by Robert Cox

The city of Mountain View is in the process of rewriting its general plan, a document that informs zoning decisions and guides development in the city for the next twenty years. City leaders had the foresight to reach out to the neighborhoods across the city, and solicit their input. The visioning process was very successful, with some 250 residents participating.

It came as a surprise to many, then, when at special joint sessions of the City Council and the commissioners of EnvironmentalPlanning Commission (EPC) on January 26 and February 10, a majority of these city leaders showed support for alternatives that did not factor in resident input from the visioning sessions.

In a meeting on March 20, residents raised this issue. Although the City has agreed to open up the process to more resident input, staff cautioned that there were many stakeholders who contributed input to the process.

Just who are the stakeholders?

There’s quite a few (the complete list is on They fall into the following groups:

  1. City departments, boards, commissions, and committees
  2. Businesses
  3. Community service organizations, such as Kiwanis and League of Women Voters
  4. Environmental groups
  5. Housing advocacy groups
  6. Media
  7. Multi-lingual community organizations
  8. Neighborhood associations
  9. Churches
  10. Neighboring jurisdictions
  11. Developers, real estate community

It would be interesting to know how much was spent on the visioning process, and how much relative weight the different groups have.

Robert Cox is Secretary of OMVNA, but his opinions are his personal views and may not reflect the opinions of Old Mountain View residents.

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