Conservation Areas Master Plan

Agency: American Planning Association
State: Federal
Type of Government: State & Local
NAICS Category:
  • 541310 - Architectural Services
  • 541320 - Landscape Architectural Services
  • 541330 - Engineering Services
  • 541620 - Environmental Consulting Services
Posted Date: Apr 27, 2021
Due Date: Jun 16, 2021
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Conservation Areas Master Plan Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority

San Jose, CA

The Authority is seeking a consultant team to provide a comprehensive spectrum of skills and expertise needed to create an innovative, integrated, science-based, community-informed plan for recently conserved lands in Coyote Valley; a unique natural and rural landscape, within an urban setting, located between the cities of San Jose and Morgan Hill, in Santa Clara County, California. The Authority is seeking proposals from an experienced prime firm and their subconsultants that would be responsible for conducting the work outlined in the RFP, culminating in a final Master Plan document and construction documents for the first round of implementation projects identified through the planning process. The Coyote Valley Conservation Areas Master Plan will create a roadmap for implementing a resilient landscape linkage on Coyote Valley's conserved lands; one that can sustain biodiversity and facilitate wildlife movement in a changing climate while also carefully managing/restoring water resources and providing opportunities for quality of life/economic benefits including public access and agriculture. The Plan will be managed by the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority in close partnership with the Peninsula Open Space Trust and the City of San Jose and will be created via an inclusive public planning process that is science based, collaborative, innovative, integrated, and reflective of the values of each agency and the communities they serve.

The conserved lands in North Coyote Valley and Mid-Coyote Valley provide an unparalleled opportunity for landscape-level habitat restoration. Within this unique opportunity also are many challenges. Planning for an integrated vision that includes restoration, habitat, connectivity, water resources, cultural resources, public access, environmental education, and agricultural preservation requires careful studies, thoughtful public engagement, and a process for identifying goals, evaluating opportunities and trade-offs, and prioritizing actions.

The consultant team hired through this RFP will work closely with the Master Plan's interagency team, local topic-area experts, and community stakeholders throughout the planning process. Together, we will create an inspiring vision for Coyote Valley that will lead to the restoration of this vital, "last-chance" landscape for nature and people.

Preliminary Master Plan Goals include:

  1. Enhance Wildlife Habitat and Ecological Connectivity. Realize Coyote Valley's irreplaceable role as a critical, "last chance," landscape linkage between the Santa Cruz Mountains and Diablo Range by restoring diverse habitats, reestablishing safe movement corridors across the landscape for species threatened by habitat fragmentation, bridging barriers created by transportation infrastructure, and other actions to promote functional ecological connectivity.
  2. Sustainably Manage and Restore Water Resources. Restore the historic Laguna Seca, connect Fisher Creek to its floodplain, and improve the land's ability to capture stormwater, recharge groundwater supplies, improve water quality, support rare groundwater-dependent habitats, and reduce the severity of downstream flooding.
  3. Improve Public Health via Access to Nature. Improve public health, climate awareness, and quality of life by providing equitable access to people from throughout the region via carefully sited trails, visitor-serving amenities, and preserved scenic vistas, and consider how the landscape can be designed to support nature-based educational and wellness-focused programming.
  4. Foster On-going and Inclusive Community Engagement. Employ a robust and inclusive community engagement strategy that invites people from all walks of life to enjoy Coyote Valley and participate in both the planning and on-going stewardship of its unique landscapes; with a special focus on initiatives and programs that promote justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and access (JEDIA).
  5. Respect, Honor, Preserve, and Interpret Cultural Heritage & Historic Resources. Work closely with indigenous communities and other local experts to identify and appropriately preserve, interpret, and steward natural, cultural, and historic resources within the conserved lands of Coyote Valley.
  6. Adapt to Changing Climate Conditions. Create an adaptable, science-based, phased plan that strengthens Coyote Valley's resilience to changing climate conditions, leverages the landscape's ability to serve as natural infrastructure that can buffer communities from the effects of climate change, and helps the region meet "30x30" goals for protecting 30% of the country's land and water by 2030.
  7. Support Local Agriculture. Support local agriculture in ways that align with ecological and water-management goals for Coyote Valley by strategically designating land for agricultural uses that are designed and managed to support local community needs and educate the public on the benefits of regenerative, sustainable, and wildlife-friendly agriculture.
  8. Leverage Unique Landscape Features to Boost the Local Economy. Leverage the potential for Coyote Valley's conserved lands to support the local economy in ways that are consistent with overarching conservation goals through programs, activities, and amenities that incentivize agricultural land conservation, promote green jobs and workforce development, and generate revenue via nature-based activities.
  9. Promote Equitable and Sustainable Transportation. Promote equitable and sustainable transportation modes to and from conserved lands in Coyote Valley via street design improvements, welcoming access/activity nodes, and programs or services that promote access via walking, biking, public transit, and other sustainable modes of transportation.
  10. Consider a Holistic Vision for the Entire Coyote Valley. Look beyond the boundaries of currently conserved lands in Coyote Valley to consider how they fit into the mosaic of privately and publicly held lands across the entire Coyote Valley and create a flexible plan that can be adapted as additional lands are conserved (see description for geographic tiers of influence on page 12).

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Wednesday, June 16, 2021
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