How Can I Use the General Plan?

The Hayward 2040 General Plan is intended for use by a variety of individuals and organizations, including residents, businesses, developers, City staff, the City Council, and appointed boards and commissions.  The web-based format of the General Plan allows users to search key words to quickly find topics of interest and to identify and review all related goals, policies, and implementation measures.  This feature provides a high-level of convenience for users.  However, it does have the potential to provide users with a narrow understanding of the full scope and breadth of the General Plan.  Users need to realize that the goals and policies throughout the General Plan are interrelated and should be examined comprehensively.  All goals and policies must be considered together when making decisions related to land use, growth, and development.

Below is a brief summary of how various individuals and groups can use the General Plan.


For Hayward residents, the General Plan indicates the general types of uses that are permitted around housing, the long-range plans and changes that may affect neighborhoods, the programs and services the City will develop or enhance to improve quality of life, and the policies the City will use to evaluate future development applications.  Sections of the General Plan that are probably of most interest to residents include the Vision and Guiding Principles (Part 2), and the following General Plan Elements (Part 3): Land Use and Community Character; Community Health and Quality of Life; Community Safety; Mobility; and Education and Lifelong Learning.

FAQ for Residents


For Hayward businesses, the General Plan outlines the actions that the City will take to help support local business and expand and diversify the local economy.  Sections of the General Plan that are probably of most interest to businesses include the Vision and Guiding Principles (Part 2), and the following General Plan Elements (Part 3): Economic Development; Education and Lifelong Learning; Land Use and Community Character; and Community Safety.

FAQ for Business Owners


For developers working within the City of Hayward, the General Plan provides an overview of the Hayward community, summarizes its vision for the future, and outlines the general policies and expectations for future development.  Developers should review all elements of the General Plan to gain an understanding of challenges and opportunities related to land use and economic development within the Hayward community.  Other applicable documents and ordinances, such as specific plans, area plans, form-based codes, the Zoning Ordinance, and Design Guidelines should also be reviewed to get a complete perspective on the City’s regulatory documents and processes.

FAQ for Developers

City Staff

The General Plan is a tool to help City staff make decisions related to programs and services, capital improvement projects, and land use and development applications.  It also provides the goal and policy framework for City staff to make land use recommendations to the City Council, Planning Commission, and other boards and commissions.  In addition, the General Plan provides a detailed implementation program that identifies actions to be completed by City staff.  The implementation programs can be used as a guide to establish annual work programs and budgets.

City Council, Boards, and Commissions

For the City Council and appointed boards and commissions, the General Plan is a tool to guide City decisions and capital improvement projects. Future land use and development decisions and infrastructure improvements must be consistent with the General Plan.  As a result, the General Plan provides the policy framework to be considered by the City Council, Planning Commission, and other appointed boards and commissions.

Partnering and Supporting Agencies

The City of Hayward will rely on partnerships with other supporting agencies to implement the General Plan.  These agencies include, but are not limited to, the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD), the East Bay Regional Park District, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the Hayward Unified School District, Alameda County, Chabot College, and Cal State University, East Bay.  The General Plan is intended to help these agencies as they contemplate actions that affect the Hayward community and help the City form partnerships in order to achieve the community’s vision for Hayward.