General Plan & Housing Element

Outside of Orinda theatre.
In 1987, two years after the City of Orinda incorporated, the City adopted its first General Plan which is a blueprint for the community's long-term vision for the future. In 2015, the Housing Element of the General Plan was updated following a robust public process. The new Housing Element ("5th Cycle") is effective through 2023.

Public Workshops


A generation later, in 2010 the City embarked on the process of updating its General Plan with a focus on the downtown. Public input is the cornerstone upon which a successful General Plan is built. To that end, in 2010 and 2011, the City held a series of public workshops and solicited input through a survey to which almost 1,000 residents responded.
Overwhelmingly, the message we heard from our residents is that while improvements to the quality and range of services and retail stores in both the Village and Crossroads sides of downtown are desired, residents wish to preserve and enhance Orinda's unique small town character. As we proceed through the process of updating and reaffirming the community's vision for the future, we will continue to solicit public input each step of the way. No decisions will be made about the plans for the future development of the downtown without public meetings.


Constant Evaluations


As a part of the process of updating our General Plan, the City will also continue to evaluate the options available to accommodate the changing housing needs of our aging population, to meet the needs of young families and households without children and to meet the requirements of state housing laws.

Downtown Planning & Housing FAQs


As the City engages the public in the process of updating the General Plan, we have heard several frequently asked questions primarily pertaining to housing issues. For frequently asked questions and answers refer to the Downtown Planning and Housing FAQs (PDF).

Additional Information


For additional information on the Housing Element including access to more documents, please visit our Housing Element page.