Land Planning
for Pinole

Housing, Health & Safety, and
Environmental Justice Element Updates

The City of Pinole is in the process of updating portions of its General Plan. The City’s Housing Element and Health and Safety Element are being updated, while a new Environmental Justice Element is being created.

Public participation is a fundamental component of any land use and policy update and the City invites you to share your voice and experience through participation in online surveys and community workshops geared at obtaining “local knowledge” about housing, health and safety, and environmental justice.

The 6th Cycle Housing Element was adopted on April 4, 2023 and has been revised as of June 8, 2023 based on formal review comments received from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) letter dated June 5, 2023.

HCD approved the June 8, 2023 Pinole Housing Element Update by letter of substantial compliance dated July 20, 2023.

The State previously reviewed prior Housing Element update drafts and provided the following review comment letters:
HCD Letter #1 - March 2, 2023
HCD Letter #2 - June 5, 2023

Public comments can be submitted to



The survey period closed on August 15th.
For comments or questions on results, please reach us at

Project Schedule

Project schedule image showing public outreach timeframe and adoption timeframe

Housing Element Update

The City’s existing 5th Cycle Housing Element of the General Plan was approved in 2015 and details the City's housing goals from 2015 through 2023. The Housing Element is part of the City’s General Plan and is required to be updated every eight years. The City’s Housing Element performs the following functions:

  • Analyzes the City’s demographics, economics and housing supply
  • Analyzes housing constraints and resources
  • Evaluates sites appropriate for potential housing
  • Develops housing goals, objectives, policies, and programs

The current 6th Cycle update presents new challenges to all jurisdictions across the State including the increase in the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) to local jurisdictions, strict housing site eligibility requirements, and new housing laws that address local policies aimed at managing growth. This update is required to be submitted to the State by January 31st, 2023. To meet this date, the City has developed the following schedule.


Housing Element Requirements

The Housing Element must be consistent with statewide housing laws, housing element guidelines, and the goals and policies pursuant to the California Government Code. The City’s Housing Element must clearly demonstrate that the City has sufficient capacity to accommodate the number of housing units identified in the RHNA, in which the State estimates each region's housing needs for all income groups every eight years.

On May 20, 2021, the Association of Bay Area of Governments (ABAG) released its final draft allocation of housing units for each jurisdiction in its region, which can be found here. For the current RHNA cycle, the City of Pinole has been allocated 500 dwelling units for the 2023-2031 period at the following income levels:

  • Very-low income: 121 units
  • Low income: 69 units
  • Moderate income: 89 units
  • Above-moderate income: 223 units

Additional information on RHNA can be found at Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and at California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

Public Involvement

We Need Your Input! Who in our community has the greatest need for housing and related services? How concerned are you about evacuating in the event of a disaster? Are you worried about health risks associated with climate vulnerability (such as wildfire, flood, sea level rise)? Does everyone in Pinole have access to affordable and healthy food? Your knowledge and observations are critical.


The survey period closed on August 15th.
For comments or questions on results, please reach us at


Please click this link to view the final survey results!
The comprehensive outreach summary will be posted to the website soon.

Upcoming Events

Health and Safety

The goal of the Health and Safety Element is to reduce the potential short and long-term risk of death, injuries, property damage, and economic and social dislocation resulting from fires, floods, droughts, earthquakes, landslides, climate change, and other hazards. This element is required to identify hazards and hazard abatement provisions to guide local decisions related to zoning, subdivisions, and entitlement permits. Other locally relevant safety issues, such as airport land use, emergency response, hazardous materials spills, and crime reduction, may also be included.

The Health and Safety Element must, consistent with Government Code Section 65302(g), provide for the protection of the community from any unreasonable risks associated with the effects of:

  • Seismically induced surface rupture, ground shaking, ground failure
  • Tsunami, seiche, and dam failure
  • Slope instability leading to mudslides and landslides
  • Subsidence
  • Liquefaction
  • Other seismic hazards identified pursuant to Chapter 7.8 (commencing with Section 2690) of Division 2 of the Public Resources Code, and other geologic hazards known to the legislative body
  • Flooding
  • Wildland and urban fires
  • Climate change

Policies in the Health and Safety Element identify hazards and emergency response priorities, as well as mitigation through avoidance of hazards by new projects and reduction of risk in developed areas. As California confronts mounting climate change impacts, local governments are now required to include a climate change vulnerability assessment, measures to address vulnerabilities, and comprehensive hazard mitigation and emergency response strategy complementary to the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP).

Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice is defined by California Government Code Section 65040.12[e] as “the fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, and incomes with respect to the development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.”

Senate Bill 1000 requires inclusion of Environmental Justice principles in updated General Plans beginning January 1, 2018 when two or more elements of a General Plan are updated.

The requirement for the City to update both the Housing Element and the Health and Safety Element triggered the need to prepare an Environmental Justice Element and evaluate any areas of the City which may constitute Communities of Focus because they have a higher proportion of disadvantages. These Communities of Focus are areas which have a higher amount of environmental, economic, and social challenges in relation to other areas of the City. The Environmental Justice Element will establish policies and goals to ensure that any Communities of Focus have the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment to live, learn, and work.

Topics related to environmental justice include:

  • Pollution exposure including air quality, water quality, and land use compatibility
  • Public facilities
  • Food access
  • Safe and sanitary homes including housing location, quality, and affordability
  • Physical activity including accessibility to public transit, employment, and services
  • Additional unique or compounded health risks including climate vulnerability (i.e., high fire threat areas, sea level rise, high flood or seismic risk areas, etc.)
  • Civic or community engagement
  • Prioritization of improvements for communities of focus

Although only jurisdictions that identify a community of focus are required to incorporate environmental justice goals, policies, and programs, all communities are impacted by land use and other planning decisions that impact health. It is good planning practice for all jurisdictions, including Pinole, to consider integrating environmental justice policies and adopting a more holistic planning approach in the general plan or other local planning documents to promote equity and protect human health from environmental hazards.