Monday, October 17, 2005

One more problem with Coyote Valley development

San Jose plans to discontinue its Technical Advisory Committee meetings for Coyote Valley development, a process that gave CGF more input than in the Coyote Valley Task Force meetings. We emailed in our response, which I've attached below.


Dear Sal,

As a member of the Coyote Valley Specific Plan Technical Advisory Committee, I want to publicly register my opposition to the decision suspending the TAC, a "temporary hold" on meetings that I expect is actually permanent.

First, the TAC meetings are a smaller scale venue for genuine interaction among people that does not occur at Task Force meetings, where two minutes of speaking time, with no responses from City staff, provide no real means to influence the process. None of the major environmental advocacy groups (Committee for Green Foothills, Sierra Club, Greenbelt Alliance, or Audubon Society) are represented on the Task Force. Unlike the property owners who have been empowered by San Jose to advise City policy in a way that affects their private economic interests, environmental groups have been sidelined at the Task Force level. Even at the TAC level, it is unclear to me whether we have had any influence, but at least we have a greater chance to make our arguments.

Second, because I was not consulted prior to this decision, I assume other TAC members were also not consulted. I think their opinion would be helpful, and I suggest the City ask the other members whether the meetings should be put on hold.

I hope the City will reconsider its decision.

Brian Schmidt

At 01:15 PM 10/17/2005, Yakubu, Salifu wrote:
> Coyote Valley Specific Plan Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Members:
> To minimize the duplication of effort, the Technical Advisory Committee
> (TAC) meetings have been put on hold temporarily.
> The CVSP planning team is continuing to hold sub-committee and focus group
> meetings on specialized areas of study such as schools, transportation,
> affordable housing, parks and trails, medical services, etc. These
> forums, which several of you currently participate in, are the primary
> vehicles for the review of technical information pertaining to these
> subject areas.
> For the last several weeks the Coyote Valley Specific Plan team of staff
> and consultants have been drafting the Specific Plan document. This
> effort draws extensively from all the community, TAC, and Task Force
> input, as well as information and materials that have been developed by
> the consultants and staff. Once we have a public review copy of the
> Specific Plan (expected in early 2006), we will reconvene the TAC to
> receive your comments on the document.
In the meantime, we are continuing to hold the monthly public Task
Force meetings to apprise the community and Coyote Valley stakeholders of
any proposed refinements. TAC members are welcome to attend and provide
public comment to the full Task Force.

> We wish to thank you for continuing to serve as a member of the Coyote
> Valley Specific Plan Technical Advisory Committee. Your contribution
> during the past three years has greatly enhanced the process and
> development of the plan, and would undoubtedly shape the future of Coyote
> Valley.
> Please feel free to contact me at


> if you have any questions. Thank you very
> much, and we look forward to your continued participation in this planning
> effort.
> Salifu Yakubu
> Principal Planner
> Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement


  1. Brian,
    It should be noted that no Greenbelt Property Owners are on the Task Force. The Coyote Valley Alliance for Smart Planning LLC (CVASP), a consortium of Coyote Valley Greenbelt Property Owners, was also on the TAC and enjoyed the interaction amoung TAC members. As you say, our group was also not notified before the TAC meetings were discontinued and we also strongly diagree with the decision. I guess whoever is calling the shots decided it was faster to go forward without TAC.
    Richard DeSmet
    Greenbelt Property Owner and member of the CVASP Steering Committee.