History and Purpose
By 1963, the landscape of Santa Clara County was undergoing radical change. The economic, social, and geographic terrains had been shifting in response to a post-war surge of new residents settling in the county. Housing and business development boomed, but the growth was piecemeal and disorderly. One result of this period was a sprawling suburban area that became difficult and costly to manage and to efficiently provide with urban services such as sewer and water lines. Another result was the permanent loss of prime farmlands, making it difficult for California’s largest industry at that time to sustain itself in a previously abundant agricultural valley.
The pattern of growth in post-war Santa Clara County reflected ad hoc decisions by developers, landowners, and local politicians, with little-to-no strategic planning for the future.