CA Government Code Section 65300 requires each city and county in CA to adopt a General Plan "for the physical development of the county or city, and any land outside its boundaries which... bears relation to its planning." The Ceres General Plan can be considered the city's development constitution, containing both a statement of the community's vision of its long-term development as well as the policies to support that vision by guiding the physical growth of the city. The proposed General Plan contains policies to guide decision-making related to development, housing, transportation, environmental quality, public services, parks, and open spaces. The proposed General Plan is a document to be adopted by the City Council that serves the following purposes:
Establish a long-range vision that reflects the aspirations of the community and outlines steps to achieve this vision;
Establish long-range development policies that will guide City departments, Planning Commission, and City Council decision-making;
Provide a basis for judging whether specific development proposals and public projects are in harmony with plan policies;
Plan in a manner that meets future land needs based on the projected population and job growth;
Allow City departments, other public agencies, and private developers to design projects that will enhance the character of the community, preserve environmental resources, and minimize hazards; and
Provide the basis for establishing and setting priorities for detailed plans and implementing programs, such as zoning ordinance, subdivision regulations, specific and master plans, and the Capital Improvement Program.