Every city and county in the state is required by state law to adopt and maintain a valid General Plan as a plan "for the physical development" of land within its jurisdiction.  After a lengthy process, El Dorado County adopted its current General Plan in 2004.  The General Plan assigns a Land Use Designation (LUD), represented by a color on the Land Use Map, to every parcel in the County.  Further, the plan describes allowed uses within each Land Use Designation, and for the residential LUDs, defines the allowable range of density. 

The General Plan is often described as the "constitution" for land use -- all other land use decisions, including zoning, must be consistent with the Land Use Designation (LUD).

We have developed a series of interactive maps depicting the General Plan Land Use Designations of parcels by Supervisorial District.  Try "zooming in" to find your home or other property.

District 1 General Plan Land Use Map 
District 2 General Plan Land Use Map 
District 3 General Plan Land Use Map 
District 4 General Plan Land Use Map 
District 5 General Plan Land Use Map 

Table 1, below, compiles information from the General Plan into a single source to define the Land Use Designation (or "color"), the type of use (such as Low Density Residential or Industrial), the permitted range of densities for residential uses (where allowed), and the Zones consistent with the land use.  The table also identifies whether the Land Use Designations are allowed only in Rural Regions (such as Natural Resources and Agricultural Lands), only in Community Regions and Rural Centers (such as Multifamily Residential or High Density Residential), or in all areas (such as Low Density Residential).

Table 1. GP Land Use, Density and Zoning Consistency Matrix

Finally, the allowed uses and range of densities for each Land Use Designation are described in General Plan Policy

For more information, please refer to our Land Use and Zoning Paper, February 1, 2016.  Information is also available on the County of El Dorado website at TGPA/ZOU Information.  The County maintains an interactive mapping tool that will allow you to search the General Plan Land Use Designation and current or prior zoning of any parcel.

Zoning implements the General Plan through a series of Zone Districts that regulate allowed land uses and development standards.  State law requires zoning to be consistent with the General Plan.  Accordingly, upon adoption of the 2004 General Plan, one of the first "Implementation Measures" was an update of the Zoning Ordinance for consistency with the new plan.  The update was to be completed within a year after adoption of the plan.  The process took much longer, and was finally completed on December 15, 2015.

The Zoning Ordinance Update does not change the General Plan - it implements the plan.  

As part of the strategy to "keep us rural", the 2004 voter-approved General Plan accommodates most future commercial development, and about 75% of future housing growth within the communities of El Dorado Hills, Cameron Park, Shingle Springs, El Dorado/Diamond Springs, and unincorporated area on the outskirts of the City of Placerville.  Known as Community Regions, these areas comprise only about 32,000 acres of land located along the Highway 50 corridor in areas with access to public services and infrastructure such as public sewer and water facilities and major roads.

Much of the area is already developed, raising questions about how much residential land is available to accommodate the growth forecast and where the growth will occur.  Our recent research paper uses detailed maps and tables, and tables to address these and other questions.  For the full report, see Land Use Planning in El Dorado County: Community Regions, October 2015

Maps from this report are often called the "Black Maps" because land considered unavailable for future residential use is depicted in black, and available residential land is shown various colors. The "Black Maps" for each Community Region and the overall area are shown below.

El Dorado Hills Community Region "Black Map"
Cameron Park Community Region "Black Map"
Shingle Springs Community Region "Black Map"
El Dorado/Diamond Springs CR "Black Map"
Overall Community Region "Black Map"