Thursday, October 9, 2014

"It's Cold War to Conservation" in Coyote Valley

Historic Silicon Valley site becoming new public open space preserve
Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News, October 5, 2014

The Santa Clara County Open Space Authority has agreed to spend $8.6 million to buy 1,831 acres of the former United Technologies Corp. (UTC) site and open it to the public -- the biggest deal in the agency's 20-year history.

UTC, an early Silicon Valley aerospace company, built rocket motors in a secretive, sprawling property in the hills east of Highway 101, about 5 miles south of San Jose. The massive engines powered Tomahawk and Minuteman missiles for the military, as well as NASA spacecraft that explored Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and the sun.

The lands, a rolling expanse of hills, oak trees and serpentine outcroppings across Highway 101 from Coyote Creek Golf Course, will be open to the public by 2018, the open space agency says.

One portion of UTC's property not being purchased is still being cleaned up. That adjacent 3,282-acre parcel has pollution from perchlorate and other chemicals in the groundwater. It had 241 buildings and about 750 employees when UTC shut down the site after 45 years and moved its operations to Florida in 2004.

Read the complete story here.

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