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Martial Cottle Park Life Estate Plan

Published on: 9/5/2019 10:38 AM
Project Planner: Jeremy Farr
Contact:; 408-355-2360

Project: The Santa County Parks and Recreation Department (Department) is in the process of preparing a Site Plan for the Life Estate at Martial Cottle Park. The Life Estate portion is part of the larger Martial Cottle Park, which 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. Martial Cottle Park is jointly owned by the California Department of Parks and Recreation and County of Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Department. 
Considered to be one of the few remnants of the "Valley of the Heart's Delight" in Santa Clara Valley, the Park has been continuously farmed by the Cottle and Lester families for nearly 150 years, from 1864 to the present. Consistent with the Donor's Vision, the park is a public historic agricultural park, educational facility and working farm that promotes and sustains farming traditions for the residents and visitors of Santa Clara County.

Why is the County Preparing the Site Plan?
When the property was donated in 2004, Mr. Walter Cottle Lester reserved approximately 31 acres as a Life Estate for himself and resided on the property until he passed away in 2014. At that time the Life Estate reverted to the County and the Department would plan for the future reuse of the site.
The Site Plan will be a guiding document that will identify a program of reuse for the Life Estate, including the main residence and other outbuildings. The Site Plan will consider the long-term feasibility of the proposed uses, market viability, and future partnership opportunities. The Site Plan will evaluate how each component will enhance visitor services and revenue generating opportunities in the Park and how each use will be incorporated into the Park in a unified manner.

Location: Martial Cottle Park. The Life Estate portion of the Park is approximately 31 acres and includes a residence, a number of outbuildings, and approximately 25 acres of actively farmed land.

Current Progress:
On Saturday, August 17, 2019, the Department held its first public meeting to gather public input on the Martial Cottle Park Life Estate Plan. The Project Team is currently review public comments. Please click here to view materials from the meeting. To sign up to receive project updates or provide comments please contact:
Jeremy Farr



Compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
The Department will be reviewing the project for compliance with CEQA. The Draft document will be made available to the public for review and comment in Winter 2020. 
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