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Mill Valley General Plan
Posted Date: 6/3/2013

GPACMill Valley General Plan

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Facts, information, and next steps in the process:

Basic Requirements

  • General Plans required of all cities and counties by California Planning and Zoning Law
    (Government Code Section 65000 et. seq.):
    “The Constitution for future development” (California Supreme Court)
    “Comprehensive and long-term” (Section 65300)
    “An integrated, internally consistent and compatible statement of policies”
    (Section 65300.5) 
  •  Goal – Sets a general direction; an ideal future. 
  •  Policy – A specific statement that guides decision-makers; a commitment to a particular course
    of action. 
  • Program – An action or procedure that carries out a policy
  • Goals, Policies and Programs need to be linked and need to be internally consistent 
  • Seven mandatory chapters called “elements” (Section 65302): 
    1. Land Use (intensity and distribution of land for public and private uses; Land Use map) 
    2. Housing (current and projected housing needs for all economic segments)
    3. Circulation (location, classification and extent of transportation network for motor
      vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians and public transportation) 
    4. Noise (appraisal of community noise issues; factor in land use distribution)
    5. Conservation (conservation, development and use of natural resources)
    6. Open Space (preservation of open space lands for natural resources, production,
    7. Safety (public safety, seismic, flood, geologic and wildfire risks)

Mill Valley’s General Plan Process

  • Last adopted Mill Valley General Plan – 1989
  • Last adopted Mill Valley Housing Element – 2003
  • City Council authorization of the General Plan update timeline and budget: January 3, 2012 
  • Initial Public Outreach Program March 2012: City’s MV2040 website;; E-mail
    notifications (over 6,000)
  • General Plan Speaker Series began on April 12, 2012; additional sessions on April 19, April 26
    and May 4 (in conjunction with the Library’s First Friday Series).
  • 74 applications from community members for positions on the General Plan Advisory
    Committee(GPAC) and three Working Groups.
  • GPAC: 9 members (GPAC included 2 Councilmembers – a regular and alternate – and 2
    Planning Commissioners – regular and alternate)
  • Community Vitality Working Group: 11 members (1 Councilmember and 1 Planning
  • Land Use and Mobility Working Group: 11 members (1 Councilmember and 1 Planning
  • Natural Environment Working Group: 11 members (1 Councilmember)
  • Number of GPAC Meetings: 15 (from April 18, 2012 through May 29, 2013)
  • Community Vitality Working Group Meetings: 9 (June 13, 2012 through October 16, 2012),
    not including Arts & Culture Sub-Committee meetings
  • Land Use and Mobility Working Group Meetings: 13 (June 6, 2012 through November 7,
  • Natural Environment Working Group Meetings: 12 (June 7, 2012 through October 16, 2012)
  • 29 of the 48 total GPAC and Working Group meetings were webcast live and remain archived
    on the City’s Webcasting and Video Archive Page. All public hearings will be webcast.

General Plan Next Steps
Final edits made at the GPAC meeting will be incorporated into a Draft MV2040 General Plan and will be available on the City’s website in July. Once the Draft MV2040 General Plan and related environmental review document is publicly released (July), Planning Commission and City Council hearings will be scheduled as part of the final review and adoption process. In the meantime, the following documents are available on the website: 

  •  Preliminary Draft 2009-2014 Housing Element released for public review on February 26,
    2013 and Preliminary Draft MV2040 General Plan released for public review on April 22,
    2013 (available at City Hall and the Mill Valley Library and here.
  • The Housing Element is one of the 10 elements of the General Plan, but has separate content
    and process requirements set by state law. As such, the draft Housing Element will be sent to
    the to the State Department of Housing and Community Development for review and
  • Planning Commission Public Hearings on the Draft General Plan, Draft Housing Element and
    Draft Environmental Impact Report are tentatively scheduled to begin in July.
  • City Council Public Hearings to adopt the General Plan, Housing Element and Environmental
    Impact Report are tentatively scheduled to begin in September.
  • General Plan Environmental Impact Report in process as part of the public hearing and City
    Council approval and adoption process for the General Plan.

Questions or for more information, please contact Mike Moore, Planning and Building Director at 415-388-4033 or

Check out the MV2040 website and sign up for e-mail notification on upcoming General Plan news and events.