December 17, 2004

The Honorable Dennis Kennedy


City of Morgan Hill

17555 Peak Avenue

Morgan Hill, CA 95037-4128

Dear Mayor Kennedy,

This letter is in response to your August 13, 2004, letter addressing numerous issues in the Coyote Valley Specific Plan on behalf of a number of South County agencies. I want to commend and thank you for your ongoing participation at the CVSP Task Force meetings. This is a long and time-consuming process and I appreciate your attention and contributions to the conversation.

The Coyote Valley Specific Plan is a public process, with an extensive outreach and public participation program. I believe that active community involvement is key to developing a realistic yet innovative plan for Coyote Valley that will benefit both our cities as well as the region. Several of the persons and organizations on whose behalf you wrote, including County Supervisor Don Gage, Russ Danielson, George Panos, Shelle Thomas, Dr. Carolyn McKennan, Steve Kinsella, Paul Correa, Craige Edgerton, Alex Kennett, Connie Ludwig and the members of the Morgan Hill City Council, have attended CVSP meetings or participated in the planning process. As you know, many of them are members of the CVSP Task Force or the Coyote Valley Technical Advisory Committee.

The guiding principles of the Specific Plan were established in the 1980s, including the designation of the southern Coyote Valley as a greenbelt area. San José initiated the Coyote Valley Specific Plan process in August 2002, and we anticipate that the San José City Council will adopt the CVSP package, including the specific plan document, zoning districts and design guidelines, and environmental impact report in December 2005. Some of the issues raised in your letter have been addressed, while others will be addressed through the land planning process or the EIR preparation for the CVSP.

At the October and November Task Force meetings, a matrix was distributed with details about the outstanding issues that have been raised in the planning process and the timeline for analyzing them (attached). This matrix includes most of the issues referenced in your letter, but in addition, I have provided specific responses below to the issues you raised in your letter.

Traffic, Transportation and Housing

It is important to acknowledge that any development of the scale and complexity envisioned for Coyote Valley would impact San José, its neighboring communities, and probably elsewhere in the South County. Some of these impacts could be significant. We intend to approach all impacts in a manner consistent with City’s policies, California Environmental Quality Act, and relevant regulatory requirements.

  1. Jobs and Housing

a. Secondary jobs and their accommodation in Coyote Valley:

The consultant team anticipates that information would be available in early 2005 pertaining to the amount of land designated for job-creating uses, including primary and secondary jobs, and the number of secondary jobs that may result within and outside Coyote Valley. As you are aware, most of this information is a function of land use planning. We are currently developing a conceptual land use plan, and will not have any more specific information prior to the completion of a preferred land use plan, which is anticipated in early 2005.

b. Outside of Coyote, where would most Coyote Valley’s employees live?

Given the fact that San José has a larger housing stock than South County and continues to add more housing than any other city in the region, it is likely that more of Coyote Valley’s workers would reside in Coyote Valley and areas to the north, rather than in South County. The potential housing pattern for future Coyote Valley employees will be analyzed again in early 2005.

c. Will housing be provided concurrently with job creation in Coyote Valley?

The sequence of development between housing and workplace will be the subject of the Specific Plan’s phasing and infrastructure components. These have not yet been developed.

d. How would an insufficient supply of housing in Coyote Valley affect housing prices in South County?

Coyote Valley is part of San José, and job development in Coyote Valley has been a priority for the City as we make efforts to move towards a citywide jobs/housing balance. We also have been aggressively creating market rate housing and affordable housing in San José. Further, San José has enough housing and potential for infill housing to compensate for the additional jobs development anticipated for Coyote Valley.

  1. What level of affordability is proposed for the Coyote Valley Specific Plan?

The City Council’s “Vision and Expected Outcomes” statement for the CVSP requires that 20% of all residential development be affordable. This standard may be higher than the housing requirements of many communities in the Bay Area and California. There is no indication that the City Council would increase this requirement in Coyote Valley. There are other ways of improving accessibility to housing, such as the creation of well-paying jobs and provisions for a variety of housing types for different income and age groups.

  1. What realistic assumptions for trip distribution will be used in traffic modeling for the CVSP?

The 80/20 split for trip generation assumed in the Cisco EIR is still valid and has been confirmed by preliminary model runs for the CVSP project. Therefore, the assumption of a 20% trip origination from South County likely will continue to be a realistic variable in traffic modeling for the CVSP. In addition, there is a high level of trip internalization expected, given the proposed amount of mixed-use development anticipated in the plan.

  1. How would transportation planning for the CVSP be accomplished?

Coordination of transportation planning is being accomplished through discussions at the CVSP Technical Advisory Committee. County of Santa Clara Departments of Planning and Roads and Airport, Valley Transportation Authority, and City of Morgan Hill have also actively participated in other meetings on this topic.

