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County of Santa Clara Approves Martial Cottle Park Master Plan


SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – This week, the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors approved the Martial Cottle Park Master Plan Project (“Park Plan”), a combined State Park General Plan and County Park Master Plan. The Park Plan will guide the long-term development, operations and management of Martial Cottle Park, a new State and County-owned park in Santa Clara County. The Board’s actions today also included certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report and determination that the Park Plan is compatible with the Williamson Act Compatible Use Determination Findings and the County’s vision of fostering the valley’s rich agriculture history.

“Walter Cottle Lester had a visionary idea – the creation of a historical agricultural park in the heart of Silicon Valley - a donation of 300 acres of suburban land in this county is unprecedented,” said President Dave Cortese, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors, “I had the privilege of representing him when he was making the decision to deed this land to the County. Former Assembly Member and State Parks Director Rusty Areias, was a great supporter of the concept, as were former and current county supervisors and parks staff members.”

The Park Plan prepared by Design, Community & Environment includes design guidelines to fulfill the Park donor's vision for a public historic agricultural park that would promote and sustain farming traditions, showing and displaying the agricultural heritage of Santa Clara Valley from the mid-1850s into the 20th century.

“Martial Cottle Park would protect a piece of the Santa Clara Valley’s history and provide vital agricultural, recreational, and educational resources for our community,” said Supervisor Mike Wasserman whose district includes Martial Cottle Park. “Providing cultural enrichment opportunities and protecting our open space is a top priority for the County.”

The main uses of the Park would include visitor-serving and recreational facilities and trails, educational and interpretive programming related to the site’s cultural and natural resources, agricultural production and habitat enhancement. Over half of the Park would be in agricultural production to provide food primarily for local and regional markets. The Park would include on-site marketing opportunities for farmers, as well as facilities for produce storage, processing, and packaging.

Martial Cottle Park is located in south San Jose, bounded by Chynoweth Avenue, Snell Avenue, Branham Lane and Highway 85. The project site is comprised of 137 acres of State-owned property and 120 acres of County-owned property, totaling approximately 257 acres of public parkland.

“Mr. Lester entrusted this valuable property to the County to ensure the preservation of its agricultural history and public enjoyment for generations to come,” continued Wasserman. “The approval of this master plan will take us a step closer to making that dream a reality.”

Funding for the development of the Park Plan was allocated in the County’s Park Charter Fund and a grant from the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority.

Upon approval of the Park Plan by the California State Park and Recreation Commission, approved Capital Improvement Program funds are available for the preparation of design and construction documents for Phase I improvements from the County’s Park Charter Fund.

Funding for Phase 1 capital improvements includes $20 million that has been set-aside in the Park Charter Fund. In addition, Phase 1 implementation costs would be augmented by partnership funding such as the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority’s 20% Funding Program, federal funding from the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations and other external funding sources.

Media Contact: Tamara Clark-Shear, Santa Clara County Parks, 408-355-2215; Gwendolyn Mitchell/Laurel Anderson, Office of Public Affairs, 408-299-5119
Posted: February 8, 2011