. The Code was considered by the Council and approved for introduction on November 19. The second reading and adoption of the Code was December 3rd.

During the November 19 hearing, the Council tabled sections 15-1004-E, 15-1005, 15-1104-F, and 15-1105 with instruction to revise and reintroduce them within 30 days. The sections were brought back before the Council on December 17 where they were continued to a future hearing.

On December 3, changes were made by the Council to sections 15-1102 (small scale entertainment in the Neighborhood Mixed-Use district), 15-2741, Mobile Vendors, and 15-2750, Recycling Facilities. These changes were adopted on their second reading on December 17, 2015.

Update to Exhibit D: Revisions – November 18, 2015
City Council Review Draft Redline – November 9, 2015

Downtown Plans and Code


Downtown Fresno transforming
For several years local and national experts have been working with elected officials and residents to craft and implement plans for the renaissance of Downtown Fresno and the surrounding neighborhoods. Fresno’s historic development patterns and current market conditions, as well as best practices from across the nation, were explored in depth in order to find the best way forward. The result is four comprehensive documents that will guide us to a revival of the heart of our city. The Downtown Plans and Code were adopted in October of 2016.

The Fulton Corridor Specific Plan presents an exciting vision for the heart of the city and a comprehensive program of projects, which will make that vision a reality.
The Fulton Corridor Specific Plan

The Downtown Neighborhoods Community Plan assesses the conditions in several neighborhoods near Downtown and explores ways that they can be revitalized.
The Downtown Neighborhoods Community Plan

The Downtown Development Code implements the vision of the two above plans by creating new regulations for private development. In the Downtown core, a form-based code is utilized which focuses on creating dense and attractive urban buildings that shape pleasing public spaces. In the neighborhoods, major streets are envisioned to transform into walkable mixed-use, multi-modal corridors, while residential areas will be preserved and enhanced with complimentary infill projects guided by the code. The Downtown Development Code is now a part of the Fresno Municipal Code, available here:

The Downtown Development Code

View a zoning comparison map: compares Downtown’s new zoning with the former regulations

The Environment Impact Report assesses the plans and code subject to the California Environment Quality Act.
The Environment Impact Report (34 MB)

1 – Title Page
2 – Environment Impact Report Table of Contents
A – Downtown Neighborhoods Community Plan
B – Fulton Corridor Specific Plan
C – Downtown Development Code
D – NOP and Scoping Comments
E – Air Quality
F – Biological Resources Inventory Results
G – Greenhouse Gas
H – Hazards
I – Noise Modeling
J – Traffic Data
K – Utility Technical Report


Additional Information
For additional information, send an email to [email protected] or call (559) 621-8003.

Specific Plans

Specific Plans focus on neighborhoods that contain certain characteristics that are deemed desirable or reflect a certain planning trend. In Fresno, these specific areas include:

Butler-Willow Specific
Fulton Corridor Specific Plan
Highway City Neighborhood
North Avenue Industrial Triangle
Southwest Fresno Specific Plan
Sun Garden Acres Specific Plan
Tower District Specific Plan
Tower District Design Guidelines
Yosemite Specific Plan


Neighborhood Plans

There are two Neighborhood Plans in Fresno. One is El Dorado Park near Fresno State, and the other is Pinedale near River Park
Pinedale Neighborhood Plan
The Pinedale Neighborhood Plan is a component of the Bullard Community Plan.
El Dorado Park Neighborhood Plan
The El Dorado Park Neighborhood Plan is a component of the Hoover Community Plan.

Program Environmental Impact Report for the City of Fresno General Plan Amendment No. P19-04226

The City of Fresno is preparing a Program Environmental Impact Report for the continued implementation of the approved Fresno General Plan, text changes to the Mobility and Transportation Element related to Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) analysis, and an update to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan. This update, consistent with Section 15168 of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines, is intended to streamline the implementation of the General Plan’s programs and projects by supporting them with updated environmental analysis, regulatory framework, and mitigation measures, pursuant to CEQA. Two major goals of updating the EIR include:

  • Complying with new legislation as it relates to various resource topic area as defined by CEQA; and
  • Updating the technical analyses to reflect the current baseline conditions of 2019.

Final Program Environmental Impact Report – July 2021
Note to reader: the FPEIR consists of the Recirculated Draft Program EIR from March 2021, the Draft PEIR from March 2020, and the Response to Comments documents from July 2020 and 2021respectively.

