News Alert: Success in Gilroy and great progress in San Jose!

(CGF sent out the News Alert below about victories in Gilroy and San Jose. -Brian)

We’ve had great news in Gilroy and San Jose that we want to share with supporters.

All four sprawl proposals in Gilroy that we’ve been fighting have now been defeated or withdrawn! Since 2008, Committee for Green Foothills fought the proposals for over 1,000 acres of sprawl and inappropriate development that would move the City of Gilroy’s current boundaries outward.

We testified at hearings and sent several highly critical letters about the deficient environmental analysis. We were joined in this by other environmental organizations, local community organizations, and several government agencies that also wrote letters critical of the environmental documentation and the proposals themselves.

Two of the four proposals had already been withdrawn by the applicants when the issue finally reached the Gilroy City Council last week. On a 4-3 vote, Mayor Al Pinheiro and Council Members Peter Arrellano, Kat Tucker, and Perry Woodward voted against certifying the environmental documentation (EIRs) for the projects, which had the effect of killing the proposals. While we regret that it had not been a unanimous vote, Committee for Green Foothills salutes the City Council for making this sensible decision.

Turning to San Jose, the Envision 2040 Task Force has supported a strong policy for protecting streamside riparian corridors from inappropriate development and for closing loopholes in the current policy. For the first time after years of CGF efforts, the City of San Jose agreed to examine whether to continue the current practice of letting developers write the initial version of environmental documents that the City uses for examining streams.

Thank you for your support of CGF! Your support makes it possible for us to continue to be ever vigilant about land protection.

We will lobby Gilroy to develop a Climate Action Plan that will discourage sprawl proposals. We will track San Jose as it considers whether to remove developers’ role in preparing the City’s environmental documents, and encourage them to expand that change from stream issues to all environmental reviews.

We will continue to monitor the many issues throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

We’ll keep active and keep you informed.

– The folks at Committee for Green Foothills

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