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Martial Cottle Park Project

Published on: 10/24/2013 10:26 AM
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A collaborative planning project between California State Parks and Santa Clara County Parks

Martial Cottle Park image
Design for Martial Cottle Park Phase I Implementation in Process

The design of Martial Cottle Park Phase I Implementation is underway, with the Construction Document to be completed by the end of the year.  Construction is expected to begin on the perimeter trails in 2013.  The County Parks Department anticipates the perimeter trails to be open in late 2013, with the official park opening in 2014.

A public meeting to allow public input on the design development of the project was held on July 10, 2012, from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at Gunderson High School. Drawings presented at the meeting are available for public view by clicking the links below.

For questions regarding the project please contact Alicia Flynn at (408) 355-2209.  


Archived Newsletters

The Martial Cottle Park State Park General Plan and County Park Master Plan and Environmental Impact Report was approved by the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors on February 8, 2011 and approved by the California State Park and Recreation Commission on March 2, 2011.

You may obtain a personal copy of the Final Martial Cottle Park State Park General Plan County Park Master Plan Report or EIR (hard copy or a CD with the electronic files) for a fee. Please complete the following form and send to Jane Mark, Project Manager, (408) 355-2237, or Kimberly Brosseau, Park Planner (408) 355-2230.


Past Public Meetings

The County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors considered the Martial Cottle Park Plan and EIR at their regular meeting on February 8, 2011.

County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

Public Comments Received after end of Noticing Period

California State Parks Commission Meeting

View here for more information on the State Park and Recreation Commission meeting

Revised Public Notice for March 2, 2011 Meeting

Revised Agenda for 3-2-11 Meeting

Martial Cottle Park Process

Martial Cottle Park Process
In 2004 Mr. Walter Cottle Lester donated the 287.54-acre Martial Cottle Park property in South San Jose to the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department and the CA State Parks Department.  This new park will be an exciting opportunity for the community to become involved with the County Parks and Recreation Department and CA State Parks in the planning process.  The County and State are collaborating to develop a Master Plan based on the Donor’s Vision.  Before the property can be opened for public use and future improvements implemented, a Master Plan must be approved by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.  In addition, a General Plan must be considered and approved by the State Parks and Recreation Commission.  There are several ways for the public to be involved with this park master plan project, including participation at community workshops, Task Force meetings, and Commission meetings and providing input on the planning documents that are being prepared.

Technical Advisory Committee
A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) was formed to provide technical feedback to the CA State Parks Department and the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department throughout the planning process.  The TAC is comprised of representatives from agencies and potential partners such as the Santa Clara Valley Water District, State, County and City agencies, other regional parks providers such as East Bay Regional Park District and City of San Jose Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services, and local agricultural experts who will advise on the feasibility of the master plan elements.

Technical Advisory Committee Information

Read more  information on the Technical Advisory Committee.

Task Force Committee
The purpose of a Task Force is to bring the diverse ideas and perspectives of the community into the park planning process.  The Task Force Committee serves as an advisory body whose members represent a wide range of public interests.  Members will work together with the CA State Parks and County Parks Department Project Team (Staff and Consultants) to develop reasonable goals for the Master Plan.  They will work towards consensus on a proposed Plan that embodies these goals and captures the Donor’s Vision for the park.  Task Force members will report back to the community and their representative groups and serve as a conduit for ideas and concerns as a plan is developed.

Task Force Committee Information

Read more information on the Task Force Committee.

Public Workshops
A series of public workshops will be held to engage the general public at various stages of the master planning process.

Read more information on the Public Workshops.

Santa Clara County Parks & Recreation Commission (PRC)

Read more information on the County Parks and Recreation Commission

Housing, Land Use, Environment, & Transportation (HLUET) Committee

Read more information on the Housing, Land Use, Environment, & Transportation (HLUET) Committee.

Read more information on the Board meetings for this planning project.

California State Park and Recreation Commission

Read more information on the State Parks and Recreation Commission meetings for this planning project.

Project/Site Description
Martial Cottle Park is a 287.54 acre property located in a residential and commercial neighborhood of South San Jose, bounded by Branham Lane, Snell Avenue and Chynoweth Avenue.  An agricultural farm through four generations, the Martial Cottle Park property is now jointly owned by the California Department of Parks and Recreation and County of Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Department.

The State and the County are working together to prepare a Master Plan with State Park General Plan Elements and conduct environmental review for the future development of the Martial Cottle Park property.  The State and County will work with the land Donor, the community and with other stakeholders to ensure that plans for the development of Martial Cottle Park will reflect the Donor’s Vision for an educational public resource that will provide interpretive programs highlighting the agricultural heritage of Santa Clara Valley.  Future trails, picnic areas and other low-impact recreational uses as well as small-scale agriculture and community gardens are also part of the vision for Martial Cottle Park.

