Tell County Supervisors: Coyote Valley is for Farmers and Climate Resilience

Coyote Valley – By Ron Horii

On Tuesday, December 14, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will consider whether to designate Coyote Valley a Climate Resilience District. This new designation will ensure that farmland in Mid and South Coyote Valley will not be taken over by luxury villas and estate homes for Silicon Valley billionaires. Please email the Supervisors and ask them to approve the Coyote Valley Climate Resilience District!

What’s Happening: Supervisors to Vote on Designating Mid and South Coyote Valley a Climate Resilience District

On November 16, the San Jose City Council unanimously voted to change the land use in North Coyote Valley from an industrial designation to open space and agriculture, and to remove the Urban Reserve designation from Mid Coyote Valley. With that vote, San Jose finally ended the decades of attempts to urbanize North Coyote Valley and Mid-Coyote Valley.

The action by San Jose means that Mid Coyote Valley will never be annexed for residential subdivisions, which for decades was the expectation of the landowners there. If the County does not approve the Climate Resilience District, some of those landowners might attempt to maximize the value of their land by building egregious, monster-sized luxury mansions in this rural area.

By restricting the total footprint of new non-agricultural buildings, the proposed Climate Resilience District will better support the agricultural use of land in Mid and South Coyote Valley. In addition, for lots larger than 5 acres, any new residences must not conflict with the required on-site agriculture. The County Planning Commission unanimously supported staff’s recommendation to approve the new Climate Resilience District. Now it’s up to the Supervisors to provide the final approval.

Why It Matters

Agriculture plays an important role in Santa Clara County’s economy, local food security, and climate resilience. Local farms provide us with locally grown food, open space, opportunities for education, and many ecological services such as flood control, groundwater recharge, pollinator habitat, fire hazard mitigation, and carbon sequestration.

Luxury housing in rural areas is one of the biggest causes of loss of farmland in the county. Although landowners generally have the legal right to build one house per parcel, the Climate Resilience District will restrict egregiously sized new homes and ensure they don’t conflict with using land for agriculture. The new state law allowing lot splits, SB9, does not apply to Coyote Valley.

What You Can Do

This is a big new step for environmental protection that deserves support. Please email the Board of Supervisors and ask them to approve the Coyote Valley Climate Resilience District!

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