On behalf of The Silicon Valley Organization (The SVO), we are writing to urge the Mayor and Council to consider a balanced approach to the future growth and development of the North Coyote Valley. The SVO is Silicon Valley’s premier business advocacy organization representing 1,400+ companies that employ nearly 300,000 workers, and we represent our membership as the region’s largest Chamber of Commerce.
For many decades, the City of San Jose has aspired to secure a jobs and tax base in the North Coyote Valley. Given that only 15% of San Jose’s land is zoned for employment uses and the North Coyote Valley represents nearly 1/6th of all employment lands, it is incumbent upon the Mayor and Council to consider how any potential general plan amendments could potentially worsen San Jose’s already poor “jobs-to-housing” imbalance. Any future decisions on the North Coyote Valley should carefully consider this aspect and other considerations deliberated by a diverse set of stakeholders tasked to establish the Envision San Jose 2040 General Plan.
The City Council should consider a balanced approach that protects job growth, while preserving other lands for flood control, habitat protection, wildlife corridors, and protected open space. The key is to utilize Measure T dollars appropriately to acquire specific parcels of land that would achieve flood control protections and preserve wildlife. We urge the Mayor and Council to avoid any consideration of “down-zoning” parcels that have potential for attracting jobs and growing the City’s tax base. By approaching this complex issue with a “win-win” partnership and approach, we can achieve both goals of attracting jobs and preserving open space as there is plenty of land to achieve both objectives in the North Coyote Valley.
As the Mayor and Council deliberate this issue in the months to come, we urge them to consider this balanced approach to remain consistent with the goals of the Envision San Jose 2040 General Plan.