Next Tuesday, February 11, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will consider whether to extend protections for the Stanford Foothills open space for 99 years. Please email the Supervisors and tell them to protect our open space!
The County of Santa Clara spent two years reviewing Stanford’s application for a General Use Permit (GUP), including whether to amend the Stanford Community Plan to protect the open space in the Stanford Foothills. County staff ultimately recommended amending the Community Plan to state that any development in the Stanford Foothills would require a 4/5 (supermajority) vote of the Board of Supervisors for the next 99 years. However, in November 2019, Stanford abruptly withdrew their GUP application, ending the discussion on open space as well as on other impacts of the proposed GUP.
In spite of this, we continued to advocate with the County for the protection of this huge open space area. Now, the Board of Supervisors has agreed to consider these amendments to the Stanford Community Plan separately from the GUP application. Since the Community Plan is part of the County General Plan and may be amended by the Supervisors at any time, we now have the opportunity to lock in protections for the Stanford Foothills for the next 99 years.
Why It’s Important
While this vote won’t prevent any development from ever happening in the Stanford Foothills, it will require that for the next 99 years, 4 out of 5 Supervisors in the County of Santa Clara must agree that it’s a good idea to allow development there. Other development proposals require only a simple majority (3 out of 5 Supervisors), so this higher bar recognizes that these 2,000 acres of grassy hillsides and oak savannah provide irreplaceable habitat for wildlife and need extra protection.
What You Can Do
We believe the Stanford Foothills – encompassing some of the last grassland habitat for miles in this area – should be protected with this slightly higher barrier to development. If you agree, please email the Supervisors and ask them to protect the Stanford Foothills!