Guiding Principles

The Guiding Principles define the kind of community Vallejoans want, describing  shared values and vision for the city. Working together, Vallejo residents, businesses, and community groups developed a short list of statements to guide the General Plan Update, the Sonoma Boulevard Specific Plan, and New Zoning Code.

The Draft Guiding Principles were presented to, and approved by the City Council on July 8, 2014.

Guiding Principles:


1. Pride in Identity
Vallejo takes pride in its identity, natural setting, and history. Its residents, businesses, and government value the City’s maritime heritage, cultural diversity, neighborhoods, and thriving arts community – and their links to the region and the world.

2. Strong Community Bonds
Vallejo builds strong community bonds at the neighborhood level, with activities and recreational opportunities for youth, local festivals, and a strong culture of volunteering, positive role models, and leadership programs.

3. Safe City
Vallejo is a safe place for everyone. Residents and businesses in every neighborhood collaborate with each other and with responsive law enforcement to promote personal safety.

4. Caring and Equitable Community
Vallejo treats everyone with compassion, dignity, and fairness and supports stable, diverse neighborhoods. It is a caring community where everyone has access to services, jobs and housing and shares in the vitality and prosperity of the community.

5. Collaborative Civic Engagement
Vallejo identifies its challenges and takes constructive actions to address them. It is a place with strong, collaborative partnerships between government, residents, and local businesses and where challenges are addressed proactively, drawing on lessons learned from their own experience and from other communities.

6. Active, Participatory Community
Vallejo supports and depends on active community participation. Vallejo provides timely and understandable information on planning issues and projects, and community members participate directly in shaping plans and policies for the city’s future.

7. Healthy Community
Vallejo promotes the health of its residents and recognizes the value of a proactive, preventative approach to health. All Vallejo neighborhoods have easy access to healthy food, including organic food and locally grown food from school and community gardens.


8. Beautiful City
Vallejo values and showcases the City’s beauty, historic character, compatible architecture, abundant trees, and local ecology. Gateways into the community make positive, welcoming impressions, and Vallejo’s pride is displayed on every block in the way people care for their homes, gardens, businesses, and neighborhoods.

9. A Place People Want To Be
Vallejo’s vibrant downtown, attractive waterfront and open spaces, livable neighborhoods, and varied destinations draw people from the Bay Area and beyond. Vallejo is a place where people of all ages want to be, day and night — to live, work, shop, and recreate.

10. Iconic Waterfront
Vallejo treasures its waterfront as a centerpiece of the community, with a promenade, multi-use trails, natural open space, and access to water activities. It is a place for community gathering, exercising, socializing, shopping, dining out and having fun.

11. Environmental Stewardship
Vallejo pursues and promotes environmental education; protects and manages its watersheds, wetlands, and wildlife habitats; and embraces businesses and industries that are sensitive to the environment. It is a community where environmental stewardship is an asset that attracts people and businesses.

12. Sense of Place
Vallejo values its special character and unique sense of place in its dramatic waterfront setting, varied topography, city-wide views, historic districts, maritime heritage, and favorable weather.


13. Good Jobs, Education and Training
Vallejo provides people with good jobs and its young people with job training and the education they need to succeed. Vallejo embraces innovations in education, and the city’s excellent educational institutions and trade schools play a prominent role in its economic vitality and community life.

14. Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Successful Local Businesses
Vallejo welcomes innovative businesses and fosters entrepreneurship. It is a community that capitalizes on new technologies, community assets, and local knowledge – while helping local businesses to succeed.

15. Economic Development Aligned with Natural Environment
Vallejo values economic development and aligns well-designed projects with the protection and enhancement of environmental resources. It is a community where sustainable development is efficiently processed and provides broad benefits that serve community needs and enhance the quality of life.

16. Stable, Strong and Diverse Economy
Vallejo is characterized by fiscal stability; a strong, diverse economy, including health care, education, and manufacturing; and efficient use of its lands and waterways. Vallejo’s unique setting, community character, and favorable weather are major resources for economic expansion, including tourism and entertainment.


17. Regional Transportation Hub
Vallejo provides excellent and affordable connections to the surrounding region for people and goods. It is a regional transportation hub – by rail, road, ferry, transit, bicycle, and on foot.

18. River and Bay City
Vallejo’s waterways provide transportation and recreational opportunities and are recognized for their important role in the broader ecosystem.

19. Interconnected, Mobile Community
Vallejo is an interconnected, cohesive community from east to west and north to south, where traveling by foot, bicycle or transit is efficient, easy, safe, and fun. Vallejo offers a range of convenient, affordable, and eco-efficient mobility options for residents and visitors.