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E1: Coyote Creek Flood Protection*

About This Project

This project is to plan, design and construct improvements along approximately nine (9) miles of Coyote Creek, between Montague Expressway and Tully Road, in San José. The primary objective is to provide protection from floods up to the level that occurred on February 21, 2017, equivalent to approximately a 5% flood (20-year event). In December 2019, the Valley Water Board of Directors voted to allocate local funding for construction of the preferred project; however, Valley Water is also exploring additional external funding sources and partnership opportunities.

Since 2017, Valley Water has implemented several short-term interim projects to help reduce the risk of flooding along Coyote Creek. These include the installation of an interim floodwall and embankment along the creek in the Rock Springs community. This structure protects the Rock Springs community from a flood event equivalent to the February 2017 flood. Other interim projects include repairing a 150-foot levee adjacent to the South Bay Mobile Home Park, installing flood gauges on bridges that provide real-time visual information on water levels and removing invasive vegetation from Valley Water and City property in parts of the creek that experienced the most flooding.

*This project was voter approved as part of the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.

Construction
Datapoints
Status
On Target
Phase
Design
Location
San José
Schedule
Start FY 2022 / Finish FY 2026
Funding
Safe, Clean Water Fund ($48.2)
News and UpdatesNews and Updates
Reports and DocumentsReports and Documents
Environmental and Community BenefitsEnvironmental and Community Benefits
History and BackgroundHistory and Background
News & Updates

The Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project comprises two projects, the Coyote Creek Flood Management Measures for the FERC Order Compliance Project (FOCP) and the Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project (CCFPP). The CCFPP is in the design phase, with staff actively evaluating critical data from various sections along Coyote Creek. The map to the right shows reaches 5 and sections of 6 and 7, as part of the (CCFMMP), with construction anticipated to start in spring 2023 and last through the end of 2024. Reaches 4, 8, and parts of 6 and 7 are part of the CCFPP, with construction anticipated to start in early 2024 and be completed by the end of 2025. Reaches are sections where the work will take place along the creek.  

The projects are currently in different stages of the design phase with various flood reduction elements proposed at different locations along nine miles of Coyote Creek to provide flood protection to the 2017 level of flooding. 

Board of Directors project update
A project update was provided to Valley Water's Board of Directors in October 2022. A recording of the staff presentation is available to view, and PowerPoint Presentation is available to download.

Pre-Construction work is set to start in late December 2022
The Coyote Creek Flood Management Measures Project is progressing, and crews are preparing for upcoming pre-construction activities along Coyote Creek between Old Oakland Road and Highway 280 in San José, come late December 2022.

Valley Water will be removing trees and clearing vegetation in preparation for the project's construction, tentatively scheduled to start in spring 2023. The second phase of tree removal work will be scheduled in the coming months, with notices sent to neighbors where the work will take place.

This first phase of the work to prepare the project sites for the flood protection measures that will be constructed is expected to last approximately two months, with crews working Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Work is not expected during the holidays. Depending on the amount of vegetation needed to be removed from each site, crews will be active for up to ten days. The project effort could go beyond the anticipated two months if weather conditions prevent crews from safely doing the work. After the flood protection measures are constructed, Valley Water will replant native trees and vegetation at various areas along the project site.

There will be construction noise from equipment, including chainsaws, cranes, chipping machines, and active trucks. Maps of the areas where the work will take place are available. Additional activities will occur to prepare the sites for construction in 2023. Mailers will be mailed, and other neighborhood communication will be shared with details on these activities.  

Spring 2023 construction sites

Coyote Creek Flood Management Measures Project (CCFMMP) will be constructed in spring 2023. Floodwalls will be installed along various sections of Coyote Creek between Old Oakland Road and Highway 280. Below are maps of the reaches where work is scheduled for the CCFMMP.

   - Reach 5: San Jose Municipal Golf Course to Mabury Rd and
creek ownership map
   - Reach 6: Mabury Rd. to U.S. Highway 101 and creek ownership map
   - Reach 7: Santa Clara Street to South end of William Street Park and creek ownership map

2024 Construction sites

The Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project (CCFPP) is in the design phase. Further CCFPP details will be shared in late 2023 or early 2024.

   - Reach 4: Montague Expressway to E. Brokaw Rd.
   - Reach 6: Mabury Rd to East bank of Coyote Creek behind Empire Gardens Elementary School
   - Reach 7: Coyote Creek Classroom to Selma Olinder Park/Highway 280 and
creek ownership Map
   - Reach 8: Highway 280 to Tully Rd.

Past public meetings
Materials from past public meetings are located in the Reports & Documents section.


