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MV2040 General Plan Finalized and Adopted
MV2040 General Plan Update
Posted Date: 10/10/2013 8:00 AM

On October 7, 2013 the Mill Valley City Council finalized its review of the Mill Valley General Plan ("MV2040") and formally approved the project by certifying the environmental review and adopting the MV2040 General Plan and 2009-2014 Housing Element.

Adoption of the MV2040 General Plan marks the end of a 22-month period initiated by the City Council to engage the community in the process of drafting and updating the City’s General Plan. Mill Valley's General Plan was last completely updated in 1989, with the Housing Element last updated in 2003.

The City is pleased to announce that this project was completed within a two-year time frame and budgeted resources - a true accomplishment. This goal was met through the primary use of City staff, and the talents and expertise of over 43 community volunteers who formed the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) and three Working Groups (Land Use & Mobility, Natural Environment and Community Vitality, including the Arts Subcommittee).

The City's General Plan serves as a long-term vision for the future of the community, as well as a basis for short and long-term decisions that affect all aspects of our community's daily life: land use, transportation, housing, community facilities and services, the environment, and much more.

The planning horizon for the updated General Plan is 2040 (hence the “2040 General Plan” title), and contains the following chapters, also known as “elements”: 
    •  Land Use Hazards and Public Safety 
    •  Mobility 
    •  Noise 
    •  Community Vitality 
    •  General Plan Administration 
    •  Natural Environment 
    •  Housing (Under Separate Cover) 
    •  Climate Action

Each element begins with a purpose statement and a summary of existing conditions, followed by goals, policies and programs for action. The content of the MV2040 General Plan is based on the community’s vision, values and input gathered through the numerous public meetings of the General Plan Advisory Committee and three Working Group (Land Use & Mobility, Natural Environment and Community Vitality, including the Arts subcommittee).


MV2040 Logo Square

City Council October 7, 2013 MV2040 Approved v210
Mill Valley City Council

Planning Commission MV2040 Approved v210 

Mill Valley Panning Commission


 General Plan Advisory Committee and Staff Members

Working Group

Working Group discussing goals, policies & programs that form the basis of the MV2040 General Plan 

Community review, input and collaboration has occurred throughout the process
In April 2012 the City kicked-off the project with a speaker’s series that included discussions on community engagement, demographic trends and maintaining a sense of place, and launched an interactive community website for collaborating on general plan themes and ideas. The project then transitioned into reviewing existing conditions and trends related to where we live and work (land use and economy), how we get around (mobility), and how we relate to our environment (health and safety). The three Working Groups drafted the goals, policies and programs that form the basis of the overall General Plan. The General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC), which served as an oversight committee for the project, reviewed the draft goals, policies and programs and in April 2013, reviewed the first draft MV2040 General Plan and 2009-2014 Housing Element. Over 50 community meetings were held from April 2012-May 2013 with 43 members of the public serving on the GPAC and the three Working Groups.

Public hearings on the Draft MV2040 General Plan, 2009-2014 Housing Element and associated environmental review for project then began in July 2013 by Planning Commission and recently concluded through the final adoption of the MV2040 General Plan project by City Council on October 7, 2013. Final recommendations made by City Council as part of the formal adoption will be posted on the project website Monday October 21, 2013 and will be incorporated into the final document released later this year.

Implementation of the General Plan will begin immediately and will be incorporated into the City Council’s annual work plan and budget cycle. To go to the MV2040 project website, click here.For more information on the overall process, see MV2040 Fact Sheet.

Adoption of the General Plan - On time within budget
An average city of Mill Valley’s size would spend an average of half a million dollars, plus staff time, on a General Plan update. The City of Mill Valley completed the MV2040 within its allocated budget of $450,000, and the expenses to-date total $305,205 (not including September-October 2013). Most of the expenditures are related to consultant work and do not include City staff time. Some of the remaining budget will be used to finalize the document and incorporate the data in the MV2040 maps into Marin Maps, allowing residents to view information such as land use, zoning, critical habitat, flood zones at any scale, down to a resident's parcel.  Planners anticipate being approximately $80,000 under budget. A typical time frame for a General Plan update can last up to five years to complete. The City of Mill Valley is pleased to have taken just under two years to complete the process.

