City of Milpitas updates its vision with focus on economic growth and community

The General Plan for the City of Milpitas serves as a guide to future growth and development. It conveys the community’s vision for its future and addresses important topics such as land use, housing, transportation, community design, health, economic development, and other related topics.

Considerable change and growth has occurred in Milpitas since the General Plan was first adopted in 1994, with a few subsequent minor amendments. The City of Milpitas is updating its General Plan to ensure that it reflects the changing conditions and future needs of the city.

For the first time, the plan will include an economic development element, which outlines broad economic development goals, policies, and actions that will be used as a framework for creating a resilient and sustainable local economy. It calls for cultivating a strong, stable, and diverse local economy, achieving fiscal sustainability, encouraging new development in key opportunity areas, pursuing economic development opportunities that foster and improve quality of life, and increasing community workforce preparedness and cultivating an entrepreneurial environment that fosters innovation.

“Not many cities include the economic development element in their General Plan, and the City’s decision to include it in ours is a reflection of its commitment to improving Milpitas’ economic health and the quality of life for our residents. A healthy economy translates to a healthy community,” said Alex Andrade, economic development director.

 “The element is reflective of the changing world that we live in and directs Milpitas to the forefront of emerging innovation and technology,” said Andrade.

The new element supports the development of business incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces for emerging businesses. It also encourages the adoption of clean technology and underscores the transformation of Milpitas into a smarter city that is inclusive and connected

The City of Milpitas also will be incorporating a health element for the first time. The health element is an interdisciplinary approach to the community’s physical, mental and social well-being. The health element addresses opportunities for walking and biking, access to healthy food, healthy housing, violence-free communities, and educational and economic opportunities.

“The City takes the health and welfare of its residents seriously, and we’re very pleased to incorporate an element into the General Plan that begins to address how Milpitas can further contribute to healthy community development, especially for vulnerable populations that suffer greater health disparities,” said Jessica Garner, planning manager.

The General Plan Update also highlights the importance of creating a distinct community that generates a sense of place, so that Milpitas can be a more attractive city that improves the lives of those who live, work, learn, play and visit. It encourages experiential retail such as food trucks, outdoor kiosks, music and events, and pop-up shops. The update calls for revitalization of areas such as Main Street and plans for exciting changes along the Calaveras Commercial Corridor.

The General Plan Update includes revisions to the plan’s land use map, which serves as the basis for all of the City’s policies related to growth and development and is one of the primary mechanisms for shaping the city’s future. City leaders and the community have worked together to explore different land-use alternatives and have identified 14 opportunity areas across the city, as outlined in the draft version of the Land Use Alternatives Report. The Milpitas city council will consider recommendations for each of the 14 opportunity areas in May and approve a new preferred land use map.

These potential changes in land use are intended to spur economic development, encourage reinvestment in aging and underutilized commercial centers, and accommodate additional quality housing, jobs, and recreational amenities.

The General Plan Update process provides city leaders and the community with an invaluable opportunity to envision Milpitas into the mid-21st century. Significant change is expected to occur over those years, including even greater advances in technology and a rise in households and jobs, all of which will have social, economic, and environmental impacts. The updated General Plan will guide the city through those changes and will ensure that the overall community is responsive to any challenges that may arise.

The Milpitas city council will be reviewing the Land Use Alternatives Report at the May 21, 2019 council meeting. This is an opportunity for both the city council and community to provide comments and feedback on this key component of the General Plan.

Learn more about the City of Milpitas’ General Plan Update by visiting or contacting Economic Development Director Alex Andrade at 408-586-3046 or

The Economic Development team provides services and resources to the corporate community with the purpose of attracting, retaining and expanding business and employment opportunities and stimulating the local economy while maintaining a positive balance between community needs and economic vitality.