A battle is brewing in San Jose over what to do with one of the last remaining corridors of undeveloped land in the Bay Area.
City voters last November approved Measure T, which included funding up to $50 million to buy Coyote Valley, about 7,400 acres in south San Jose. However, property owners would rather develop their land.
The San Jose City Council next month will vote on the future of Coyote Valley.
On Tuesday, more than 200 people came together at San Jose City Hall to demand authorities spare Coyote Valley from future developments. The group, Committee for Green Foothills, aims to protect open spaces in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.
"Reduction of flood risks, clean air, filters our water -- it's a place for kids to go and a habitat for wildlife," Committee for Green Foothill Executive Director Megan Fluke said of the benefits of open space.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said preserving the land could prevent future flooding as it would hold excess water from Coyote Creek.
"The earth is not ours we are merely renting our home and we need to make sure our home is preserved so others can thrive here as well," Liccardo said.
Coyote Valley property owners argue preserving the land would eliminate thousands of jobs.
Attorneys representing the property owners said in a letter to the San Jose City Council that “eliminating the potential for 35,000 jobs in Coyote Valley will eliminate the potential for increased city revenue from job growth."
The council is expected to make a final decision on Coyote Valley on Feb. 12.