What if I told you we could promote local businesses, create new jobs, generate more tax revenue for roads and local services, all while preserving and showcasing the agricultural heritage of our county? Well this is not too good to be true. This is in fact the proposal coming before the San Benito County Board of Supervisors in September. The plan would open strategic parcels along highway interchanges to commercial development that would provide services to visitors along U.S. 101.
San Benito County currently lacks a true gateway to help promote it to the hundreds of thousands of people that drive past each week along U.S. 101. This proposal, which is well thought out and has been years in the making through the general plan update, would help balance residential with commercial development to bring in needed jobs and tax revenue.
On May 15 the county Planning Commission made the right decision to move forward with rezoning four commercial nodes, referred to by the names “Betabel Road”, “Highway 129”, “Rocks Ranch” and “Livestock 101.” These commercial nodes could be a win-win for residents and business to deliver more revenue for the county to fix our roads and create more jobs close to home.
By locating these nodes at or near existing highway interchanges we can promote the natural beauty and amazing businesses of our county. A county visitors center would be ideal for one of these locations to further assist in sharing everything San Benito County has to offer.
The San Benito Chamber of Commerce represents local retailers, restaurants, service providers, agricultural companies, individuals and non-profits and promotes the county as a great place to live, work and visit. We are asking the San Benito County Board of Supervisors to approve the Planning Commission’s recommendation to rezone the commercial nodes along highway 101 and allow the process to move forward and allow the landowners to present plans that showcase the bounty and beauty of our county.
Michelle Leonard, President/CEO of the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce