What is a General Plan?
The state of California requires every city and county in California to adopt a General Plan, which is the local government’s long-term blueprint “for the physical development of the city and any land outside its boundaries that bears relation to its planning.” The General Plan represents the community’s view of its future and expresses the long-term growth and development goals. It addresses issues that impact the entire city, such as how land is used, where buildings are built, the locations of roads and parks, safety, noise, and more.
The General Plan contains the goals and policies upon which the City Council and Planning Commission will base their land use decisions. All city plans, zoning, and private development must be consistent with the diagrams and policies in the General Plan.
Why is the City updating its General Plan?
The City of Milpitas adopted its current General Plan in 1994. Since then, the General Plan was amended in 2002 to incorporate the Midtown Specific Plan, in 2008 to include the Transit Area Plan, in 2010 to integrate the City’s Park and Recreation Master Plan and Bikeway Maser Plan as well as to make minor revisions to update various exhibits, tables, and figures to include land use changes and reflect changing conditions, and in 2015 to update the Housing Element. While the City has made various amendments to incorporate new planning documents, the city has grown and changed significantly since the last comprehensive update to the General Plan in 1994. Additionally, new laws affecting General Plans have been passed, new social and environmental issues have emerged, and new planning strategies and practices have been developed.
These changes require a reevaluation of the existing General Plan and confirmation of the vision for Milpitas. The update also brings the General Plan into compliance with new laws related to climate change, multimodal transportation, and safety.
This General Plan update looks ahead to the year 2040, making adjustments based on current issues and emergent trends, and positioning the City of Milpitas for the next 20-25 years.
The City of Milpitas is committed to engaging community members, City staff, and decision-makers to produce a General Plan that is up-to-date, forward thinking, clear and flexible, and fiscally viable.
What topics are addressed in the General Plan?
General Plans are divided into elements based on specific topics. There are seven mandatory elements: land use, circulation, housing, conservation, open space, safety, and noise. Cities can choose to include additional elements, such as community design, public health, fiscal sustainability, or historical resources.
State law allows local governments to organize and format their general plans however they desire, as long as the required topics or elements are addressed. The current Milpitas General Plan addresses these topics in six elements:•
- • Land Use
- • Circulation
- • Open Space and Environmental Conservation
- • Seismic and Safety
- • Noise
- • Housing
As a part of preparing the General Plan Update, the existing elements may be reorganized and new elements may be added to emphasize new planning issues that have arisen since the current General Plan was adopted. The following initial set of issues to be addressed by the update to the General Plan were identified by staff and confirmed by the City Council and Planning Commission:
- • Land Use
- • Housing (adopted in 2015)
- • Circulation
- • Noise
- • Safety
- • Conservation and Open Space
- • Air Quality and Energy
- • Community Design
- • Economic and Fiscal Sustainability
- • Flood Management
- • Parks and Recreation
- • Water
What is the schedule for the General Plan?
The Milpitas General Plan Update will take place over a two and a half year period from May 2016 to approximately November 2018.
How can I get involved?
The General Plan Update process provides an opportunity for community members to discuss and weigh in on the City’s future. We encourage you to take advantage of the many opportunities to participate, including meetings, workshops, and public hearings.
In order to collect community input in an open, engaging, and actionable way, the City has designed a series of community venues and events where you will have the opportunity to participate in and be informed of the planning process. These include:
- Visioning Workshops – Three Visioning Workshops will be held to introduce the community to the project and to provide opportunities for the community to identify their vision, goals and priorities, and land use preferences for the General Plan Update.
- General Plan Advisory Group (GPAC) - The GPAC will be selected by the City Council to represent the community and work directly with the General Plan Update staff and consultant team to identify issues and concerns, review land uses, and prepare the draft goals, policies, and actions that will be the foundation for each element of the General Plan. GPAC meetings will be working meetings. The public is invited to attend, but the public will not participate in the GPAC discussion.
- Stakeholder Interviews – Interviews of groups and organizations that represent various local and regional issues that affect Milpitas will be conducted to ensure that a broad range of perspectives are included early in the General Plan update process. Feedback collected during this stage will be subject to additional input from the broader community.
- Open House – This community workshop will present the key issues that the General Plan Update addresses, the City’s primary goals and policies related to each General Plan element, and the draft land use map.
- Public Review Draft General Plan – The Public Review Draft General Plan and Environmental Impact Report will be made available to the public for review and feedback before the plan is finalized. will be presented to the entire community in order to receive feedback and input.
- Planning Commission and City Council Hearings –The City will conduct public hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council to consider the update to the General Plan. Community members are encouraged to attend these meetings.
Why should I get involved?
The City of Milpitas is committed to involving the community in the planning process. The General Plan Update process provides residents, businesses, and interested parties the chance to help guide the future of the community. A successful General Plan will reflect the community’s vision and priorities, and we believe that your voice is vital to producing a plan that will reflect your vision for the city’s future. Community input is needed to establish the long-term vision for Milpitas and to identify key issues and priorities.
How will my feedback be used?
Public input from every engagement opportunity is meticulously reviewed and documented to ensure the General Plan Advisory Committee, planners, City staff, and decision-makers have a full understanding of public sentiment when drafting goals and policies. Public feedback on General Plan materials (including goals and policies) will be considered throughout the process.
How can I stay informed?
Visit the Meetings and Events page to view the dates of upcoming meetings and community events. If you wish to be added to the City’s mailing list to receive project updates and invitations to community events, click the Contact button at the bottom of the website and request to be added to the mailing list.
The General Plan Update process is an opportunity for community members to discuss the city’s future. There will be many opportunities to participate, including meetings, workshops, and public hearings. All of these opportunities will be posted on this website.