Background of Martial Cottle Park Property
On October 28, 2003, the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors executed an agreement with Mr. Walter Cottle Lester for the acceptance of 151 acres that Mr. Lester and the Estate of Ms. Edith E. Lester donated to the County.  In addition, Mr. Lester sold 136.52 acres to the State and retained 32 acres as part of his Life Estate area. 

As part of the deed restrictions, the property shall be exclusively used as a public historical park that informs and educates the public about the agricultural heritage of Santa Clara Valley, as exemplified by the Martial Cottle family, dating from the 1850’s into the 20th century.  The property may be used for passive recreational activities such as picnic facilities, trails, and other low intensity uses that may be incidental to the primary historic and educational purposes of the park, and for interpretative, passive recreational, agricultural education and research and commercial uses that are reasonably related to the history of farming in the Santa Clara Valley. 

Read more information related to the future uses and restrictions of the park property.

Donor’s Vision for Martial Cottle Park
The Donor’s Vision serves as the critical foundation for the joint County-State planning framework and public outreach process.  It is envisioned that the Martial Cottle Park property would be jointly developed, operated and maintained as a County-State Park designed to show and display the agricultural heritage of Santa Clara County in the early 1900’s and which is consistent with the Donor’s vision. 

View a copy of the Donor’s Vision for Martial Cottle Park here.

Partners in Park Planning
In addition to the CA State Parks Department, the County Parks Department is working with the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, a funding partner who has contributed towards the master plan development, State Senate and Assembly District offices, City of San Jose Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services and many other stakeholders.


Project Chronology

Summer 2007  Project Initiation
  Information Gathering
  Fieldwork
Fall/Winter 2007       Preparation of Resource Inventory (Existing Conditions)
  Vision, Goals & Objectives
  Opportunities & Constraints 
  Program Elements
  Program Document for Master Plan
  Parkland Classification 
  Task Force Committee Meetings 
  Technical Advisory Committee Meetings
  Public Workshop
Spring 2008 Housing, Land Use, Environment & Transportation (HLUET) Meeting
Spring/Summer 2008 Design Development
  Exploring Master Plan Alternatives
  Preferred Master Plan Alternative
  Task Force Committee Meetings
  Technical Advisory Committee Meetings
  Public Workshop
  Board of Supervisors Off-Agenda Report on Martial Cottle Park Master Plan Project Update
Fall 2008 State Parks Unit Classification Hearing
  (State Parks & Recreation Commission Meeting)
  Technical Advisory Committee Meeting
Winter 2009 Task Force Committee Meeting
  County of Santa Clara Historical Heritage Commission Meeting
  Public Workshop
  Task Force Committee Meeting
Spring 2009 Parks and Recreation Commission Meeting
  Housing, Land Use, Environment & Transportation (HLUET) Meeting
Summer/Fall 2009 Preparation of Draft Master Plan and State Park General Plan Report and Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR)
  Technical Advisory Committee Meeting
  Task Force Committee Meeting
  Public Workshop
Fall 2009 Completion of Draft Master Plan and State General Plan Report and DEIR
Winter 2010 Forward Final Master Plan and State General Plan Report and EIR consideration by the County Parks Commission, County Board of Supervisors, and State Parks & Recreation Commission


Public Participation in the Planning Process
The most important aspect of this collaborative planning process is seeking your input and involvement in the development of the Master Plan.  There will be numerous opportunities for you to participate over the course of this two and half- year planning process.

Commission Meetings  
Draft planning documents and updates will be forwarded to the State Parks and Recreation Commission and County Parks and Recreation Commission for their review and consideration prior to the completion of the Final Martial Cottle Park Master Plan, State General Plan and environmental review documentation.

More information regarding upcoming public planning workshops, Task Force Committee and Commission meetings will be posted on this website when meeting dates, times and locations are finalized.  A public notice and/or newsletter with this and other information will also be mailed or emailed to interested parties.  If you would like to be added to the mailing list, e-mail  parkinfo@prk.sccgov.org or write to the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department, Attn:  Jane Mark, 298 Garden Hill Drive, Los Gatos, CA, 95032.

Project Approval
Ultimate approval of the Draft Master Plan, State General Plan and certification of the Draft Environmental Impact Report will be required of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and State Parks and Recreation Commission.

Comment Form
Throughout this planning process, we welcome your ideas and suggestions for future public uses, opportunities or planning issues that you think we should consider in the planning of the Martial Cottle Park property.  Please Download the comment form here.

Planning Documents

Contact Information
If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

Jane Mark, Senior Planner
Jane.mark@prk.sccgov.org
(408) 355-2237

Kimberly Brosseau, Park Planner III
Kimberly.brosseau@prk.sccgov.org
(408) 355-2230

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