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San Jose votes to preserve Coyote Valley

Wide shot of a lush Coyote Valley with mountains on the horizon.
Jan Knight/USFWS
Wide shot of a lush Coyote Valley with mountains on the horizon.

The future of Coyote Valley, just south of San Jose, has been the subject of a long-standing battle between land developers and conservationists.

As far back as the 1980s, the city zoned the valley for industrial use, hoping to promote tech development. As time went on, the city has pushed towards conservation. In 2019, San Jose partnered with two conservation networks to purchase more than 900 acres of land in the valley for preservation.

According to city officials, Coyote Valley accounts for about half of aquifer recharging areas -- places critical to drinking water. Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, one of the organizations the city partnered with, notes that the valley also provides essential flood risk reduction.

Currently, there is a group of property owners, who are slated to sell their land to developers. According to the Mercury News, Texas-based developer Crow Holdings seeks to build two warehouses that would span more than 100 acres of vacant farmland.

Last month, the San Jose Planning Commission voted 5-4 against rezoning the area, leaving Coyote Valley open for industrial development.

I'm an audio content creator interested in people-powered media and making knowledge accessible to and engaging for all. I believe in a queer of color approach to knowledge production and storytelling. I got my start in broadcast journalism at KCSB 91.9 in Santa Barbara and am currently working with API (Asian Pacific Islander) Equality--Northern California on a podcast documenting intergenerational queer and trans API connection. My favorite things to listen to are This American Life, Jour 1 by Hildegard, my friends' hot takes, and the round tapping sounds of a mechanical keyboard.