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February 28, 2024

Proposal for Buena Vista Road could add 109 homes

The City of Hollister is reviewing a proposal to annex 9.4 acres off Buena Vista Road near Calaveras School that could accommodate up to 109 single-family homes.

The city is considering a prezoning and annexation of the property at 1070 Buena Vista Road, which is across the street from the elementary school on the west side. The owners are Alan and Loraine Woodle, and developer Hugh Bickle is listed as having involvement.

It includes 9.1 acres of the Woodle property and another 0.3 of an acre on Westside Road. Since it would be a medium-density residential district as directed in the city’s general plan, the property would accommodate up to 109 homes, according to the proposal.

The city recently finished a public review period for the mitigated negative declaration, which is a curtailed and generally much-less expensive version of a full environmental impact review. It is in the city’s so-called sphere of influence being just north of Hollister limits, so an annexation is needed.

According to environmental documents, the site consists of a house and muscle car fabrication shop on the southern portion with the rest of the site occupied by livestock and other animals and various other items. A private dirt road runs through the project site, while orchards are located west and east of it.

There are an array of special status species listed as having habitats with a three-mile radius of the project site. They include the California tiger salamander, bank swallow, western mastiff bat, San Joaquin kit fox, American badger, California red-legged frog, western pond turtle, western red bat and burrowing owl.

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The environmental document also analyzes such factors as traffic needs, including the necessity to install signals at Highway 156 and Buena Vista Road.

The initiation of the prezoning for the project actually happened in August 2015, but the project proponents waited to move forward, while some of the work on the city’s end – such as a traffic study – took some time as well, said Abraham Prado, Hollister’s planning manager.

Responsible agencies that will review such a proposal include the regional air district, Caltrans, the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments, the Local Agency Formation Commission on the annexation and the school district.

“We want to make sure we implement all safe routes to school requirements and that we analyze it as best as possible,” Prado said.

Going forward, the project will go before the planning commission for consideration of the prezoning and environmental documents. It would then go on to the city council, while LAFCO would make a determination on the annexation.

For more on the project’s environmental factors, go here.

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