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August 18, 2022

County supes approve $1 million towards Blair Ranch purchase

The supervisors voted unanimously to pitch in towards the $8.68
Santa Clara County leaders this week took a major step toward the acquisition of Blair Ranch west of Morgan Hill from the family that owns it.

The board of supervisors unanimously agreed to contribute $1 million to the $8.68 million purchase. The Santa Clara County Open Space Authority will get funding from the Peninsula Open Space Trust, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Coastal Conservancy to see the purchase through. The property has been owned by the Blair family for five generations and is currently being used for cattle grazing.

The county wants to preserve the land as a natural resource, said Supervisor Don Gage.

The supervisors this week voted to begin the acquisition process, setting up a public hearing for at 2 p.m. during the board’s Feb. 26th meeting in San Jose.

Under the arrangement, the OSA will own and manage the property but the county will retain the right to a conservation easement restricting “future use to open space, conservation, and passive recreational uses,” Mitchell said.

A 4-mile trail system connecting Blair Ranch to Rancho Canada del Oro to Calero County Park could be completed within five years, said county spokeswoman Gwen Mitchell.

The ranch is 8.5 miles west of downtown Morgan Hill. It extends the OSA’s Rancho Canada del Oro Preserve boundary to Uvas Road and provides a future trail linkage to Calero County Park, Mitchell said.

“I look forward to the purchase of the Blair property,” said Lisa Killough, director of the County Parks and Recreation Department. “This is a good opportunity to expand the county’s open space and provide more recreational options for the public.”

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