Editorial: Council must fulfill San Jose’s Coyote Valley obligation

The battle to protect Coyote Valley from development has been ongoing since Ronald Reagan was president in the 1980s.

Success is finally within reach for those who have been fighting to maintain a pastoral expanse of farmland and open space on San Jose’s southern edges.

The San Jose City Council can continue the momentum Tuesday by signaling its intent to follow through on its Measure T obligation to spend $50 million on purchasing land that would mitigate the Coyote Valley flood threat. Buying the land would not only reduce the flood risk that devastated the Naglee Park, Olinder Park and Rock Springs neighborhoods in 2017 but also protect key corridors for the wildlife that roam through the 1.1 million acres of open space between the Diablo Range and the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The alternative should be a non-starter.

Decades ago Coyote Valley was envisioned as a potential home to Apple, Cisco and other tech titans. No longer, for good reason. It makes little sense to exacerbate San Jose’s housing and transportation problems by extending the city’s sprawl farther south. High-tech companies aren’t interested, and neither is a City Council that is committed to making San Jose a model “green” city that is doing everything possible to combat the threat of climate change.

The only realistic development options for the foreseeable future are primarily warehouses, which would add relatively few jobs while doing substantial damage to the environment.

Rather than pave over more of Coyote Valley, the City Council can use the $50 million of Measure T funds to purchase lands that will act as a sponge during the valley’s rainy season, recharging the region’s aquifer and providing crucial drinking water for San Jose’s growing population.

The preservation and development of natural floodplains will also help protect the city from future flooding — a growing threat since global …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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