For your convenience, this alphabetical index cites available OPR publications. Click the appropriate letter of the alphabet to browse listings. The majority of the publications are in a .pdf format which may be viewed with Acrobat Reader downloadable directly from Adobe.
Many of these documents are several years old and statutory changes may have occurred since publication.
- Announcements from the State Clearinghouse
- Review the latest announcements from the SCH, including news about CEQA updates, Circulation and Notices, and Publications.
- Annual Planning Survey
As of 2012, the California Planners’ Book of Lists was discontinued. In its place, OPR now publishes the Directory of California Planning Agencies and the Annual Planning Survey Results.
The Annual Planning Survey Results includes an analysis of the results of the prior year’s Annual Planning Survey; the results of OPR’s 2011 Annual Planning Survey; a cumulative index of topics asked in previous Annual Planning Surveys; and, status of local General Plans.
- The California Advisory Handbook for Community and Military Compatibility Planning
- This document provides guidance to local governments, the military and developers on how to address local land use needs near military installations, trainings, and other activities. OPR has recently released a 2016 update to the Handbook which is designed to be interactive and user-friendly so that interested parties can easily navigate to areas of interest and key information most applicable to current needs. The update also contains new case studies that highlight best practices between local governments and the Military.
- CEQA and Climate Change Technical Advisory (June 2008)
- The emerging role of CEQA in addressing climate change and greenhouse gas emissions was the subject of much discussion and debate in 2008. As part of its continuing service to professional planners, land use officials, and CEQA practitioners, OPR, in collaboration with the California Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, provided this technical advisory containing informal guidance for public agencies as they address the issue of climate change in their CEQA documents. This technical advisory provides OPR's perspective on the issue as applicable in 2008 and precedes the development of draft implementing regulations for CEQA, in accordance with Senate Bill 97 (Chapter 185, Statutes of 2007).
- CEQA: The California Environmental Quality Act - Statutes and Guidelines
- CEQA, Public Resources Code section 21000 et seq., and the CEQA Guidelines promulgated by the Secretary of Resources.
- Climate Adaptation Finance and Investment in California
- In an effort to support local climate adaptation efforts, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research, through the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resilience Program (ICARP), developed a climate adaptation finance book, authored by Jesse M. Keenan from Harvard University. Climate Adpatation Finance and Investment in California is available as an e-book.
- The Conditional Use Permit (August 1997)
- A detailed discussion of the legal requirements for conditional use permits, intended to instruct planning staff.
- Directory of Planning Agencies (2021)
- Environmental Justice: A Review of State Responses - 2001
- In an effort to provide guidance to the California Environmental Justice Workgroup in implementing SB 115, this report from UC Hastings provides a brief overview of the federal environmental justice framework and a more comprehensive look at state environmental justice programs.
Environmental Justice Legislation
- Filing of Notices of Determination (NOD) with the State Clearinghouse (August 2000)
- The CEQA Guidelines identify the specific circumstances under which Lead Agencies must submit their draft EIRs, proposed Negative Declarations, and NODs to the SCH.
- Fire Hazard Planning (May 2015)
- This advisory is meant to assist city and county planners in cooperation with fire mitigation, preparedness and response professionals, and Fire Safe Councils, develop sound policies for fire hazard mitigation that can be incorporated into city and county general plans and corresponding planning documents.
- General Plan Guidelines (October 2017)
- This is a guide for local planners in preparing general plans and also for other local government officials and community members who may have less familiarity with planning theory, practice and land use law. This advisory guide is the state's only official document interpreting and explaining California's legal requirements for general plans. The newly revised Guidelines present a foundation upon which planning agencies can prepare their general plans to meet state legal requirements.
- General Plan Guidelines, Complete Streets and the Circulation Element (December 2010)
- This update to the 2003 General Plan Guidelines provides guidance on how cities and counties can modify the circulation element to plan for a balanced, multimodal transportation network that meets the needs of all users of the streets, roads, and highways for safe and convenient travel in a manner that is suitable to the rural, suburban, or urban context of the general plan.
- General Plan Annual Progress Report Guidance 2016 (April 2016)
- Cities and counties must submit an annual report on the status of the General Plan and progress in its implementation to their legislative bodies, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, and the Department of Housing and Community Development, (Government Code Section 65400(b)(1)). This guidance document outlines what types of information may be included in that report.
