Coyote Valley

Background

Coyote Valley Threatened for Decades with Urban Development

Nestled between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range at the southern end of San Jose, Coyote Valley spans over 7,400 acres. The fields, farmlands, creeks and wetlands of Coyote Valley provide a vital linkage for wildlife migration, flood protection for San Jose, locally grown food, and trails for hiking and biking.

For several decades, the City of San Jose designated North Coyote Valley for industrial development and Mid Coyote Valley for eventual annexation and residential development. The loss of Coyote Valley’s open space to development seemed inevitable.

But Green Foothills, together with our many environmental partners, fought back against each new development proposal. Some proposals were defeated by our advocacy, others by changing economic considerations – but overall, Coyote Valley remained primarily a place of open fields and farmlands.

In 2021, after several years of advocacy by the Protect Coyote Valley coalition led by Green Foothills, the San Jose City Council voted to:

  • change the land use designation of North Coyote Valley to open space and agriculture, and
  • remove the Urban Reserve designation from Mid Coyote Valley, thus relinquishing all intent of annexation and development.

A month later, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved a Climate Resilience District for both Mid and South Coyote Valley, imposing restrictions on the size and type of development allowable there and supporting climate-resilient agriculture. As a result of the City and County actions, Coyote Valley is now safe from urban-scale development.

What’s Now At Stake: Keeping Coyote Valley Green

Despite great progress, Coyote Valley is not completely protected from all development threats. We still need to ensure its wildlife habitat and linkages, floodplains and groundwater, and farmland are protected from landowners and developers seeking exceptions to the land use protections that were achieved with so much effort.

We will also continue to advocate for policies that protect, enhance and restore Coyote Valley’s unique ecosystem. We have an unparalleled opportunity to create a truly unique region – one that features sustainable and regenerative agriculture incorporating traditional Indigenous practices, that restores historical wetlands and floodplains to their former beauty, and that provides a fully functional landscape linkage for animals to safely cross between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range, including habitat for foraging, breeding, and nesting.

Read more about the wonders of Coyote Valley at Protect Coyote Valley, a collaborative effort led by Green Foothills.

Please join us in the fight to protect Coyote Valley! Sign the petition to protect Coyote Valley for future generations.

Map showing north, mid, and south Coyote Valley

Support Coyote Valley today!

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Thank You to Those Who Make Our Work Possible

Green Foothills appreciates every individual, agency, and foundation who makes our work possible and we are proud to recognize every contributor in Our Donor Community. Thanks to their generous support, we are able to champion land use decisions that affirm and support open space, biodiversity, climate resilience, and natural resources in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. To ensure local nature always has an advocate, please become a Sustaining Contributor today.

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