A “Thank You” to the Mill Valley Community
Drafting and adopting a General Plan on time within the City’s budgeted resources is result of the dedication and collaboration that has occurred within the community. As Mayor and GPAC Chair, Andy Berman notes, “I want to thank the GPAC and the Working Groups, including the Arts Sub-committee, for all of their hard work. Of course, the tireless efforts of Staff and our consulting team deserve special recognition too. But most of all I want to thank our community, of which we are all a part, for embracing and appreciating the collaborative, inclusive approach we have taken to get to this point. We would not be here but for this community spirit - in fact a thirst - to create a shared vision for Mill Valley. I feel truly privileged and honored to be part of it.”

See the below for those community members serving on the GPAC and Working Groups. At various points in the process additional input was provided by City staff and Boards and Commissions, such as the Art Commission, Library Board of Trustees, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Parks and Recreation Commission, Emergency Preparedness Commission and Planning Commission. –Thank you all for your time, efforts, and dedication to the City!

Final thoughts and message from City Manager, Jim McCann:
"I've worked on several General Plan update efforts during my career and this has been, by far, the most constructive and rewarding. The process has yielded a document which will guide the community for many years reflecting the wonderful history of Mill Valley and retaining intact our special community character.

The community should be very proud of this effort which deliberately welcomed and included diverse voices and points of view and which has not only produced a draft General Plan, but has also served to bring the community together around and agreement of a shared vision for future of Mill Valley.

The staff, our consultants and most importantly, the many volunteers and community participants who were involved in the MV2040 effort are congratulated for this achievement. This is a wonderful example of local government in action: the community defining by itself and for itself the goals and policies to guide our future. Very exciting and fulfilling stuff!"


MV2040 General Plan Advisory Committee
Andy Berman, Chair and City Councilmember*
Steve Geiszler, Vice-Chair**
Girija Brilliant
Larry Davis
Dennis Fisco 
Anne Jeffrey
Maggie Lang 
Burton Miller 
Leslie Wachtel
*Garry Lion, City Councilmember and alternate to Andy Berman
** Heidi Richardson, alternate to Steve Geiszler


Land Use and Mobility Working Group
Jim Parrinello Chair 
Dick Swanson, Vice-Chair 
Ken Wachtel, City Councilmember 
Bruce Dorfman 
Brent Elliott 
Marcy Jones
David Levin 
Elisabeth Thomas-Matej 
Paul Moe 
Barbara Chambers 
Elida Doldan Schujman

.. Natural Environment Working Group
John Poulson, Chair 
Ron Vidal, Vice-Chair 
Betsy Bikle 
Jerry Cahill 
Ruth Friend 
Trish Hudnall 
Stephanie Moulton-Peters, City Councilmember 
Jim Stephenson 
Barbara Wilson
.. ..
.. ..
Community Vitality Working Group 
John McCauley, Chair 
Ken Brooks, Vice-Chair 
Ann Aversa 
Bob Burton 
Stephen Burke 
Josh Deitch 
Dan Kelly 
Lynne Klein 
Shawn Marshall, City Councilmember 
Jason Michaels 
Stephanie Witt
Arts Subcommittee 
Lynne Klein, Chair 
Ken Brooks, Vice-Chair 
Bob Burton 
Dan Kelly 
N. Teresa Rea 
Megan Wilkinson 
Jasson Minadakis 
Tammy Edmonson
A General Plan is a comprehensive City document that includes maps and figures on existing conditions and provides consistent direction for the City and its residents through the identification of goals, policies and programs on various topics, including land use, housing, mobility, hazards, safety, community vitality, noise, conservation and natural environment. For more information, please click here.