- How to File a NOD and NOE
- Legislative Bill Summaries
These publications are a compilation of bills that were passed by the Legislature during previous sessions and sent to the Governor’s Office for consideration, and that pertain to local and regional governance. These publications are intended to be comprehensive, but are not exhaustive of all bills that may be relevant to local and regional government.
- Mitigated Negative Declarations (December 2004)
- This publication discusses the requirements for preparing a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) and its necessary contents according to CEQA. The most recent legislative changes and court decisions are included to illustrate the circumstances under which a MND may be properly used.
- Notice of Completion (NOC)
- Lead agencies are required to notify OPR as soon as a Draft EIR is complete. If state review is required, the NOC must accompany the required 15 copies of the EIR submitted to OPR. CEQA Guidelines, Section 15085 discusses the requirement.
- Notice of Determination (NOD) and Notice of Exemption (NOE), How to File (November 2005)
- CEQA requires lead agencies to file a NOD upon approval of a project for which an EIR or Negative Declaration has been prepared. In addition, CEQA describes procedures for filing of a NOE upon approval of a project that is exempt from CEQA review.
- Notice of Determination (NOD)
- Lead and responsible agencies are required to notify OPR and/or the county clerk when they make a determination to approve a project subject to CEQA. CEQA Guidelines, Sections 15075 and 15094 outline the content requirements.
- Notice of Exemption (NOE)
- CEQA exempts from environmental review certain classes of projects specified in the CEQA statute or Guidelines. This notice informs OPR and/or the county clerk that the lead agency has determined that a project is exempt from CEQA review. CEQA Guidelines, Section 15062 discusses the content requirements.
- Notice of Preparation (NOP)
- This notice informs the public of the intent of the lead agency to prepare an EIR. CEQA Guidelines, Section 15082 discusses the required contents.
- Planning, Zoning, and Development Laws, 2012
- This is a compilation of California statutes pertaining to city and county planning and zoning activities. Also includes the Subdivision Map Act, the Outdoor Advertising Act, and the Delta Protection Act.
- Putting Action Into the Open Space Element: Techniques for Preserving Open Space and Farmland (Revised November 1997)
- According to state law, every local open space plan must have an "action program." An action program identifies specific techniques that a local government intends to pursue in implementing its open space element. This brief publication outlines a variety of possible action program measures. Many have been insufficiently publicized, but most have been used in California. The booklet does not describe zoning or agricultural preserves due to the availability of publications regarding these most commonly used programs.
- Submitting CEQA Documents to the State Clearinghouse (November 2005)
- This technical advisory offers information about the procedural requirements of CEQA. Included is a brief summary of the circumstances under which CEQA documents must be submitted to the SCH as well as information on identifying and working with Responsible and Trustee Agencies.
- Shortened Review Request Form (2006)
- Public Resources Code Section 21091 allows for shortened review periods under certain circumstances. Additional information on the shortened review process and requirements is provided in the SCH Handbook. A Shortened Review Request form is available to ensure that the requesting agency provides all the information necessary for the SCH to make a determination. However, use of this specific form is not a requirement of CEQA.
- State Clearinghouse Handbook (Revised June 2012)
- A technical guide for lead and responsible agencies, project proponents, and the public on SCH procedures for reviewing environmental documents.
- SB 379 Survey Report – Local Adaptation and Resiliency Planning
- This report includes information and analysis of the 2019 SB 379 survey conducted by OPR staff. The survey was a follow on action to the 2019 Annual Planning Survey to obtain information from a sample of local jurisdictions regarding their efforts in meeting SB 379 requirements.
- An Urban Strategy for California(February 1978)
- The Urban Strategy was adopted by Governor Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown as the State's environmental goals and policy report. It directed state government actions toward revitalization of existing cities, the sound management of new urban development, and the protection of the state's natural environment. The environmental goals and policy report is required by statute to articulate the state's policies on growth, development, and environmental quality and to serve as the basis for preparation of state functional plans (Government Code Sections 65041 through 65049).
- Workforce Development System (see California Workforce under C)
- ZEV Action Plan (Feb 2013)
- In March 2012, Governor Brown issued an executive order directing state government to help accelerate the market for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in California. This 2013 ZEV Action Plan identifies specific strategies and actions that state agencies will take to meet milestones of the executive order.