1922 the Alameda, Suite 213
San Jose, CA 95126
June 29, 2012
Dear Mayor Kasperzak, Vice Mayor Inks and the members of the Mountain View City Council,
After many years of hard work, Mountain View is poised to adopt a new General Plan. Greenbelt Alliance is thrilled to have been a part of this process. It has been a pleasure and valuable learning experience to work in a community with so many sharp, dedicated residents, staff members and officials. Already the draft General Plan has gained Mountain View local and national press coverage. We are confident that the document you are about to adopt is cutting edge. It will not only propel Mountain View in an exciting, environmentally sustainable direction, but will also serve as an example to the region and world.
Greenbelt Alliance strongly supports many of the policies in the proposed plan. We commend Council and all those who have been involved in this process for the great work reflected in the document. Still, we believe that some changes to the preferred draft of the General Plan could improve it further. As you prepare for your July 3rd and July 10th Council meetings we ask that you consider the following changes:
Strive for a better balance between jobs and homes
Mountain View has a current jobs to homes balance of 1.8 to 1. One of the main reasons that Greenbelt Alliance decided to get involved in the General Plan update some years ago was that we believed the policies in the new General Plan could help address the imbalance of jobs and homes in Mountain View. We are disappointed that under the new General Plan this jobs to homes imbalance will actually increase to 1.9 to 1.1
Mountain View set an important precedent when it became one of the first cities in the nation to use an EIR to study how sometimes planning for more homes in the right places, rather than fewer, will result in a drop in vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions. Interestingly, this analysis looked only at the reduction in driving that results when you have greater numbers of people concentrated in village centers, NOT at the potential reduction in in-commuting that would result from a more balanced jobs:homes ratio. We’re sure that a more in- depth analysis of the “Increased Housing Alternative” would show that planning for more homes would also cause a decrease in-commuting, therefore further reducing greenhouse gas emission generation.
To address the two topics presented above, Greenbelt Alliance asks that Council do the following:
Keep reading Greenbelt Alliance’s comments on the 2030 update to Mountain View’s General Plan: Greenbelt Alliance_Comment Letter on the General Plan_July 2012 (PDF)