Thursday, February 23, 2006

The CGF family takes wing

Some great news about people associated with us here at Committee for Green Foothills: Zoe Kerstenn-Tucker, CGF Board Member and former Executive Director, has been appointed to the San Mateo County Transit District Board, where she will do a great job of protecting the public and advocating for smart growth.

Meanwhile, Velma Gentzsch, CGF's former Associate Director of Development, will be the Executive Director's Executive Assistant at the Save the Redwoods League.

It's great to see these developments!


Friday, February 17, 2006

More golf course trouble in Morgan Hill

Apparently, the private, illegally-constructed golf course in Morgan Hill is raising additional controveries. (Background on the golf course is here.) The golf course is now being promoted as a potential PGA tournament location.

The Institute Golf Course is not permitted to have tournaments, and the parking issues would likely conflict with the area's agriculture. The golf course has not kept up with its commitment to improve on site environmental problems and to purchase habitat offsite to compensate for the illegal habitat destruction done on the property.

Morgan Hill shouldn't even consider a permit until the golf course comes into compliance with its requirements, and should look very skeptically thereafter at any application.


Friday, February 10, 2006

Some good Coyote Valley news

From the Mercury News: mayoral candidates "stressed that the city cannot build housing there before finding businesses to put jobs into the northern section of the valley. Otherwise, in their view, the city will worsen its tax revenue shortage by having too many houses and too few jobs."

An Op-Ed from Audubon's departing advocate Juliana Chow summarizes many of the project's current problems.

And the Merc's own editorial says it would be "ridiculous" to subsidize industry to get it to move to Coyote. That's entirely right, and it's also what would be the end result of some proposals to remove the current safeguards in the City's General Plan.


Thursday, February 2, 2006

Happy World Wetlands Day!

Well, I didn't know it was World Wetlands Day either, but time to celebrate it nonetheless. The Ramsar treaty provides international support for wetlands protection, part of a growing recognition of their importance.

One way we can act locally to recognize their importance globally is to protect our wetlands. Santa Clara County refuses to protect wetlands that are not protected by the federal Clean Water Act, something we believe is blatant violation of the California Environmental Quality Act and possibly other state laws. Fixing this problem would be a good step forward, and we're watching for a chance to do exactly that.


Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Waiting for a fix-up of Coyote Valley planning

San Jose City Council met last night to discuss Coyote Valley, and CGF has sent out an Action Alert asking for true mitigation for the proposed loss of farmland, for a replacement person to fill the vacant environmental position at the Coyote Valley Task Force, and for disclosure of any secret deals made over Coyote Valley.

We're glad to report that Councilmember Forrest Williams has already stated that he is unaware of any secret deals, and we thank him for stepping forward.


Car dealerships dominating Palo Alto Baylands?

Palo Alto has made car dealerships a permitted use on East Bayshore Road, the side road that runs between Highway 101 and the Baylands. While the use will likely occur only upon already-developed land, this decision raises the possibility of giant, gaudy, overlit dealerships creating visual impacts on what is currently a mostly-natural viewpoint enjoyed by thousands of people on the highway, not to mention the actual users of the Baylands.

We at CGF will watching any actual applications for dealerships very closely.