A proposed commercial development is in the works for the open space near the intersection of Highway 25 and San Felipe Road near the entrance to Hollister.
An annexation proposal from Jose Villalpando will go before the Local Agency Formation Commission at Thursday’s 5 p.m. meeting at the San Benito County Administration Building, 481 Fourth St. in Hollister.
The applicant is proposing to the annex 14 acres for eventual commercial development in the open plot southeast of the key intersection serving as an entrance into the city. Specific plans for the location are unclear at this point other than intentions for commercial development.
“At this point, he needs to annex into the city and to do that, he has to appear before LAFCO,” said Bryan Swanson, Hollister’s development services director. “It’s just the first process before submitting anything.”
Swanson, though, did say locals can expect some retail and “maybe some sort of hospitality business.” He surmised the development would “be a great anchor for the north side” and went on to call it “something that’s going to provide some more retail stabilization to that region of Hollister.”
Swanson expects the applicant could meet with city officials to discuss more specific plans later in the spring.
The proposal falls within the recently considered Chappell Road project area that includes 34 acres north of Santa Ana Road where homes are being proposed by a separate property owner, while the latest proposal is requesting annexation for commercial purposes.
Planners are also recommending that the LAFCO panel, comprised of officials from locally elected jurisdictions, expand the 14 acres to include the southern nine-acre portion of the parcel as well. If annexed into Hollister, the city would provide all public services for the location.
As for the nine-acre parcel, owner Fred Cerrato has not consented to annexation or responded to the city’s notice about a possible annexation. But the LAFCO agenda document notes that nine acres could accommodate up to 72 residential dwelling units.
The 14-acre parcel is currently agricultural land without any residences. The appraised value of the property is $702,415, according to the LAFCO agenda.
With regard to environmental impacts, the city acknowledged there would consequences such as loss of prime farmland and reduction in air quality, but argued that with mitigation measures (such as conservation easements) the social and economic benefits would outweigh those effects.
Villalpando, a local building contractor who goes by Jose Villa, was not immediately available Wednesday for comment.
For more on the subject, see the LAFCO agenda here: http://cosb.us/wp-content/uploads/SKM_C65819030517250.pdf