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In 2011, the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) adopted an Open Space Preservation Policy to promote open space through appropriate use of natural resources and proper placement of developments. The Policy was recently revised in 2021 through the adoption of Resolution 21-07. Updates to the adopted Open Space Preservation Policy demonstrates the SGVCOG’s continued commitment to promote quality of life for all citizens, protect the San Gabriel Valley’s unique watershed and natural environments while guarding against wildfires, and prevent illegal activities (dumping and arson) and the spread of invasive species.

The SGVCOG continues to uphold the following principles when supporting open space preservation policies:

  • Open spaces are land parcels that can be small to large, found both in undeveloped areas and within urban settings that provide natural and cultural resources.

  • Open spaces generally should be accessible for passive public use and enjoyment.

  • Trails should be developed where possible to provide access, including trails for horseback riding, hiking, bicycling, and off-highway vehicles, where appropriate.

  • Open space should provide recreation and cultural opportunities for all age groups.

  • Open space should be recognized for its health and economic benefits, and as a tool to assist with local governments’ compliance with state and federal mandates.

  • Concerns of local governments and private property owners should be respected and taken into consideration.

As a result, the SGVCOG and local governments shall lead their communities to achieve the goal of open space protection, conservation, enhancement, and acquisition by supporting programs and legislation that will:

  1. Identify and protect open space for the multi-benefit enhancement of natural resources and enjoyment for the public;

  2. Recognize and preserve open space, watersheds, environmental habitats, and agricultural lands while accommodating new growth with strategies that de-emphasize automobile dependency, create a diversity of affordable housing near employment centers, and provide job opportunities for individuals of all ages and income levels;

  3. Develop greenbelts and greenways along and within urban development to limit unsuitable development and provide buffers to wildlife habitat;

  4. Acquire and preserve open space at high risk of ecological degradation, primarily along the foothills, waterways, flood plains, and within the upper watershed;

  5. Promote connectivity of wildlife corridors;

  6. Promote development of diverse and localized recreational opportunities;

  7. Promote public outreach and interpretation to foster awareness, knowledge and stewardship of open space as a valuable resource;

  8. Advocate for parks and open space state and federal appropriations and bond measures as well as funding from the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, California Natural Resources Agency, and/or loan programs for open space acquisition, development, restoration, and management; and

  9. Promote a regional effort to protect and enhance open space connectivity for all San Gabriel Valley communities.