County board to consider river parkway EIR

San Benito County Capital Project Manager Adam Goldstone in 2012 points to the location on a map where a regional park will connect with the river parkway.

County supervisors Tuesday will consider approving environmental documents on a river parkway project and amending affordable housing regulations, among other things.

Tuesday’s meeting is set for 10 a.m. at the County Administration Building, 481 Fourth St.

Here are some topics for the agenda:

River Parkway/regional park EIR
Supervisors will consider a resolution certifying an environmental impact report for the River Parkway/Regional Park project.

The county has been working on the creation of a River Parkway / Regional Master Plan for several years. The meeting agenda says that much of that time has been spent on the environmental impact report, which began back in October 2013.

The River Parkway would provide multi-use public trails for horseback riding, hiking and cycling, as well as parks and open space along an approximate 20-mile corridor of the San Benito River and Tres Pinos Creek, according to the resolution attached to the meeting agenda. The River Parkway would be adjacent to a 31-acre Regional Park site, which the resolution says would help conserve and enhance environmental or historical resources.

The plan created debate when the environmental impact report began in 2013, with worries that the long-term project could eat up a large portion of future parks funding.

Proposition 64
Supervisors will consider a resolution opposing Prop 64, which would legalize adult use of recreational marijuana in California. Residents have spoken against Prop 64 at previous city county board and city council meetings, asking their representatives to consider opposition.

The resolution itself states that Prop 64 would lead to greater youth access to marijuana and that parts of the proposition, “will threaten public safety and endanger thousands of California residents through increased impaired driving.”

The board recently passed a marijuana cultivation moratorium at a Sept. 27 meeting. The moratorium halts all new marijuana cultivation operations within the county for 45 days, and notes that “nothing in this ordinance shall be construed to allow the use of marijuana for nonmedical purposes, or allow any activity relating to the cultivation, distribution, or consumption of marijuana that is otherwise illegal under state or federal law.”

Supervisors can incrementally extend the ordinance for a total of two years, but state law prohibits any further extensions.

Winter warming shelter
Supervisors will consider authorizing the Health and Human Services Agency to operate the Winter Warming Shelter from Dec. 3, 2016 through March 31, 2017.

The HHSA estimates that $189,523 is required to operate the program, according to the meeting agenda. HHSA has $129,388 with a budget shortfall of between $44,865 and $60,135. The agenda says city staff is working to fill the gap, and that the Hollister city council is considering contributing $25,000 to the program. The program itself will provide transportation, meals, beds, and security.

If supervisors authorize the operation, county staff will start to hire seasonal shelter staff. The agenda says the goal is to have all shelter staff hired and trained by the end of November.

Affordable housing update
The amendment to part of the County of San Benito Affordable Housing Regulations will go before supervisors for final adoption at next Tuesday’s meeting. The meeting agenda highlights the ordinance’s accomplishments, including establishing a 15 percent affordable housing requirement for all residential development projects consisting of five or more lots. The ordinance also establishes a Housing Advisory Committee made up of Planning Commission members. The agenda says the committee would advise county supervisors on “matters relating to the housing element of the general plan and the inclusionary housing ordinance.”

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