Adopting the position supported by SVBC, the Friends of the Stevens Creek Trail, and other trail supporters, the Sunnyvale City Council voted 7-0 to start removing that City's anti-trail policy!
The following email from Aaron Grossman, Executive Director of the Friends of Stevens Creek Trail, summarizes the event.
Dear Stevens Creek Trail supporters -
Thank you to everyone who emailed, spoke up, spread the word, or otherwise helped in this great and major policy turn-around in Sunnyvale! Last night’s Sunnyvale City Council meeting saw a reasonable and thorough discussion that included input from about ten public speakers. Afterwards the council voted 7 to 0 to officially begin the process of eliminating the 1994 city policy that bans any consideration of a trail along Stevens Creek. Since the old policy is part of the city’s general plan, there are further steps to go through to completely remove it, but this is an absolutely necessary and very encouraging first step. The solid council support bodes well for its successful follow through.
The most immediate result is to allow full participation in the recently started 4-city talks on future trail plans and alignments. It does NOT mean putting the trail in or immediately adjacent to anyone’s back yard, nor eminent domain land grabs, or even near term trail work. All existing requirements for proper public hearings, inputs, and environmental reviews remain in full force and will continue to.
What changes is that the process has begun to remove the flat-out ban on considering trail alignments along Stevens Creek where they make sense. Where there is not enough land or environmental concerns dictate otherwise, the trail will be routed further away from the creek. Even the person who spoke in opposition to the policy change agreed that there were some places along the creek that made sense for a trail. His concerns were that not enough attention would be given to property owners and possible problems created by a new trail route. We all need to make sure that the future planning process includes and addresses all such concerns by neighbors and property owners.
The Friends of Stevens Creek Trail and Wildlife Corridor is the only organization dedicated to seeing a continuous multi-use trail from the bay to the hills. We are the voice for the trail, and we appreciate all of your support in achieving this great break-through vote.
Thank you again! We’ll keep you posted on future developments.
Aaron Grossman, Executive Director
Friends of Stevens Creek Trail
22221 McClellan Road
Cupertino, CA 95014