The Santa Teresa Foothills Neighborhood Association has been
active in trying to convince the Santa Clara Valley Open Space
Authority (OSA) to acquire property in the Santa Teresa Foothills to
help preserve that land and avoid any further development. Several
members of the association have spoke on the neighborhoods behalf at
OSA board meetings, and John Hesler and Matt Freeman, the Vice
President and President, met with the OSA’s acquisition committee.
At the acquisition meeting, we had an opportunity to present the
case for acquiring the hillsides. We feel this should be a desirable
acquisition for OSA for the following reasons:
- A couple of the property owners have expressed a willingness to sell land to OSA,
- The land is highly visible from much of the valley floor so preservation would benefit a large population of San Jose
- Development that has happened on the Almaden Valley side of
the hills is an indication that the hills are susceptible to being
- The city’s long term plan includes a trail on the hillside.
This will be much easier to implement if the property is owned by the
OSA rather than private land owners.
- The neighbors along this ridge have continued to support
preservation of these hills, and are looking for agencies such as the
OSA to help in this matter.
Unfortunately, the acquisition committee does not see this hillside
as a high priority for acquisition at this time. They expressed concern
with the liability of owning the land, and a belief that the threat of
development is not imminent.
20% of the funds that go to OSA are set aside for each jurisdiction
to direct where money should be spent. That is to say that 20% of the
OSA money that comes from San Jose residents can be directed by the
city of San Jose. Similarly, 20% of the OSA money that comes from
residents of unincorporated areas of the county are directed the county
board of supervisors. Our best hope for convincing the OSA that the
hillside is important for acquisition is to encourage the city and
county governments to direct their OSA funds to be utilized for this
purpose. We are currently working to find out more about these funds
and how we can get them utilized for preserving the hillside.
For those that are concerned about
this issue, let the Open Space Authority know how you feel about
preserving the Foothills. Contact Alex Kennett at firstname.lastname@example.org.