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Coyote Valley (see also Coyote, Californiamarker) is a large expanse of farmland, orchards and homes, approximately in size, located in the most southern part of San Jose, Californiamarker. The Coyote Valley is targeted for urban development and until March 2008 was undergoing the State of California Specific Plan process in which master planning of the area began. The process was intended to analyze the feasibility of bringing new development to the area, with the participation of planners, environmentalists, engineers, and the general public. Although the North and the Mid-Coyote Valley areas have been planned for urban development since 1961, much controversy surrounds the proposal to build in this valley, which is considered by many to be the last remaining "untouched" open area within San Jose, and an open space buffer between the urban City of San Jose and the northward expanding City of Morgan Hillmarker.

Currently, Coyote Valley is home to large areas of orchards and farms, although that scene has been expected to change for decades. The Dahlin Group, based in San Ramon, Californiamarker, was chosen by the City of San Jose to create a master plan for the area. Dahlin Group's Conceptual Plan calls for at least 50,000 jobs and 25,000 homes, an international garden, a central lake, a hub and spoke Bus Rapid Transit system, and a green belt between the new town and Morgan Hill.

Citing costs and delays, developers stopped funding the planning process in March 2008.

Environmental impacts of development

To determine the effects of development in the Coyote Valley, a Draft Environmental Impact Report, or DEIR was released in March 2007. San Jose is the only city in Santa Clara Countymarker that allows developers to hand pick the environmental consultants who write the environmental impact reports for proposed projects. They can hire the companies directly, and hand in the reports with their application. When the DEIR was unveiled to the public, an unprecedented amount of criticism was generated with more than 1,000 pages of negative comments. These objections came from 55 organizations and individuals, and 28 public agencies including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The city decided to commission the remake of much of the Draft EIR. The revision work and other planning costs was estimated at 2.5 million dollars and to take over a year to complete. This controversy led to many residents of San Jose to call for an end to San Jose’s developer-controlled environmental impact reports.

City of San Jose Documents

Articles

Fiscal Analysis

The Draft Fiscal Analysis for Coyote Valley development concludes that San Jose will make more money in tax revenues from development than it will spend on providing government services. It reaches this conclusion by assuming that residential property values and resulting taxes will increase 3% above inflation every year for 57 years.

The Committee for Green Foothills disputes this analysis, arguing that because household income has only increased 1% above inflation annually in San Jose, it is impossible for the cost of housing to continuously increase faster than the means to pay for housing costs. The Committee also argues the Draft Analysis overestimates income by failing to account for tax revenues "cannibalized" by businesses moving from other parts of San Jose to Coyote Valley.

Developers End Specific Plan

On March 18, 2008, the developer/landowners in Coyote Valley announced they would no longer fund the Specific Plan process, which terminates that planning process. Developers cited the costs and delays in planning, while news reports noted increased political opposition. Environmental groups claimed they found grossly inadequate environmental and fiscal analyses and claimed those flaws were factors that contributed to end the current proposal.

Other proposed developments remain possible in Coyote Valley, including the previously approved, but never built, Coyote Valley Research Park, and the proposed Gavilan Collegemarker campus.

Notes

  1. http://sanjoseinside.com/sji/blog/entries/coyote_valley_boondoggle/
  2. http://www.sanjoseca.gov/coyotevalley/DEIR_Comments.htm
  3. http://www.sanjoseca.gov/coyotevalley/Fiscal%20Report/Draft_Fiscal_Report.pdf
  4. http://www.greenfoothills.org/blog/2006/06/master-comment-letter-on-coyote-valley.html
  5. http://www.mercurynews.com//ci_8622695
  6. http://www.greenfoothills.org/news/PressReleases/PR_03.18.2008.pdf
  7. http://www.greenfoothills.org/blog/2008/03/status-of-coyote-valley.html


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