Visit our Valley Water blog to learn about our community input efforts on the Coyote Creek project.

Updated December 2022

For more information:

Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project and Coyote Creek Flood Management Measures Project: Timeline and Public Engagement
Thumbnail
Coyote Creek reaches where the flood protection measures will be built.

Click or tap to enlarge the map.

Reports & Documents

Previous Public Meeting Materials

May 2022 Open House Events
Valley water hosted two in-person open house events to share details on the Coyote Creek Flood Management Measures Project (CCFMMP). This project includes reaches 5 and parts of 6 and 7. The same project information was shared at both open-house events. Here are the links to the boards that were on display:

You can also view a recording of the open house from our YouTube page.

Public meetings for the remaining reaches of the Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project, 4, 8, and parts of 6 and 7, will be held in late 2023

February 2022 Public Meeting
Valley Water hosted a virtual public meeting to update neighbors on the Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project and the Coyote Creek Flood Measures Project. Information on the projects’ aesthetics and related design details was shared with attendees who responded to poll questions as options were presented. Information about anticipated project timelines and future public engagement opportunities in the spring and summer was also shared. Here is a link to the recorded meeting.

The results from the aesthetic elements survey are available. The final tally includes results from the meeting and post-survey. The final results are consistent with the input received during the meeting. You can view the presentation for details on the options and visuals shared for each section of the project. 


The presentation is available to download

October 2021 Public Park Meetings
Valley Water, in partnership with the City of San Jose’s Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department, hosted three public meetings to receive neighborhood input on the proposed flood protection elements located in the City’s parks. Valley Water presented renderings of the various flood reduction elements and a mockup of the preferred alternatives at each park. The collected input will help Valley Water refine further the selected flood reduction alternatives as the projects proceed to the 30% design phase.

October 7 Rocksprings Park and Coyote Meadows
Meeting Materials
-  Video recording of the meeting
-  Agenda
- Informational sheet
- Survey and comment card

Display Board for Reach 8
  - South 12 Street Apartment Buildings
  - Map of Property Parcels
  - Project Overview Map
  - Installing Floodwalls and Berm to protect residential, business, and industrial areas
  - Rocksprings Community and Bevin Brook
  - Existing Floodwalls and Berm

October 13 Selma Olinder Park and William Street Park
Meeting Materials 
Video recording of the meeting
Agenda
- Informational project sheet
- Survey and comment card
- Frequently Asked Questions


Display Boards for Reach 7 
- Project Overview Map
- Reach 7 Ownership Map
- Conceptual Berms
- Passive Barrier
- William Street Park

October 14 Watson Park 
Meeting Materials 
Video recording of the meeting
Agenda
- Informational project sheet

- Survey and comment card

Display Boards for Reach 6
- Reach 6 Coyote Creek Ownership Map
- Reach 6 Watson Park
- Project Overview Map

Display Boards for Reaches 4 and 5
- Reach 4 Ownership Map
- Reach 5 Ownership Map


July 2021
Valley Water hosted a meeting to update neighbors on the Coyote Creek Flood Protection Project and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order Compliance Project, known as the Coyote Creek Flood Management Measures Project. Valley Water provided an update on the project’s progress, current efforts, and next steps as we prepare for fall public meetings (meeting notice).

Meeting materials
  - 
Watch the meeting video
  - Agenda
  - Presentation

  - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

June 2020
Virtual public meetings were held in June 2020 to present the preferred project alternatives to the public and stakeholders. 

June 10 focused on the communities of Golden Wheel, Riverbend, and South Bay mobile home parks.

June 11 focused on the communities of Bevin Brook, Nordale, and Rock Springs.

June 17 focused on the communities of Bonita-24th Street, Brookwood Terrace, Five Wounds, Julian-St. James, Naglee Park, Olinder, Roosevelt, and Wooster.

The following presentation was provided to the San Jose Parks Advocates. The presentation is solely focused on the proposed alternatives for Watson, William Street, Selma Olinder, Coyote Meadows, and Rocksprings parks.   

January 2020

  - SJ Parks Advocates presentation

November 2019
In November another series of public meetings were held to get community input during the planning phase of the project.

November 13 at the Roosevelt Community Center:

November 7at the Franklin McKinley School District:

November 6 at the Golden Wheel Mobile Home Park (Club House):

June 2019
The following is a series of meetings held to update the community and solicit input on the planning phase of the project.


June 3 at the Roosevelt Community Center:

    May 30 at the Franklin-McKinley School District:

    May 21 at the San Jose Conservation Corps:

     

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Public meetings were held in May, June, and November of 2019. Questions from those meetings were combined and summarized to develop the content of this comprehensive 2020 FAQ document. Please note that many of the questions were addressed during those public presentations and video recordings of them are available to view in the above presentations.

