Thursday, August 2, 2007

Very good news on Coyote Valley - the City acknowledges their environmental review was inadequate

From the Merc:

In a major setback to development plans for Coyote Valley, the city of San Jose plans to revise a key environmental document, responding to a mountain of scathing criticism of the controversial proposal.

The city's planning staff, in a memo released late Wednesday, said the amount and tone of the criticism were "unprecedented," forcing the department to redo parts of the draft environmental impact report that was issued in April.

While the city had hoped to certify the environmental impact report this year, Wednesday's move means it will be at least June before the environmental document is certified - alarming housing developers eager to start building. State law requires a valid report before the city can consider a plan to allow 25,000 homes and 50,000 jobs on Coyote Valley farmlands.

The decision by the city's planning staff is the latest twist in the ongoing Coyote Valley saga. The proposal has pitted a coalition of housing developers against environmentalists in a battle over the best use of the 7,000-acre area.

Among the many areas of the report that the city plans to revisit are how the development would affect traffic, water supply, agricultural land and global warming.

We and many other groups put an enormous amount of time into this. While it's just a delay right now, it is important. San Jose should simply stop the whole Coyote Valley process until the City's General Plan is revised, and then figure out what it needs to do.


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