San Jose Expected To Protect Open Space From Developers

Keith Menconi
November 06, 2019 - 11:21 am
San Jose's Coyote Valley will be protected as an open space, according to a city plan.

Ron Horii/ Peninsula Open Space Trust

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(KCBS Radio) — San Jose officials on Wednesday are expected to approve a deal to buy the scenic Coyote Valley on the southern edge of the city.

Developers have long been licking their chops over the possibilities presented by Coyote Valley But this $93-million agreement backed by the city would take a little more than 900 acres of land off the market permanently, creating opportunities to restore it for generations to come. 

"It is one of the few remaining valley floor landscapes in the San Francisco Bay Area that has not been developed," said Andrea MacKenzie, general manager of the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. She pointed out that the site is an important natural habitat for wildlife.

The authority is a government agency that would oversee a portion of the land, pending approvement of the deal. 

The Peninsula Open Space Trust is putting up some of the money for the land purchase.

A view of the Coyote Valley in San Jose.
Derek Neumann/ Peninsula Open Space Trust

It's a deal that's been years in the making. When asked what it took to get to this point, Walter Moore, the Trust's president, laughed and simply answered "a lot."

Moore said taking this land out of contention for development is good for the community, because it will, as he put it, "reduce flood impacts [and>  increase sources of clean water, easily accessible recreation and locally grown food." 

The Mercury News reported the region had been zoned for industrial use, and that if the deal is approved as expected, the city will need to find another place to put the thousands of jobs that would have resulted from developing the land.