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Milpitas USA Modification

Last modified: 3/5/2012 12:04 PM

The Milpitas Urban Growth Boundary, Urban Service Area Modification, and Related Amendment to the County General Plan and Zoning Maps


In 1997, discussions began between the City of Milpitas and the County of Santa Clara regarding the future of the Milpitas hillsides, specifically those lands between the valley floor and the first ridge of the Diablo Range within Milpitas' Sphere-of-Influence.

The goals of for the project were to:
 •  Preserve as much as possible the predominantly natural character of the hillsides
 •  Protect the view of the hillsides as seen from the valley floor
 •  Conserve environmental resources
 •  Minimize public service and infrastructure costs associated with development

In 1998, the City established an Urban Growth Boundary, or UGB, with the passage of a ballot initiative, Measure Z. Measure Z effectively amended the City's General Plan to create a 20 year UGB located generally at the base of the foothills. It further directed the City to apply to the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) to modify the Urban Service Area (USA) to retract the USA to a location coterminous with the UGB.

Recent Activities

In 2006, Milpitas, LAFCO, and the County resumed progress on the application submitted to LAFCO in 1999 for a modification to the USA to fulfill the requirements of Measure Z.  Milpitas renewed its LAFCO application, and the following schedule of public hearings has been completed:

August 9, 2006:  LAFCO adopts the proposed modification of the USA.

September 7, 2006:  County Planning Commission hearing forwards a favorable recommendation regarding the proposed change of General Plan Land Use designation for parcels removed from the USA from “USA” to “Hillside,” and associated rezonings for consistency with the Hillside designation.

October 17, 2006: Board of Supervisors adopts proposed General Plan amendment and zoning changes.

The County General Plan Land Use Map designates all lands within city USAs as “USA.”  For parcels removed from the USA, the County re-designated such lands, to the surrounding “Hillside” designation.  Zoning must be consistent with the General Plan.  Consequently, subject parcels that do not already have “HS, Hillside” as their base zoning district have been rezoned to “HS” for consistency with the Hillside General Plan designation.  Existing “-sr” and “-d2” combining zoning districts will remain.

With the General Plan amendment and rezonings are adopted, future land use and development, including subdivision potential, will be as prescribed under the County’s Hillside Land Use Plan designation and HS Zoning District, for unincorporated parcels.  Parcels within the City of Milpitas will remain in the city limits, with use and development governed by the City’s General Plan and zoning and development regulations.

For more information, contact: Kavitha Kumar at the County Planning Office at (408) 299-5783 or E-mail: kavitha.kumar(@)​.