Secret developer access exposed

The Pinnacle newspaper in south Santa Clara County did an in-depth article about the issue CGF exposed – developers are given access to draft environmental documents to review those documents and argue for changes while environmentalists are excluded. Two points we can add here – County staff said giving equal access to environmentalists would be a bureaucratic nightmare. It would not – all the County would have to do is to respond to requests for the same documents the County was already giving to developers. Second, Supervisor Gage compared the process to the County reviewing financial audit reports before they...

Read More

San Jose to worsen the jobs-housing balance

San Jose has long (and justifiably) complained that north Santa Clara County cities would build tax-revenue-increasing business developments while failing to provide tax-revenue-decreasing housing. San Jose and areas south and east are then forced to provide housing for the North County jobs, resulting in sprawl and long commutes. Taking this lesson to heart, San Jose now wants to become like its north County sister cities. With the planned development of Coyote Valley and North First Street, San Jose will also have insufficient housing. Given that the region as a whole is so deficient in housing, San Jose’s action will significantly...

Read More

Stanford’s improved finances to affect construction?

There’s been relatively little construction on Stanford campus pursuant to the 2000 General Use Permit, but much of that lull could be attributed to finances. Things may be changing: “The university’s investment returns last year were $1.7 billion. The university’s endowment is now $9.9 billion, up from $8.6 billion a year ago.” We’ll need to keep a watch on the pace of construction, to see if it’s affected by this. Spending the extra cash on environmental research and conservation would be extremely welcome. -Brian

Read More

News roundup

San Jose is considering a new “Downtown North“. It will have 100,000 jobs, supposedly, and 24,700 new residences. Shades of Coyote Valley where, once again, San Jose is not providing housing to balance all the people it is trying to attract to the region. On the other hand, this development will destroy much less open space than Coyote Valley. We’ll have to think about what degree this is a CGF concern. Here is one concern however: Mayor Ron Gonzales said “he couldn’t recall why he decided to cut the developers the break” of having the City (read: taxpayers) instead of...

Read More

Local connection to global warming – sardines?

An interesting article in today’s New York Times discusses a newly-discovered connection between the lack of sardines and global warming. It appears that these tiny fish eat, or used to eat, massive amounts of phytoplankton, which are tiny plants floating in ocean currents. With the sardines exploited and overfished, the phytoplankton proliferates, dies, and rots. As it rots it produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. The study was conducted in Africa, but could be relevant to the collapsed sardine fishery off the northern California coast. Just one more lesson of the dangers in massively altering systems we don’t yet understand....

Read More

New guidebook for local open space

We just learned of a new guidebook to the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District‘s 25 preserves and 200+ miles of trails. “Peninsula Tales & Trails” by David Weintraub ($19.95 from WestWinds Press, available at Kepler’s) promises a preserve locator map, historical, cultural and anecdotal material, including a table with trail use info (bikes, dogs, horses). The locator map and trail use info are already available on the MROSD website, but the additional info might be quite interesting, and it’s worth taking a look at this book. -Kathy

Read More

Pushing for change

CGF has found serious problems with County planning processes, where developers are given access to government documents that are not shared with the public, and given a chance to influence the final version of those documents without input from the public. We have more information about this illegal practice here. We are now beginning to take action. Here is a letter we’re sending to Santa Clara County. We’ll see what happens next. -Brian

Read More

Stanford’s S1 “Trail” – comments are due Friday!

Santa Clara County is now accepting comments on the environmental documentation for the first of the two trails that Stanford promised to build in return for all the development it was allowed. (For background information, click here.) You can review the County’s new document here: Stanford S1 Trail Alignment Draft Supplemental EIR (scroll two-thirds of the way down the screen) The main problem with the document is that the “trail” it identifies as environmentally superior is hardly a trail at all, and simply follows existing roads and sidewalks. The reason for this is that the County refuses to look at...

Read More

Planning Santa Clara County’s Habitat

Yesterday was the first public meeting in a process to develop a Habitat Conservation Plan for most of Santa Clara County. This is a quiet step forward on a process that will influence development for good or ill in the County over 20 years or more. CGF and other organizations will keep track of the process and publicize it, of course. There’s an even a brand new website with HCP information, at: Santa Clara Valley Habitat Conservation Plan / Natural Communities Conservation Plan A question that has long bothered me is why the HCP has been delayed so long –...

Read More

A chance to weigh in locally

On this election-day-eve, you might, like me, be feeling the need to act locally. Here’s an opportunity to have an effect on our local representation – on the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) Board of Directors. With the addition of the San Mateo County Coastside to its jurisdiction, MROSD now needs to adjust the boundaries of its seven districts so that each contains approximately the same number of people. They’re holding a series of workshops to get input on how best to redraw the ward boundaries so that the new constituents are appropriately represented on the district’s Board of...

Read More

Note

You are leaving the Green Foothills website to go to our Protect Coyote Valley website.

Note

You are leaving the Green Foothills website to go to the Protect Juristac website.

Note

You are leaving the Green Foothills website to go to our 2021 CALA Application.

Note

You are leaving the Green Foothills website to go to our Protect Coyote Valley website.