General Plan

The Nevada County General Plan was originally approved by the Board of Supervisors in 1996. The General Plan has been subsequently amended in 2008 (Safety Element), in 2010 (Circulation Element and Housing Element, 4th Revision) and in 2014 (Land Use Element and Housing Element, 5th Revision). More recently the Board of Supervisors has adopted amendments to the Safety and Noise Elements in October 2014.

Policy Guide

The Nevada County General Plan is the long-term policy guide for the physical, economic and environmental future of the County. It is comprised of goals, objectives, policies, and implementation measures, which are based upon assessments of current and future needs and available resources, and which are intended to carry out the four central themes which are critical to the future of Nevada County and its quality of life.

Community Values

The General Plan is a dynamic document because it is based on community values and an understanding of existing and projected conditions and needs, all of which are subject to change over time. It is the intent of the County that this General Plan provide both for a desirable degree of flexibility to be able to accommodate change in a beneficial way, and for a sound long-term foundation for development based on good planning principles that remain timeless.

Future Planning

The General Plan provides a basis to guide future decisions by County officials and other governmental agencies, as well as for residents, property owners, building developers, business establishments, and industries. The role of the General Plan is to provide the framework for the future physical growth of the County, and serve as the foundation for land use decisions. It expresses long term community development goals and embodies public policy related to the distribution of future land use, both public and private (General Plan Guidelines, OPR). Because it embodies public policy, it is intended to be used by County decision makers to review new development in order to ensure that such development will contribute to achieving the vision for Nevada County which is inherent in the General Plan.


The Nevada County Land Use Maps provide information on land use designations in Nevada County. In addition to the General Plan chapters provided below, the General Plan Final EIR Volume 1 (PDF), Volume 2 (PDF) and Volume 3 (PDF) are available for review.
The Nevada County General Plan contains multiple chapters in three district volumes as shown below:

Volume 2 Background Data & Analysis

Volume 3 General Plan Master Environmental Inventory