Planning Documents

The Planning Department implements the General Plan utilizing a variety of tools through the application of zoning regulations. Traditional zoning, Specific Plans, Overlay Districts, and special use permits, such as Conditional Uses and Variances, all regulate the use of land in the City.


A General Plan is the local government’s long-term blueprint for the community’s vision of future growth. California law requires each local government to adopt a General Plan, which must contain at least seven elements: Land Use, Transportation, Housing, Conservation, Noise, Open Space and Safety.

Hayward General Plan


The Housing Element is the City's blueprint to meet community housing needs over thee eight year period from 2023-2031. An Element of the General Plan, the Housing Element is comprised of several documents including the 6th Cycle Housing Element 2023-2031 that contains goals, policies, actions and programs to support the rentention and development of housing, place based improvements and social and housing-related services. Appendices A through F contain background information in public participation, housing needs, housing resources, constraints to development and a Fair Housing Assessment. The Housing Element was adopted by the City Council on February 7, 2023 and certified by the State Department of Housing and Community Development on July 27, 2023. 


The Downtown Specific Plan and Regulating Code provides a strategy to achieve the community's vision of a resilient, safe, attractive and vibrant Downtown by providing for a mix of high intensity land uses, an inclusive multi-modal circulation system, public open spaces, and centering the historic commercial corridor. 

On July 2, 2019, the City Council approved the Downtown Specific Plan and related Regulating Ordinance which was adopted as Chapter 10, Article 26 of the Hayward Municipal Code. 


The Land Use Element of the Hayward General Plan (Chapter 2) describes how the City’s Planning Area is composed of certain neighborhood planning areas, including the Mission/Foothills and North Hayward neighborhoods. The General Plan further designates certain significant Focus Areas for the implementation of Smart Growth principles. The intent of the Code is to implement such principles along designated portions of the Hayward Mission Boulevard Corridor.

On July 14, 2020, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 20-12 consolidating Hayward Municipal Code Chapter 24 (formerly South Hayward BART/Mission Boulevard Form Based Code) and 25 (formerly Mission Boulevard Form Based Code) into Article 24 reclassified as Mission Boulevard Corridor Code. 



Hayward’s adopted Design Guidelines provide specific guidance on architectural and site design for residential, commercial, industrial, and hillside development. The Guidelines are intended to preserve and enhance the desired character of existing neighborhoods while promoting architectural and design excellence in buildings, open space, landscape and public spaces. View the City’s adopted Design Guidelines at the links below: 

For more information, please call Planning at 510.583.4200