There are numerous land use and development policies, guidelines and regulatory documents that guide the physical, environmental, economic and social development of Mountain View. The City Council adopts these documents after public outreach and involvement of appointed and elected officials.

The 2030 Mountain View General Plan is a guiding document that identifies the vision of the City’s future and designates key areas for targeted growth and development, while preserving other areas. The General Plan can be viewed as the umbrella to land use regulations, as it sets the framework by which all other regulations must fall within. The Housing Element, a five-year plan to meet current and future housing needs for the City, and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program, a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions Citywide, are supplemental to the General Plan.

The Zoning Ordinance is Chapter 36 of the City Code and outlines specific land use and development regulations for each property within the City. This document identifies the specific types of businesses allowed throughout the City, as well as sets height limits, building setbacks, landscaping requirements, and other development standards for each zoning district in the City. The Zoning Ordinance helps implement the General Plan. The zoning map, the geographical display of zoning districts and precise plans, identifies each properties zoning district designation.

Precise Plans are sibling documents to the Zoning Ordinance and outline zoning regulations for designated properties, neighborhoods or areas within the City. Like zoning, Precise Plans identify specific types of businesses allowed within designated areas and sets developments standards.

The Subdivision Ordinance is Chapter 28 of the City Code and is based on the State Subdivision Map Act. The ordinance regulates all divisions of land and air space, including lot mergers to consolidate smaller parcels into larger development areas.