    Relocation Plan

    Here is a link to the Relocation Plan, which only affects the thirteen identified properties that received a mailed notice. Although a final decision has not been made for any of the 13 properties, federal and state laws require Valley Water to develop a Relocation Plan. California law also requires that a Relocation Plan be adopted by the lead agency’s governing board, even when final property decisions have not been made. 

    Coyote Creek Study Reports

    Fisheries 

    Vegetation and wildlife assessment:

    A Valley Water sponsored study of the Coyote Creek historical ecology done by the San Francisco Bay Estuary Institute in 2006.

    Environmental & Community Benefits

    FY22-36 Key Performance Indicator for the Safe, Clean Water Program

    1. Construct flood protection improvements along Coyote Creek between Montague Expressway and Tully Road to provide protection from floods up to the level that occurred on February 21, 2017, approximately a 5% (20-year) flood event.

    Benefits 

    • Protects approximately 600 parcels from the level of flooding that occurred on February 21, 2017, approximately a 5% flood

    • Improves water quality, enhances stream habitat and increases recreational opportunities

    • Provides opportunities to incorporate revegetation and aesthetic elements to the Coyote Creek park chain in the project

    • Addresses climate change

    Geographic Area of Benefit 

    San José - The project area is approximately 9 miles from Montague Expressway upstream to Tully Road.

    Thumbnail
    Click or tap to enlarge map.
      History & Background

      Flooding History and Project Background

      Flooding has occurred many times within the Coyote Creek Watershed, including along portions of Coyote Creek in 1911, 1917, 1931, 1958, 1969, 1982, 1983, 1997, 1998, and 2017. The largest flow recorded on Coyote Creek was 25,000 cubic feet per second in 1911, prior to construction of the current 2 water-supply reservoirs in the upper watershed. The worst flooding in the project reach since Anderson Reservoir was constructed in 1950, occurred in February 2017. Coyote Creek overtopped its banks at several locations between Montague Expressway and Tully Road. Businesses and hundreds of homes were inundated by creek waters for many hours. Highway 101 near Watson Park and various local streets were closed due to flooding, and thousands of residents had to be evacuated and sheltered.

      The Coyote Creek Project is located in the central portion of the Coyote Watershed on the mainstem of Coyote Creek, within the City of San José. The original project reach extended approximately 6.1 miles between Montague Expressway and Highway 280; however, the project reach was extended approximately 2.9 miles upstream to Tully Road in 2017 to include the Rock Springs neighborhood and incorporate the areas impacted by the February 21, 2017 flood event. In addition to the primary objective of reducing the risk of flooding to homes, schools, businesses, and highways from Coyote Creek flood events, the project may evaluate opportunities to improve fisheries, stream habitat values, and public access.

      About the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program

      In November 2020, voters in Santa Clara County overwhelmingly approved Measure S, a renewal of Valley Water’s Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program.

      The program was first passed by voters in 2000 as the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan, then again in 2012 as the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program. The renewal of the Safe, Clean Water Program will continue to provide approximately $47 million annually for local projects that deliver safe, clean water, natural flood protection, and environmental stewardship to all the communities we serve in Santa Clara County.

      While evaluating ways to improve the 2012 program, Valley Water gathered feedback from more than 21,000 community members. That helped Valley Water create the six priorities for the renewed Safe, Clean Water Program, which are:

      Priority A: Ensure a Safe, Reliable Water Supply

      Priority B: Reduce Toxins, Hazards and Contaminants in our Waterways

      Priority C: Protect our Water Supply and Dams from Earthquakes and Other Natural Disasters

      Priority D: Restore Wildlife Habitat and Provide Open Space

      Priority E: Provide Flood Protection to Homes, Businesses, Schools, Streets and Highways

      Priority F: Support Public Health and Public Safety for Our Community

      Each year, Valley Water prepares a report providing a progress update for each of these program priorities, along with fiscal year accomplishments.

      To ensure transparency and accountability to the voters, the ballot measure also created an Independent Monitoring Committee, appointed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors. The Independent Monitoring Committee annually reviews the program’s progress to ensure the outcomes are achieved in a cost-efficient manner and reports its findings to the Board. Additionally, the IMC also reviews each proposed 5-year implementation plan prior to its submittal for Board approval.

      In addition, the program requires three independent audits.

      View the Safe, Clean Water Program’s annual reports, annual IMC audit reports, and independent audits, including a staff response, on the Valley Water website.