  1. How would the CVSP ensure safe movement of children to schools?

The evolving land use plan demonstrates a strong commitment to walkable streets and neighborhoods and to adjacent uses that would encourage the safe movement of children, as well as other pedestrians and bicyclists.


  1. Will the CVSP designate school sites, and if so how would they be acquired?

School sites have been designated on the Specific Plan for elementary, middle and high schools, with adequate playgrounds and ball fields. City staff and members of my staff have been working with Gavilan Community College regarding their needs for a new campus serving Coyote Valley. The strategy for school site acquisition, either through donation or purchase, would be developed as part of the financing and public facilities planning for CVSP which is anticipated in early 2005.

  1. Financing of school and support facilities:

School facility financing will be dealt with in the CVSP financing and public facilities plan.

  1. How flexible is the CVSP in dealing with unforeseen property acquisitions by schools?

Both the Morgan Hill Unified School District and Gavilan Community College are members

of the CVSP Technical Advisory Committee. As the staff and consultant team continue to work with them and include their input in the planning process, we hope to minimize surprises that may adversely impact the Specific Plan. We are aware, of course, of the prerogatives of MHUSD and Gavilan College. Like any thorough planning effort, the CVSP will include appropriate flexibility through “form-based zoning” to deal with unanticipated possibilities.

Public Facilities:

  1. How would impacts to County roads be mitigated?

The impacts to County roads will be assessed in the EIR in early to mid 2005. Mitigation measures will be identified to reduce any potential impacts to a less-than-significant level.

  1. How would impacts to County parks be mitigated?

The impacts to County parks will be assessed in the EIR in early to mid 2005. Mitigation measures will be identified to reduce any potential impacts to a less-than-significant level. In addition the current conceptual land use plan includes more than 250 acres of public parks and recreational amenities. This does not include other private and common open space amenities that would be required of future developments consistent with the Zoning and Design guidelines for Coyote Valley.


  • What is the vision for the Greenbelt, and how will it be achieved?

The vision in the San José 2020 General Plan for the South Coyote Valley Greenbelt is that it remains a non-urban buffer between the cities of San José and Morgan Hill, with no provision of urban services. The CVSP staff and consultants have had several meetings with the Greenbelt property owners. This effort will continue with the property owners to help define the character of the Greenbelt and develop a strategy to implement the City’s vision given the current regulatory frameworks. The most recent Greenbelt property owners’ meeting was held on December 9, 2004, and the CVSP Task Force discussed preliminary findings for the Greenbelt strategy at its meeting on December 14. The Greenbelt strategy will continue to evolve with the development of the Specific Plan through December 2005.

Air Quality:

  • How would air quality impacts be mitigated?

Potential air quality impacts and any necessary mitigation measures to reduce air quality impacts to a less-than-significant level will be analyzed in the EIR, which is expected to be available in mid-2005.


  • How would the CVSP be coordinated with South County agencies?

The CVSP process includes various persons and organizations that represent South County interests. Supervisor Don Gage and Russ Danielson (MHUSD) are members of the Task Force. Additionally, the City of Morgan Hill, the Association of Monterey Area Governments, and various County departments, Gavilan College and MHUSD are members of the CVSP Technical Advisory Commission. These individuals and organizations continue to participate actively in the CVSP process. The planning process also will continue to hold public meetings, forums, and hearings throughout the balance of the effort and at key milestones to provide multiple opportunities for a wide range of perspectives to participate.

San Martin Airport:

  • How would the CVSP impact the San Martin Airport?

The impacts to transportation facilities (including the San Martin Airport) will be analyzed in the EIR, the scope of which will be addressed at an EIR Public Scoping Meeting in early 2005.

Regional Health Care Facilities:

  • Impacts to existing or planned health care facilities:

The impacts to health care facilities (including those located in Morgan Hill and Santa Clara County) will be analyzed in the EIR, the scope of which will be addressed at an EIR Public Scoping Meeting in early 2005.

As you know, the development of a specific plan is a complex and highly iterative and interactive process. While many of the issues you raised in your letter are yet to be resolved, I assure you of our dedication to produce a comprehensive, practical, and innovative specific plan that is based on the best data and analysis and reflects broad involvement by stakeholders in all our communities. I appreciate your commitment to the CVSP process, and look forward to your continued participation as we work toward a plan that will benefit the people of our region.

Thank you again for your continued involvement in the preparation of the Coyote Valley Specific Plan. I encourage you to call me if you have any further questions regarding these or other issues as the planning moves toward its completion in the coming year.


Ron Gonzales


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