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San Benito
April 14, 2024

Agenda: City to schedule mayor’s appeal on 400 block project

Hollister Mayor Ignacio Velazquez has filed an official appeal to the planning commission’s April approval of the development in the 400 block of San Benito Street next to The Vault building he owns.

The city council will receive his appeal Monday and is expected to schedule an appeal hearing for the 6:30 p.m. meeting May 20, according to the agenda for Monday’s regular meeting.

Hollister City Council members are set to meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Hollister City Hall, 375 Fifth St., to consider that and other items.

The mayor has been recusing himself from official decisions on the so-called 400 block project, which includes the Community Foundation for San Benito County Philanthropic Center along with a mixed-use project from the Del Curto Brothers.

But Velazquez has openly opposed the development as a citizen and is officially appealing the planning commission’s April 11 decision to approve its conditional use permit and tentative map.

The city sold the 400 block grassy lot to those two entities for $390,000 as part of Hollister’s required disposal of properties belonging to the now-defunct redevelopment agency.

In his appeal, Velazquez argues that the city’s own laws on density limits for the property allow just 11 residential units as opposed to the 22 condominiums planned by Del Curto Brothers to go with commercial units.

According to the mayor’s letter through an attorney:

“The City’s zoning code strictly caps residential development on the Project site at 40 units per acre. The Project site, after adding a portion of the separate Brigg’s Alley parcel, is only 12,537 square feet or less than .29 acres. Thus, setting aside any potential density bonus, the City’s zoning code allows only I I residential units to be built on the site.”

In other matters on the council agenda:

Bonuses for bilingual translation

The council will consider amendments to contracts with various employee groups to award bonuses for translation services. Employees would receive up to $400 monthly for oral and written translation skills.

STEM camps for youths

The council will consider an agreement with Play Well TEKnologies to offer two STEM camps for the youth in our community during the week of June 10-14 and Aug. 5-9. The registration fee for a week summer camp is $130.00 per participant. Hollister Recreation staff reserved the Veterans Memorial Building for both camps.

ABC review for new establishments

The city will acknowledge receipt of the ABC license review for La Sabrosa, 512 San Benito St., and El Baron De El Desierto, 321 San Felipe Road, Ste. 6.

Contracts with EDC, chamber

The city will consider contracts with the Economic Development Corporation of San Benito County and San Benito County Chamber of Commerce for additional public funding to the two nonprofit organizations. It would include $25,000 for this fiscal year and $100,000 for next year to the EDC along with $10,000 this fiscal year and $50,000 next year to the chamber.

Traffic studies

The council will consider spending $45,000 on miscellaneous traffic studies.

Shooting range upgrade project

The council would accept bids and award a contract to Meggitt Training Systems Inc., for $66,154 toward a shooting range upgrade project for the Hollister Police Department.

For the full agenda, go here.