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San Benito
February 27, 2024

Supervisors OK new homes on Southside Road in 3-2 vote

San Benito County supervisors Tuesday approved a final map on an 84-home subdivision on Southside Road south of Enterprise Road.

The board approved the item in a 3-2 vote. Supervisors Anthony Botelho, Jim Gillio and Mark Medina OK’d the development, while Peter Hernandez and Jaime De La Cruz were against it.

It came after a discussion in which De La Cruz and Hernandez expressed concerns about housing growth in the area.

“My concern is we’re adding a lot of housing in the region there and I’d like to know the plans for improvement,” De La Cruz said.

Those two supervisors are among local officials, including Mayor Ignacio Velazquez at the City of Hollister, who have bemoaned the rate of housing growth in Hollister and San Benito County.

But even Gillio, who supported the map, had some reservations before the vote. He questioned the affordable housing fee of $4,500 per unit and showed concern about the need for road improvements nearby.

“I’m not sure what we’re going to be able to do with that,” Gillio said of the $4,500.

County Counsel Barbara Thompson, however, clarified to the board that the project is too far along for reconsideration of that fee, which had been negotiated. At the time developers submitted the application several years back, there were no requirements for such fees, she said.

Another supervisor in favor of the project, Botelho, also had some reservations and said the county needs to review its housing ordinances before accepting anymore applications.

“I really feel very strongly we should have our housing ordinance in place before we do anything more to make sure we’re getting what we need to meet our affordable housing goals,” Botelho said.