March 25, 2021
Congratulations to the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) for their recent purchases of three properties totaling 331 acres in Mid Coyote Valley.
The largest and newest acquisition is 206 acres bought from Shapell Properties, Inc., of which 57 acres are currently farmed as a walnut orchard. It is adjacent to the Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve on Palm Avenue and a 60 acre property that POST purchased in late 2020 from the Kuzia family. Rounding out the 331 acres is a 65 acre property to the north that POST acquired from Tavern Owners Investment Inc. earlier this month.
In addition to their proximity to the Open Space Preserve, Fisher Creek runs through all the properties. This increases opportunities for floodplain and habitat restoration including helping to create a critical wildlife habitat linkage between the mountain ranges that border the valley. POST is working with the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority (OSA) with the intention of eventually integrating the parcels into the Authority’s long-term planning process for the future of the lands in and around Coyote Valley.
Fly in the Ointment: Ocean Queen House Approved Next to Open Space Preserve
POST president Walter Moore recently stated to the East Bay Times covering the purchase, “…it’s astonishing that these lands have not been developed already.” While we agree that these latest purchases signal the progress we are collectively making to protect Coyote Valley from the decades-long threat of urban development, other threats are arising.
The OSA has filed an appeal with the County for approving an out-of-place house in mid-Coyote Valley. The house is directly adjacent to the Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve and the property POST acquired from Shapell. The County, which has jurisdiction over Mid and South Coyote Valley, should have notified the OSA per state law and conducted an environmental review before considering whether to approve the project by Ocean Queen USA, Inc.