Santa Clara County Open Space Authority is an independent special district – rather than a part of county government – and is governed by an elected board of directors.
Its jurisdiction is all of Santa Clara County with the exception of lands and communities within the boundaries of Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and the city of Gilroy. The cities of Milpitas, Santa Clara, Campbell, San Jose and Morgan Hill participate in OSA.
The purpose of the Open Space Authority is to preserve key portions of the natural environment in order to balance continuing urban growth. Buying land, acquiring easements, contributing funds to joint conservation efforts, and careful land management are OSA’s major preservation tools.
The Authority was created by the state legislature at the urging of community leaders who saw the importance of maintaining the ecological integrity of the region. A Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) continues to serve as a community liaison.
The Authority is funded primarily through a special benefit assessment. Grants and gifts are another source of revenue.