Citywide School Strategy

The City Council has a goal to increase housing supply citywide and has adopted new Precise Plans, such as North Bayshore and East Whisman, and approved new development projects in pursuit of this goal. The City recognizes an increase in housing supply affects many public services and infrastructure, including schools, transportation facilities, and open space and, as such, the City conducts detailed analysis, adopts fees, and implements programs to address these effects. However, the City is limited by State law in requiring any additional developer fees for the impact on schools beyond those prescribed by the State.   

Developing a Strategy

The City has been working with Mountain View Whisman School District (MVWSD) and Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District (MVLAHSD) to address school capacity needs associated with new residential development and implement policy direction in the San Antonio, North Bayshore, and East Whisman Precise Plans.

In 2014, the City adopted the San Antonio Precise Plan (SAPP), which includes a policy to support the Los Altos School District's (LASD) acquisition of land in the area (see page 101 of the SAPP), and led to the LASD Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program. In 2016, the City also created a set of detailed local policies to address school needs in the North Bayshore Precise Plan area (see Section 3.4.5 of the NBPP), including a TDR program similar to SAPP. One such policy encourages developers to work with school districts to obtain school land and/or provide school funding when requesting more than a minimal "base" development. Similar policies were adopted in the East Whisman Precise Plan in 2019 (see Chapter 2 and Bonus FAR Standards in Section 6.1.2). In addition to these policies, the City also provides support to students and the school districts in a variety of ways, including providing after school enrichment programs, field maintenance and turf replacement, crossing guards and school resource officers.

The Citywide School Strategy includes measures to go above and beyond existing State fees on development, by encouraging contributions and land dedications from certain developments, including voluntary "Bonus FAR" projects and rezonings. State law limits the City from levying additional school requirements on developments. It is estimated that these "City-facilitated" tools will generate about 2/3 of the funding and capital resources for the schools needed to serve the City's growth.

Adopted citywide school strategy policy

On June 23, 2020, the City Council adopted a policy to support local school districts through voluntary strategies related to shared open space, financial assistance through an off-site TDR program, and land dedication. This policy applies to projects requesting a General Plan Amendment or Rezoning (e.g. Gatekeeper), and Bonus FAR projects in North Bayshore and East Whisman Precise Plan areas. To learn more, please review the City Council Staff Report and Materials.

On October 13, 2020, the City Council adopted text modifications to the North Bayshore and East Whisman Precise Plans to directly reference and align with adopted City Council Policy K-26 (Citywide School Strategy). To learn more, please review the City Council Staff Report and Materials 

For questions or comments, please contact Eric Anderson, Principal Planner, by phone at 650-903-6306 or email.