Sue the Pants off San Jose

It’s unfortunate that this item should be added to a court
docket. Our society is overly litigious, but the Coyote Valley
planning process, so egregious in so many ways, roars forward.
It’s unfortunate that this item should be added to a court docket. Our society is overly litigious, but the Coyote Valley planning process, so egregious in so many ways, roars forward.

Now that out-of-control planning process features the likelihood that the city will break a long-standing requirement to build houses only after sufficient jobs are in place in Coyote Valley. It’s apparent that lawsuits, and lots of them, are the only way to get the attention of San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales and his cohorts at City Hall.

Which groups have reasons to sue? Let us count the many …

Environmentalists ought to sue. Water and pollution issues ought to be enough to get the environmentalists and their lawyers in court to stop Coyote Valley development.

The Morgan Hill School District and Gavilan Community College should sue. Both districts have no representation on the Coyote Valley Specific Plan Task Force, but both will be required to educate the students of Coyote Valley.

If Gonzales and Councilman Forrest Williams successfully remove the decades-old requirement for 5,000 jobs in Coyote Valley before housing development can occur, paying for those students’ educations gets a lot harder.

Businesses pay property taxes but don’t have any children associated with them, like many houses do. If San Jose removes these triggers, Gavilan and MHUSD lawyers ought to be at the courthouse the next day with lawsuits in hand.

Some Morgan Hill and San Martin residents, all part of MHUSD, have begun advocating that the school district split, forcing Coyote Valley to form its own district or join another district. They’re concerned that when Coyote Valley is built out, its residents will outnumber (and outvote) residents in Morgan Hill and San Martin.

But deciding whether to split the district should be done only after reviewing costly studies conducted by expensive consultants. There are important financial considerations and complicated future scenarios that must be weighed.

MHUSD ought to be conducting those studies and billing the City of San Jose. And if San Jose balks at paying for studies its development process necessitates, then, you guessed it, sue ’em.

The cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill, also unrepresented on the planning task force, and Santa Clara County, will be significantly impacted by Coyote Valley development. New residents, increased traffic, noise and pollution, not to mention unnecessary new competition for high-tech or bio-tech jobs are all reasons to sue.

Given the shabby treatment of South County by San Jose, and before it’s too late to undo the potential harm caused by reckless Coyote Valley development, please, sue ’em.

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