Published by the Committee for Green Foothills—based in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties
and read all their newsletters for the past ten years here:
and read their blog for most current stuff:
1/5/2010--The 6,500-acre Sargent Ranch just south of Gilroy, owned principally by Wayne and Marci Pierce under the Sargent Ranch LLC, is under Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings...
...Plans to develop the Sargent Ranch have long been unsuccessful. County zoning regulations, environmentalists and local politicians have thwarted plans for hotels, golf courses and housing developments for two decades.
Excerpts from their latest issue, from Summer 2009:
arizona-based developer DMB announced in May that it was dropping plans for the proposed “El Rancho San Benito”, a 6,800 home mini-city near Hollister, due to the economic downturn. DMB cited the State’s budget woes as a major factor in its decision, as the project depended upon massive public expenditures for highway improvements. Left unmentioned by DMB was the role played by environmental organizations including Committee for Green Foothills, who had weighed in to demand compliance with environmental laws.
Just one week later, DMB unveiled plans for development of 12,000 housing units plus a million square feet of office space on Cargill’s 1,433-acres of former baylands in Redwood City. When fully built, this mini-city would add up to 30,000 people — the equivalent of another Belmont, San Carlos, Burlingame, Foster City, or Menlo Park — to Redwood City’s 75,000 residents. The so-called “Redwood City Saltworks” is not an infill project, nor is it smart growth!
We saw that this spring in the wonderful news that the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) has purchased the 966-acre Rancho San Vicente property overlooking Almaden Valley and very near to Coyote Valley in southern San Jose. San Vicente connects Santa Teresa and Calero County Parks
San Mateo County has struggled for many years with the thorny issue of how to treat these tiny, substandard lots. Many are still undeveloped, and are still in common ownership. If each substandard lot were developed separately, the Midcoast area’s limited infrastructure, especially roads, sewer, and water, would be overwhelmed and its semi-rural ambiance would be lost.
Half Moon Bay’s modern-day epic that evokes images of Odysseus’ perilous journey, choosing between Scylla and Charybdis, continues unabated. Last year, by a 4-1 vote (Councilman Jim Grady dissenting), the City Council decided against appealing a draconian federal lower court decision, which awarded developer “Chop” Keenan $40 million in damages over disputed wetlands on his 24-acre parcel known as Beachwood.
the Committee is watching ...
--Solar power proposals for Santa Clara County owned lands, which could be a very good thing for buildings and paved parking lots, but inappropriate for undeveloped open space.
--Multiple proposals for sprawl in Gilroy, completely inappropriate given the good examples of rejecting sprawl in San Benito County and Coyote Valley.
--San Mateo County Planning and Consultants, now reviewing “Big Wave”, a massive office park and housing for developmentally delayed adults on agricultural lands and wetlands next to the environmentally sensitive Pillar Point Marsh.