This 1,800-acre stretch of rare, undeveloped land in Silicon Valley is for sale at $20 million

An undeveloped block of 1,860 acres near Morgan Hill, known as the Tilton Ranch, has hit the market for $20 million.

The ranch land, located 20 miles south of San Jose, the center of Silicon Valley, lies unimproved except for its hay fields and a 60-acre lease to the Coyote Valley Sporting Clays business, according to the listing.

Bill McDavid of Hall and Hall is the listing agent for the property, which officially went on the market August 16, 2019.

“It’s pretty unusual to have something that big next to Silicon Valley,” McDavid said in a phone interview. While taking a look on a land-mapping program at other properties, he called the Tilton Ranch parcel “noticeably large” for the area.

The land is perched on the east slope of a former Mexican land grant titled Rancho Las Uvas, between the Chesbro, Anderson, Calero and Uvas reservoirs. It overlooks Morgan Hill and the Santa Clara Valley. The ranch’s rolling hills of grass – punctuated with oak trees and numerous water springs – gives the impression of being far away from the congestion of the Bay Area.

Tilton Ranch is covered by the Williamson Act, a law that gives land owners property tax relief in exchange for an agreement that the land will not be developed for a number of years. However, the property could be developed for residential use, McDavid said. It is zoned residential, but not “high-density” residential, he added.

Tilton Ranch has been in the same family since 1916, McDavid said.

“(The owners) would love to leave knowing it would continue to be open land,” McDavid said.

The property borders lots of open space. To the north lies Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve, and to the west are thousands of acres of private and state ranches, forest and a park that run 15 miles through the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The southern border’s serpentine bunchgrass hills serve as habitat of the endangered Bay checkerspot butterfly, McDavid said.

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David Caraccio is a video producer for The Sacramento Bee who was born and raised in Sacramento. He is a graduate of San Diego State University and longtime journalist who has worked for newspapers as a reporter, editor, page designer and digital content producer.