Initiatives, Policies, & Ordinance Information

The City of Milpitas constructs various planning documents and guides in order to direct and articulate its vision for the future of Milpitas. These guides and policies are formulated by its professional and experienced planning team in the Planning Department with input from other municipal, regional, and state officials; nonprofits and local businesses; and community organizations and residents. These planning initiatives range from the all-encompassing Master Plan to development-based transportation studies.


App-based local transit service Milpitas SMART provides convenient and affordable connections to the Great Mall, City Hall, Milpitas Transit Center, and VTA light tail stops.

The Milpitas Objective Design Standards provide clear and quantifiable design requirements for all new multi-family housing projects and mixed-use developments with a residential component.

Main Street is one of the beating hearts of Milpitas. How do we keep what makes Main Street great while building it up to be even better?

In partnership with local nonprofit CatalyzeSV, the City of Milpitas facilitated a series of three Community Conversations on Revitalizing Main Street, each revolving around a different aspect of the future of Main Street. The first conversation focused on business, the second conversation focused on housing, and the third conversation focused on history and culture.  It was a pleasure to hear feedback and collaborate with our community in these sessions.  The feedback received through these events will help the City of Milpitas with the Gateway/Main St. Specific Plan, which is an update of the Midtown Specific Plan.  City staff will initiate the Gateway/Main St. Specific Plan later this summer.  Please stay tuned for more opportunities to participate in future community outreach events and provide feedback on this important effort.

YouTube videos for each conversation can be found at the links below:

For Part 1 – Conversation on BusinessApril 29, 2021 Agenda

For Part 2 – Conversation on HousingMay 27, 2021 Agenda 

For Part 3 – Conversation on History & Culture — June 24, 2021 Agenda

The City of Milpitas received a grant from Santa Clara County to develop and implement a comprehensive no-smoking policy for all multi-unit housing.

In 2017, Governor Brown signed a 15-bill housing package aimed at addressing the state’s housing shortage and high housing costs. Specifically, the housing package included the Building Homes and Jobs Act (SB2), which established a $75 recording fee on real estate documents as a permanent, ongoing source of funding dedicated to affordable housing development. Revenues generated by this new recording fee are collected at the county level and sent quarterly to the State Controller for deposit into the Building Homes and Jobs Fund.

The Planning Grant Program (PGP) is a one-time component of SB 2 that, among other provisions, provides financial and technical assistance to local governments to prepare, adopt, and implement plans and process improvements that streamline housing approvals and accelerate housing production. Funding is intended to help cities and counties:

  • Accelerate housing production;
  • Streamline the approval of housing development affordable to owner and renter households at all income levels;
  • Facilitate housing affordability, particularly for lower- and moderate-income groups;
  • Promote development consistent with the State Planning Priorities; and
  • Ensure geographic equity in the distribution and expenditure of allocated funds

Staff recommends three eligible planning activities or tasks to include in the SB 2 grant application based on the need for better access to information regarding affordable housing options in the Milpitas community and the need for objective design standards in the Milpitas Zoning Ordinance to ensure a streamlined review and processing of new affordable housing projects. The recommended planning activities are outlined below. The City Council Housing Subcommittee reviewed the staff’s proposal for the SB 2 grant application on September 10, 2019, and supported using the funds for the three recommended planning activities or tasks. The SB 2 grant funds will be used to hire consultants, through a formal RFP process, to assist staff in completing these tasks and developing and implementing the programs and processes described below

Task 1: Develop Objective Design Standards for New Residential and Mixed-Use Development COMPLETED
Task 2: Develop an Online ADU Toolkit and User Guide COMPLETED
Task 3: Develop an Online ADU/Zoning Clearance Tool COMPLETED

AR_SB2 Planning Grant Application

Approving RESO No. 8911

In the 2019-20 Budget Act, Governor Newsom signed into law a $250 million allocation for California regional and local jurisdictions to prioritize planning activities to accelerate state-wide housing production as part of a broader mandate to address the State’s affordable housing shortage and to end homelessness. This allocation includes $119 million for the Local Early Action Planning Grant (LEAP) for cities and counties. LEAP provides one-time grant funding for cities and counties to update planning documents and implement process and policy improvements to accelerate housing production. The LEAP is a non-competitive grant program and a State strategy to help local governments meet their legal obligation to plan for housing for all residents, including low-income residents, as per the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA).

Based on population, the City of Milpitas is eligible to receive $300,000 in LEAP grant funding. To receive these funds, the City must submit a grant application to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) with a proposal to achieve the general program goals of streamlining planning processes and policy approvals to accelerate housing production. City Council authorization is needed for the City Manager to submit an application to HCD for the City’s share of LEAP grant funds.


Staff proposes using the LEAP grant to enact measures to facilitate housing production in areas of the City prioritized for housing by the General Plan Update. These measures consist of creating a new Housing Opportunity Zone Overlay District, or a set of objective development and design standards within defined geographic areas to incentive and streamline processes in order to encourage and support the development of housing. Once the City submits an application to receive its share of LEAP funds, HCD will review the application and inform the City within two months regarding the status of our funding. The recommended planning activities are outlined below.

AR_LEAP Planning Grant Application



The City Council adopted the VMT policy on May 18, 2021. For more information about the VMT policy and the City’s efforts to transition from using LOS to VMT, please refer to this agenda report and presentation to the City Council. The final VMT policy with the City’s VMT heat maps can also be accessed here.

The City of Milpitas Planning Department encourages prospective operators of free libraries to submit proposed locations and plans for review by staff to ensure the below listed requirements are satisfied.

Contact: or 408.586.3279 with any questions or to submit plans. Note: Little free libraries are not allowed in public parks without approval from the Recreation Services Department.

Free libraries are considered accessory structures, and may be permitted in any zoning district; provided that, all such libraries meet the following requirements: 

  • Written permission shall be obtained from property owner to construct free library structure; 
  • Shall not be located within or overhang the public street right-of-way or any public easement; 
  • Shall not obstruct vehicular, bicycle or pedestrian traffic, either physically, or by a person utilizing the library; 
  • Shall not obstruct access aisles or paths utilized by persons in wheelchairs or for ADA accessibility; 
  • May be placed in a required front yard (area between the front wall of a building and the public street right-of-way); 
  • Shall not exceed 22″ wide x 18″ deep and a maximum height of 6 feet; 
  • Shall be anchored to the ground or otherwise securely attached to something having a permanent location on the ground; 
  • Shall continuously be kept in a good state of repair; 
  • Shall be registered with and must have associated charter sign permanently affixed to library structure, in a location easily viewable by an average user. 


An ordinance establishing regulations governing access to public meetings and public records, regulating lobbyists’ activities and solicitation of donations by public officials and establishing an Open Government Commission.

An ordinance establishing various districts within the City of Milpitas, and appropriate regulations for each district regarding building type, height and bulk, businesses, land uses, and required open spaces for each district.