State law requires every city and County in California to prepare and maintain a General Plan. The General Plan is the overarching policy document that guides land use, housing, transportation, infrastructure, community design, and other policy decisions. The Milpitas 2040 General Plan is comprised of 12 elements (chapters) to address community-wide issues.
The General Plan expresses a vision about Milpitas’s quality and character and describes general objectives and policies that guide public and private actions. The objectives and policies reflected in the Planning Code and Zoning Map translate the Plan’s vision into specific rules for private development.
The General Plan guides public decisions and investments that shape the functionality of the City. The Charter requires that changes to infrastructure and public assets as well as plans for redevelopment be consistent with the General Plan
The most recent guidance from the State Office of Planning and Research recommends that new amendments to the General Plan focus on four key themes: 1) climate change; 2) economics; 3) healthy communities; and 4) equitable opportunities.
The state mandated elements include:
- Land Use
- Conservation and Sustainability
- Parks, Recreation, and Open Space
The Milpitas General Plan also includes:
Utilities and community services
Community health and wellness
Key objectives addressed in the Milpitas 2040 General Plan include protecting and enhancing the unique character of the Milpitas community, promoting the efficient use of limited land resources, fostering strategic land use decisions, and facilitating the use of alternative transportation options, while promoting opportunities for economic development, high-quality local job growth, and fiscal sustainability. The General Plan applies to all lands in the incorporated area of the City, and State law requires that all development projects, specific plans, master plans, zoning, subdivisions, and other decisions must be consistent with the General Plan.
Given the long-term nature of the General Plan, the City will periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the document and the implementation status of its various policies and actions. The Milpitas 2040 General Plan includes a chapter that identifies each measure to be carried out by the General Plan, the timing of the measure, and the City Department responsible for implementation.
In conjunction with adoption of the Milpitas 2040 General Plan, the City Council also certified an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The EIR provided detailed analysis to fully inform City decision-makers, other responsible and trustee agencies, and the general public of the potential environmental consequences of approval and implementation of the General Plan.
Growth projections included in the new General Plan are based on several factors, including the availability of vacant and underutilized parcels and historical growth trends in Milpitas and the region. Grown projections provide a meaningful estimate of the level of growth that could potentially occur, but actual development rates and growth rates in Milpitas are likely to be significantly lower than the maximum development potential allowed under the General Plan (i.e., if every parcel in the City developed or redeveloped to its fully potential) over a 20-year planning horizon). New development and growth are largely dictated by existing development conditions, market conditions, and land turnover rates. Very few communities in California actually develop to the full potential allowed in their respective General Plans during the planning horizon.
While no specific development projects are proposed as part of the Milpitas Plan Update, the General Plan will accommodate future growth in Milpitas, including new businesses, expansion of existing businesses, and new residential uses. The buildout analysis assumes a 20-year horizon, and 2040 is assumed to be the buildout year of the General Plan. Full buildout of the General Plan could yield a total of up to 33,401 housing units, a population of 113,530 people, 47,807,536 square feet of non-residential building square footage, and 84,333 jobs within the Planning Area. This represents new growth and development in the City of up to 11,186 new housing units, 37,473 people, 19,729,648 square feet of new non-residential building square footage and 36,795 jobs.