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Have Mill Valley's Values Changed Since 1989?

As City Hall embarks on its update of the 23-year-old General Plan, its speedy timeline is based on the assumption that the town's core values haven't changed much since 1989. So let's hear it: have they?

The Mill Valley City Council last week approved a schedule and scope of work for the , the city’s guiding document for land use and development. The update, particularly of the housing element, which state law requires to be updated every five years but hasn’t been since 2003, was identified at the council’s retreat in January 2011 as the city’s most glaring weakness.

City officials proposed an 18-month timeline - speedier than most General Plan updates, according to Planning Director Mike Moore - under the assumption that the “community values” on which the 1989 General Plan was drafted haven’t changed much. Those seven values are:

  1. Preserving the quality and diversity of residential neighborhoods
  2. Maintaining healthy, attractive commercial areas serving local residents
  3. Maintaining the scenic quality of the bayfronts, ridgelines and hillsides
  4. Preserving and enhancing creeks, marshes and other natural areas
  5. Protecting people and buildings from natural hazards
  6. Minimizing traffic congestion and encouraging use of public transit
  7. Accommodating more low- and moderate-income households

So what do you think? Answer our poll below, and then tell us in the Comments section which values you would change, and what you would change about them.

Lou Judson January 09, 2012 at 02:38 PM
I grew up in MV so it is my hometown, and I care about it, though I cannot afford to live there - now living in Novato where I own a home. The list of seven "values" is interesting - they are "topics of interest" but the "values" lie in how they are implemented. Is putting the largest, garishest house you can afford on a small lot a value? (#1) Is driving all the small locally owned business catering to the hometown folks out of town with extreme rents a "Value" now that you have to drive to the freeway to buy a nut or a bolt? (or a good affordable hamburger!) (#2). Is letting the roads deteriorate to the point of choosing a route through town based on how bumpy you want the ride to be a "value"?(#6) And when a local homegrown resident has to move 10 miles to afford a house, is that a "Value" (#7). The list of seven topics for a plan is great - now let's see how badly they implement them this time! <L>
Mari January 09, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Well, said, Lou. I did not grow up in Mill Valley. I first visited in 1977, as a teenager and fell in love with the place. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would end up living here I live in Homestead, and pinch myself everyday when I wake up in the middle of a Redwood forest. Another day and another daily battle - against well meaning, yet uninformed political environmentalists - to preserve our semi rural environment.
Phil January 09, 2012 at 09:28 PM
While I agree with the scope and direction of most of the values listed, there are some revisions that I feel need to be added. Fixing deteriorated roads should be one major concern. My ride down the hill everyday is fraught with potential axle damage.

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