General Plan 2030: Last Chance for Neighborhood Input

by Deb Keller

A citywide workshop to update residents and get input on the General Plan 2030 was held Saturday, July 24 at City Hall. From green roofs to urban gardens to dog parks, a variety of issues were raised by Mountain View residents. A second meeting will be held at the Senior Center on Thursday, July 29th, 6:30-9:00 p.m at the Senior Center, 266 Escuela Avenue.

A consultant from MIG, the lead consultancy on the project, emphasized
the importance of the General Plan, characterizing it as the “city’s constitution.” The document will guide and inform decisions made over the next 20-30 years, and out of the plan, zoning changes will roll.

In joint sessions held in January and February 2010, Council and the Environmental
Planning Commission (EPC) endorsed substantial increases in building heights and density for all five target areas: El Camino, North Bayshore, San Antonio Center, East Whisman, and Moffett Boulevard.

Mountain View ranks third in Santa Clara County for people per square mile, with Campbell ranking first and Sunnyvale second.

One resident asked how the city measured up on the previous General Plan,
which was developed in 1992. Were the assumptions correct? Did we accomplish
our goals? Answers to those questions were not immediately available.

The previous General Plan accommodated for growth up to 80,300 residents (population today in Mountain View is about 75,000). Under the new plan, population could grow by about 30% to nearly 100,000.

In addition to MIG, consultants from two other firms (10 consultancy firms have been involved in the project in all) walked the audience through the broad goals, and then the focus areas. In the presentation on the North Bayshore, the consultants indicated
a “possibility” for residential in the North Bayshore region, the home of the Googleplex. Several residents expressed the opinion that more residential should
be explored for the area since it made sense to have housing around job centers. (In earlier visioning sessions, 72% of residents favored mixed residential
and office for the North Bayshore.)

A question was raised on how the voice of residents was weighted against
other stakeholders, which include city departments, developers, religious organizations, environmental groups, and civic organizations, to name a few. There was no weighting applied to residents as stakeholders, according to the MIG consultant.

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