The Planning Department is responsible for the implementation of the General Plan, which involves periodic updates, revisions and amendments. The General Plan is effectively the roadmap for the development of the City itself. The General Plan is given detailed form in other planning documents such as the Zoning Code, Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan, Architectural Guidelines, Landscaping Guidelines, etc.

The department is therefore responsible for properly applying the above-mentioned documents as land within the City changes and develops. The management of the Plans and Codes is known as long-range planning and the application of the Plans and Codes is known as current planning. Some common planning activities include:

• Site plan review

• Subdivision review and design

• Annexations

• Zone changes and modifications

• General plan amendments

• Conditional Use permits

• Minor Use permits

• Temporary Use permits

The City of Tehachapi Planning Commission, as appointed by the City Council, is responsible for considering changes to the governing documents as well as to make determinations regarding potential development activities. In some cases, the Planning Commission is charged with making decisions with regard to development and, in other cases, they are given the task of making recommendations to the City Council. The Planning Department conducts a wide range of services in support of the City Council, Planning Commission, City Staff, and the public.

The City Planning Department is also tasked with environmental law compliance for the City. This most commonly includes the preparation of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) documentation on a project-by-project basis. This can also include National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance for projects occurring on federal land or using federal money.