Response to Comments – July 2021

Appendix L – Comment Letters
Appendix M – Settlement Agreement
Appendix N – Settlement Agreement Summary

Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program

Recirculate Draft Program Environmental Impact Report – March 2021


Upcoming Public Hearing Dates:
Planning Commission: August 4, 2021 at 6:00 PM
City Council: August 19 at 10:00 AM

Final Program Environmental Impact Report (FPEIR)
Note to reader: the FPEIR consists of the Draft Program EIR and the Response to Comments documents
View the Draft Program Environmental Impact Report
View the Response to Comments

A: Notice of Preparation
B: Public Scoping Comments
C: Air Quality – Caleemod Output Files
D: Biological Resources
E: Native American Consultation
F: Geology and Soils
G: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan Update
H: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Summary
I: Noise
J: Traffic Impact Analysis

View the Updated Notice of Availability with 15-day Time Extension for Public Comment
View the Notice of Availability

About the Project Area
The General Plan Planning Area encompasses approximately 106,000 acres and includes all areas within the City’s current City limits and the current Sphere of Influence.

View Fresno Planning Boundary Map

Notice of Preparation (NOP)
Pursuant to provisions of CEQA, the City has prepared a Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the proposed project. Once a decision is made to prepare an EIR, the lead agency must prepare a NOP to inform all responsible and trustee agencies that an EIR will be prepared (CEQA Guidelines Section 15082). The purpose of this NOP is to provide agencies, interested parties, and organizations with sufficient information describing the proposed project and the potential environmental effects to enable meaningful input related to the scope and content of information to be included in the EIR.

View Notice of Preparation

Public Review Period for the NOP
The NOP is being circulated for public review and comment for a period of 30 days beginning May 16, 2019. Comments in response to the NOP will be accepted through 5 p.m., June 17, 2019. Please send your written comments to Ms. Pagoulatos and include your name, address, and phone number and/or email address so that we may contact you for clarification, if necessary.

Sophia Pagoulatos, Planning Manager
Development and Resource Management
2600 Fresno Street, Room 3065
Fresno, CA 93721
(559) 621-8062
[email protected]

Scoping Meeting
The City held a public scoping meeting to inform interested parties about the General Plan PEIR and to provide agencies and the public with an opportunity to provide comments on the scope and content of the PEIR. The meeting time and location was as follows:

Fresno City Hall
Room 2165 (Meeting Room A), Second Floor
2600 Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93721
Date: May 21, 2019
Time: 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

View Scoping Meeting Presentation

Work Program Outline
Task 1 – Project Initiation
1.1 Technical Advisory Committee Formation
1.2 Kick-Off Meeting
1.3 Data Collection/Document Review
1.4 Notice of Preparation
Task 2 – Project Description
Task 3 – Administrative Draft EIR
3.1 Aesthetics
3.2 Agriculture and Forestry Resources
3.3 Air Quality
3.4 Biological Resources
3.5 Cultural Resources
3.6 Geology and Soils
3.7 Greenhouse Gas Emissions
3.8 Hazards and Hazardous Materials
3.9 Hydrology and Water Quality
3.10 Land Use and Planning
3.11 Mineral Resources
3.12 Noise
3.13 Population and Housing
3.14 Public Services and Recreation
3.15 Transportation and Traffic
3.16 Tribal Cultural Resources
3.17 Utilities and Service Systems
3.18 Energy Conservation
3.19 Alternatives Analysis
3.20 CEQA-Required Assessment Conclusions
3.21 Other Chapters
Task 4 – Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan Update
4.1 Provide an Evidence-Based 2020 Reduction Target
4.2 SB 32 Alignment of the GHG Reduction Plan
4.3 Monitoring Tools Update
4.4 Draft GHG Reduction Plan Update
Task 5 – Screencheck Draft EIR
Task 6 – Public Review Draft EIR
Task 7 – Administrative Final EIR/Response to Comments
7.1 Administrative Final EIR/Response to Comments
7.2 Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program
Task 8 – Screencheck Final EIR/Response to Comments
Task 9 – Final EIR/Response to Comments
Task 10 – CEQA Findings and Statement of Overriding Considerations
Task 11 – Project Management Meeting

The City of Fresno will receive public comments on the Draft PEIR from March 6 through April 20, 2020. Written comments should be received no later than 5pm (PST) on April 20, 2020. Please send your written comments to Sophia Pagoulatos and include your name, address, and phone number and/or email address so that we may contact you for clarification, if necessary.  Comments may be made in person, by first class mail, facsimile or email to:

City of Fresno
Planning and Development Department
2600 Fresno Street, Room 3065
Fresno, CA 93721
Attention: Sophia Pagoulatos, Planning Manager
Telephone: (559) 621-8062  Fax: (559) 498-1026
Email: [email protected]

Public Disclaimer
Please be advised, in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Brown Act, all forms of community feedback and public input that is provided to the City of Fresno will be made available to the general public.

Highway 41 + North Corridor Complete Streets Plan

The City of Fresno and Habitat for Humanity are working together to empower the Highway 41 and North Avenue neighborhood by facilitating a complete streets plan. A Caltrans Environmental Justice grant was awarded for the project, and planning is now underway. The plan will be the neighborhood’s vision of safe and improved streets for pedestrians, transit, bicycles, and vehicles. The final recommendations for the plan are expected by fall of 2015 and will be incorporated into the Southwest Fresno Specific Plan. If you are interested in participating or would like more information, please contact Sophia Pagoulatos, Supervising Planner, at [email protected] or at (559) 621-8062.

