THE SOUTHEAST QUADRANT:
UNDERSTANDING WHAT’S AT STAKE
What is the City proposing to build in the SEQ?
The City is proposing to develop around 400 acres of the Southeast Quadrant (SEQ). The SEQ is a 1300 acre area east of the Hwy 101, south of San Pedro Ave, north of Maple Ave and bordered by our eastern foothills. Naturally one would ask, what is the big deal about developing 1/3 of this area? The answer is: quite a big deal.
The SEQ is the last large place around our city where long-term farming is viable. All other significant farming areas have already been targeted by the City for development. Now their sites are set on the SEQ.
The City’s plan splits the SEQ in two halves. It fragments farmland, envelopes it with urban development, sandwiching its rural setting between this urban development.
On one (western) side of the SEQ, the City plans is to develop 311 acres with a private high school, sports fields, and a restaurant/commercial strip mall. The remaining 40% of the development is unknown. Anything from a gas station, fast food restaurants, and hotels are expected to be proposed.
On the (eastern) other side of the SEQ, the City is planning on putting up 180 homes.
This development can be accommodated within current city limits. There is no need to disturb this rural setting. The City's plan for the SEQ (along with their terribly deficient Agricultural Lands Preservation Program) will not preserve this important rural area that is part of the reason people come to live in Morgan Hill.
To read the City’s version of their plans, please visit their webpage dedicated to the Southeast Quadrant.
Why is Thrive! Morgan Hill speaking up about this?
Thrive! Morgan Hill! is looking out for our community’s quality of life. That means we want our city to grow responsibly, reflecting residents’ desire for an economical sustainable city without compromising the “small town” feel that makes Morgan Hill such an attractive place to live in the greater Silicon Valley.
Orderly growth is key to that. The City’s plan truly stretches that premise. Its accountability of the impacts of this project on traffic, air quality, and open space (to name a few) have seriously been called into question.
The City’s claim of protecting our open space and farmland is also worthy of considerable scrutiny. We will lose over 350 acres of farmland in the SEQ along under the City’s plan. That is almost half of the farmland in the SEQ. A substantial amount of the remaining farmland in the SEQ will remain at risk of development.
Unquestionably, the SEQ is a major development decision that will have the biggest impact of all on the look and feel of our city. In addtion, the update to our city’s General Plan and growth control measure (Residential Development Control System) will bring further irrevocable changes to Morgan Hill’s landscape.
Keeping these important planning processes separate has lead to poor decision making and an ill-informed public.
What’s the alternative?
· The City should gather broad public input on their plan for this area. The City should incorporate this discussion into the city-wide General Plan update.
· The City should make honest efforts to accommodate proposed SEQ projects within our current city boundary.
· The City should complete good faith negotiations with the County of Santa Clara, LAFCo, and the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority.
· The City should strengthen its Agricultural Lands Preservation Program to make it an effective program truly preserving farmland in the Morgan Hill area.
What are other organizations and people saying about this?
INVOLVEMENT OF RESIDENTS LIKE YOU ARE CRITICAL TO THE OUTCOME OF THE FUTURE OF OUR CITY. PLEASE TAKE ACTION TODAY.
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