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Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan

The City of San José adopted the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Conservation Plan on January 29, 2013.

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).

Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan Implementation Documents

Coverage screening forms, application forms, and fee calculators are available on the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency's website, available here: 

Private Development Applications

Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan Documents


If you have any questions please contact:

Edmund Sullivan
Santa Clara Valley
Habitat Agency
535 Alkire Avenue
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
(408) 779-7265

Additional information is available at the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency website: