Community-centered Contra Costa 2045? Your input matters

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Nov. 16, 2023) — Imagine a Contra Costa in 2045 that is an inclusive community where residents feel safe and secure in their homes.

Housing is affordable at all income levels. Each community has benefitted from an equitable, growing economy that is sustainable and just. All residents enjoy clean air and have access to safe and reliable public transportation. The county’s natural landscapes are still preserved. Civic actions reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved community resilience and adapted to climate change.

The 2045 Contra Costa County General Plan seeks to make this vision a reality.

For the first time since 1991, the county is updating it General Plan. The 2045 General Plan is the county’s primary policy tool to guide physical changes in unincorporated areas over the next 20 years.

The Department of Conservation and Development (DCD) has led this update process, which started in 2018. DCD held 35 workshops with policymakers and advisors, 97 community and stakeholder meetings which 1,270 people attended, and 4,600 comments were submitted online.

Out of the input, four major themes emerged to guide the 2045 General Plan: environmental justice, community health, economic development and sustainability.

The environmental justice policies expressed in the 2045 General Plan are meant to improve the quality of life and health outcomes of communities that have experienced historic discrimination, pollution, and social and economic disadvantages. The community health policies promote healthy lifestyles and reduce exposure to pollutants. The economic development policies aim to develop the county’s workforce, and support and attract sustainable businesses that create living wage jobs. The sustainability policies encourage the conservation of natural resources, improve resiliency, reduce pollution and protect the environment.

Draft plan

DCD has released the draft 2045 General Plan. Eight elements address the four major themes: stronger communities; land use; transportation; conservation, open space and working lands; public facilities and services; health and safety; growth management; and housing.

Land use will examine the planned uses for each parcel in the unincorporated areas. It should be noted that each incorporated city has its own general plan for parcels within city limits. The land use section looks at the development standards and density for future development.

Since each unincorporated community has unique characteristics and specific needs, the 2045 General Plan includes 22 community profiles. These set a vision for the specific needs of each of the unincorporated communities. The community of Contra Costa Centre is included in District IV.

With these significant updates and changes, I encourage all county residents to provide input and submit your comments on the 2045 General Plan at Here you will find draft plans and upcoming public meetings that you are welcome to attend. The deadline for submitting comments is Jan. 31, 2024.

Ken Carlson is Contra Costa County District IV supervisor. Email questions or comments to Carlson at or call his office at 925-655-2350.