Old Fig Garden Transportation Land Use Study

The Old Fig Garden Community Transportation and Land Use Study is a planning effort that is based on the initiative of the Fig Garden Homeowners Association (HOA), who approached both the County and the City of Fresno to engage in addressing issues of pressing importance to Fig Garden residents. The Fig Garden area has been threatened by increasing traffic and by the rapidly urbanizing arterial streets of Ashlan, Blackstone, Shaw and Shields Avenues, as well as other collectors in the Study Area.

Parks Master Plan

imagine Fresno


The City of Fresno City Council adopted the Fresno Parks Master Plan on December 14, 2017. The adopted version of the Fresno Parks Master Plan can be viewed and downloaded by clicking on the following links:


The City of Fresno City Council approved the Fresno Parks Vision Plan on December 1, 2016. The approved version of the Fresno Parks Vision Plan can be viewed and downloaded by clicking on the following link:


Planning Commission Hearing – Advisory

December 6, 2017

City Council Hearing – Final Action

December 14, 2017

Public comment is welcome at both hearings. Please come and let your Planning Commissioners and City Councilmembers hear your thoughts about parks in our city and the final Parks Master Plan document.

Southern Blackstone Avenue Smart Mobility Plan

Southern Blackstone Avenue Smart Mobility Plan Area

The City of Fresno, in partnership with Fresno Metro Ministries and the Local Government Commission, is kicking off a project that will utilize an extensive and intensive community-based effort to develop a complete streets strategy to increase the effective range of public transit and serve the needs of all modes and users, particularly bicyclists and pedestrians. Improvements include the following:

  1. Increased safety and access for all travel modes
  2. Enhanced streetscapes with gateway and wayfinding signage
  3. Safe and convenient pedestrian crossings
  4. Safe and convenient bicycle access
  5. Convenient and accessible transit
  6. Better connection to adjacent neighborhoods
  7. Improved accessibility and appeal for existing and future businesses

About the Project Area
The project area is 2.5 miles of the southern segment of the corridor and extends from Dakota Avenue to Highway 180. The project area includes three activity centers:

  1. Shields/Manchester: extending from Dakota Avenue to Princeton Avenue
  2. Weldon/Fresno City College: extending from Princeton Avenue to Hedges Avenue
  3. Olive/Tower Gateway: extending from Hedges Avenue to Highway 180

Community Engagement Events

Open House
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Manchester Shopping Center, Room 208
1901 E. Shields Avenue
Fresno, CA 93726

Open House
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Ted C. Wills
770 N. San Pablo Avenue
Fresno, CA 93728

Smart Mobility Flyer

Scope of Work

Task 1 – Conditions and Needs Assessment

  • Identify implementation and funding barriers and opportunities

Task 2 – Initial Community Engagement

  • Identify property and business owner, and other stakeholder interest and needs for implementation tools and funding

Task 3 – Charrette

  • Identify additional implementation needs and opportunities
  • Communicate relationship between design concepts and implementation strategies

Task 4 – Implementation Strategies

  • Refine strategies for implementation, local funding, and funding
  • Prepare memorandum and funding matrix for potential improvements

Task 5 – Draft and Finalize Plan

  • Draft and finalize the plan for acceptance by Caltrans and City Council

To be involved in the planning process, please contact Rodney Horton at [email protected] or (559) 621-8181.

Public Disclaimer

Please be advised, in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Brown Act, all forms of community feedback and public input that is provided to the City of Fresno will be made available to the general public.

Southwest Fresno Specific Plan and EIR

The Southwest Fresno Specific Plan process kicked off in the Spring of 2015 and was completed in October of 2017.

Latest News:
The Southwest Fresno Specific Plan was adopted by the Fresno City Council on October 26, 2017.  The plan can be accessed at the link below.

Southwest Fresno Specific Plan Final Version, Adopted October 26, 2017
Southwest Fresno Specific Plan – October 2017 Redline
Final Program Environmental Impact Report

Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (DPEIR)

Technical Appendices, including the Southwest Fresno Specific Plan and Revision Memo

Questions may be directed to [email protected] or (559) 621-8180.  Para información en español, comuníquense con Sophia Pagoulatos al número de teléfono (559) 621-8062.

General Information

Existing Conditions Profile

Environmental Impact Report

An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is being prepared for the Southwest Fresno Specific Plan. Check this section for public documents related to the EIR

Steering Committee Meetings

Public Workshops
Workshop 1: September 15, 2015

Workshop 2: October 13, 2015

Workshop 3: February 16, 2016

Workshop 4: February 23, 2017

Topic Groups