Legislative Roundup: Week of 8/7

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PACHECO RESERVOIR EXPANSION PROJECT

The Hollister City Council unanimously approved sending their support letter with an amendment to bring up the inclusion of a possible recreation component.

The $800 million dam project – proposed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District –  would expand the reservoir capacity from 5,500 acre-feet to 140,000 acre-feet. Both San Benito and Santa Clara counties utilize the reservoir.

Hollister Mayor Ignacio Velazquez said he wanted to make sure the public would have recreational access to the reservoir before he could support the project.

“I don’t want to get into the same situation as [San Justo Reservoir], where we do something and the public can’t use it later,” he said.

Councilman Jim Gillio called the project important and said the reservoir expansion could help alleviate flooding issues in the Lovers Lane area of town, which experienced flooding last winter.

Councilman Ray Friend agreed that a recreation area would enhance the reservoir.

“We should look into adding that or at least having a say in that,” Friend said.

The San Benito County Board of Supervisors also approved of sending a letter of support.

Z-BEST EXPANSION

The San Benito County Board of Supervisors approved sending a letter of concern to the Santa Clara County Planning Commission regarding proposed expansions of the Z-Best Composting Facility along Highway 25.

Supervisors previously directed staff to draw up a letter when they learned of the recycling company’s plan to expand facilities last month. The proposed plan includes traffic mitigation measures like changing truck route schedules to off-peak traffic hours. The current status of the project application is incomplete, according to the meeting’s staff report.

Management Analyst Louie Valdez informed the board that Z-Best intended to resubmit their application at the end of the month, based on talks with Santa Clara County Planner Valerie Negrete.

“What she did indicate is that there’d be a full blown [environmental impact report] process associated with this project,” Valdez said. “Which means there’ll be opportunities for additional community input and comments to be provided. We’ve asked that San Benito County be placed on any information distribution list that will give the public an opportunity to provide comments on the project.”

Pinnacle Strategy President Victor Gomez, representing Z-Best, said the company was committed to keeping the board in the loop as the application moves forward.

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