The City of Mountain View has taken a variety of actions that will help the community adapt to climate change, including increasing the number of trees, completing infrastructure projects that will protect the community from sea level rise, and complying with regional stormwater pollution regulations.
The Community Tree Master Plan identifies goals and management practices for trees in Mountain View. Urban trees help the City by removing carbon dioxide from the air, keeping temperatures cooler (by reducing the "heat island effect"), and providing habitat for animals.
The heat island effect describes how urbanized areas have higher temperatures than undeveloped land because concrete, asphalt, and buildings store heat longer than the ground or planted areas like parks. The shade from trees helps lower temperatures and reduces the number of extreme heat days, which often harm the elderly and other vulnerable populations.
For more information, visit the Community Services website.
Mountain View's Shoreline Community is adjacent the San Francisco Bay and is one of many low-lying communities in the Bay Area that are vulnerable to rising sea levels and flooding. As a result, the City has conducted several studies to evaluate current conditions, describe potential risks, and identify protective measures to protect this area. According to the study, the Bay could rise between 8 and 31 inches by 2067, potentially flooding a large portion of northern Mountain View. A number of infrastructure and environmental projects can protect communities from these treats, including levees, wetland habitat restoration, floodwalls, and pump stations.
Many federal, regional, and local agencies are working together to manage sea level rise and flooding. These agencies include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the City of Mountain View. For example, FEMA accredits levees to ensure that they can withstand specific types of flooding events, while the City of Mountain View completes projects to improve local conditions, such as a proposed study of improvements for the Charleston Slough.
In December 2017, the City Council adopted the updated North Bayshore Precise Plan to implement the 2030 General Plan’s policy direction for this area. The North Bayshore Precise Plan will help the City adapt to climate change by prioritizing development away from the Bay, which is vulnerable to sea level rise, and by enhancing ecosystems and habitats.
Staff used an Environmental Sustainability Framework to develop specific guidelines for the North Bayshore. This Framework considers factors such as climate change, land use and design, habitat, energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation, and sustainable infrastructure.
By ensuring that future development follows these guidelines, the City will help limit greenhouse gas emissions in order to reduce the severity of sea level rise, the urban heat island effect, and other climate change impacts in the North Bayshore.
For more information, visit the Planning Division website.
One impact of climate change is deviations in the amount, frequency, and timing of rainfall, which directly impacts stormwater runoff. In order to prevent water pollution, development projects meeting certain criteria must comply with Municipal Regional Stormwater NPDES Permit C.3 stormwater management regulations. These requirements help reduce runoff from developed areas and the amount of pollution in that runoff, which is discharged into the San Francisco Bay.
More information about stormwater regulations is available from the Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program and the C.3 Stormwater Handbook.