The Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan provides a framework for promoting the protection and recovery of natural resources, including endangered species, while streamlining the permitting process for planned development, infrastructure, and maintenance activities. The Habitat Plan allows the County of Santa Clara (County), the Santa Clara Valley Water District, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and the cities of Gilroy, Morgan Hill, and San José (collectively, the Local Partners or Permittees) to receive endangered-species permits for activities and projects they conduct and those under their jurisdiction. The Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority also contributed to Habitat Plan preparation. The Habitat Plan will protect, enhance, and restore natural resources in specific areas of Santa Clara County and contribute to the recovery of endangered species. Rather than separately permitting and mitigating individual projects, the Habitat Plan evaluates natural-resource impacts and mitigation requirements comprehensively in a way that is more efficient and effective for at-risk species and their essential habitats.
The Habitat Plan was developed in association with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and in consultation with stakeholder groups and the general public. The USFWS will issue the Permittees a 50-year permit that authorizes incidental take of listed species under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), while CDFW will issue a 50-year permit that authorizes take of all covered species under the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act (NCCP Act). This approach allows the Permittees to streamline future mitigation requirements into one comprehensive program. In addition to obtaining take authorization for each participating agency’s respective activities, the cities and County will be able to extend take authorization to project applicants under their jurisdiction.
USFWS and CDFW will also provide assurances to the Permittees that no further commitments of funds, land, or water will be required to address impacts on covered species beyond that described in the Plan to address changed circumstances. In addition to strengthening local control over land use and species protection, the Plan provides a more efficient process for protecting natural resources by creating new habitat reserves that will be larger in scale, more ecologically valuable, and easier to manage than the individual mitigation sites created under the current approach.
The Habitat Plan and associated documents are approved and adopted by the six Local Partners (Cities of Gilroy, Morgan Hill and San Jose, County of Santa Clara, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, and Santa Clara Valley Water District).
Updated on May 10, 2013
Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency
The Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency has been formed and its first meeting held on May 16, 2013. The Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency is responsible for executing the requirements of the Habitat Plan, the permits, and the Implementing Agreement. It is a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) composed of the Cities of Gilroy, Morgan Hill, and San José, and the County. The JPA is limited to the four participating jurisdictions because the Joint Exercise of Powers Act requires that a JPA can only exercise powers held by all the participating agencies. Of the participating agencies, only the four jurisdictions have the authority to adopt the Habitat Plan fees. Because all of the Permittees are responsible for implementing the Habitat Plan, all of the Permittees will have a role in the Implementing Entity. The Implementing Entity has two decision-making bodies, a Governing Board and an Implementation Board.
|Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency Meeting
||Thursday, June 20, 2013
||3:00 to 6:00 pm
Meeting will be held at the Santa Clara Valley Water District in Headquarters Building's Board Chamber located at 5700 Almaden Expressway, San Jose.