Guide to California Planning - 4th Edition

By William Fulton and Paul Shigley

  • Item# G4
  • ISBN: 978-1-938166-02-0
  • Copyright (c) 2012
  • Paperback
  • Price: $55.00
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This current print edition is currently sold out, but it is still available in e-book.

Since it was first published in 1991, Guide to California Planning has served as the authoritative textbook on city and county planning practice throughout the state. The first book ever written that covers all aspects of planning in a single state, Guide to California Planning is used as a textbook in virtually every college- and graduate- level planning program in California.

In this revised and expanded fourth edition, William Fulton and Paul Shigley lay out planning laws and processes in detail and describe how planning really works in California - how cities and counties and developers and citizen groups all interact with each other on a daily basis to shape California communities and the California landscape, for better and for worse. Significant new topics addressed in this edition include the state's increasing focus on smart growth, infill, and transit-oriented development and ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Easy to read and understand, Guide to California Planning is far more than a textbook. It's an ideal tool for planning professionals, members of allied professions in the planning and development fields, and citizen activists.


  • The California Landscape

  • The Local Planning Process

  • Local Planning: Advanced Techniques and Backlash

  • Urban Development

  • Infrastructure and Schools

  • Natural Resources Protection

  • Conclusion

In addition to the information provided below you may also click on the following:

Read the Table of Contents and Preface (Adobe Acrobat - pdf file)

See Front cover in color (Adobe Acrobat - pdf file)

See Back cover in color (Adobe Acrobat - pdf file)


William Fulton, AICP, is Vice President and Director of Policy, Development, and Implementation at Smart Growth America (www. and a Principal in the California-based planning firm of The Planning Center | DC&E ( Over the past 30 years, he has written about and influenced planning in California in a wide-ranging series of roles. The founder of California Planning & Development Report (, he wrote the first edition of Guide to California Planning in 1991 and has written several other important books about planning, including The Reluctant Metropolis: The Politics of Urban Growth in Los Angeles and The Regional City: Planning for the End of Sprawl, co-authored with Peter Calthorpe. He served on the Ventura City Council from 2003 to 2011, including a stint as Mayor from 2009 to 2011. During this time, Ventura adopted an all-infill general plan and several form-based codes. He also serves as a Senior Fellow at the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California, where he teaches land use policy. After 31 years as a California resident, he has now relocated to Washington, D.C., but returns to California on a regular basis.

Paul Shigley was a journalist for 24 years, during which time he served as editor of California Planning & Development Report for 10 years, and as an editor and reporter for four Northern California newspapers. He has contributed many stories to Planning magazine and authored a major essay on the San Francisco Bay Delta for the American Planning Association. His work has also appeared in outlets as varied as National Speed Sport News, the Los Angeles Times and Jefferson Monthly. He currently works for ICF International as an editor in the Environment and Planning Division. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, he and his wife, Dana, live in American Canyon.