San Benito County and the City of Hollister should be keeping a
close eye on the developments in Coyote Valley. Forty miles may
seem like a long way away from our bucolic county, but that’s where
San Jose is planning a new city with 25,000 new homes, 50,000 jobs
and 80,000 residents.
San Benito County and the City of Hollister should be keeping a close eye on the developments in Coyote Valley. Forty miles may seem like a long way away from our bucolic county, but that’s where San Jose is planning a new city with 25,000 new homes, 50,000 jobs and 80,000 residents.
Though San Jose officials seem to think most of the people who work in the Coyote Valley development will come from the north, the recent history of the dot-com boom suggests otherwise. As in the past, people with good jobs will come south in their search for affordable homes and a nice place to live.
That means local home prices will climb, there will be more traffic on Highway 25 and Gavilan College will have the challenge of educating people from Hollister to San Jose. If Hollister’s population grows as a result, there will be more need for schools, police, fire and other city services.
“All counties it’s going to impact in the area should be involved in the planning process,” Hollister Planning Commissioner Ray Pierce said Monday.
We agree. If we want to preserve our quality of life, we need to have a voice in the planning process.
Right now, the closest thing we have to local representation in that process is Santa Clara County Supervisor Don Gage. He’s the only South Valley member that sits on the Coyote Valley Specific Plan Task Force. But we shouldn’t rely on Gage to watch out for our interests. He’ll represent southern Santa Clara County, but he’s not likely to focus on how the development will affect us.
To make sure our concerns are heard, local elected officials must attend the planning meetings and speak for our interests. San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales surely won’t give San Benito officials a seat on the task force. But if local officials show up to the meetings, they can use the public comment period to direct pointed questions squarely at Gonzales and demand answers that ensure task force members understand our issues – from housing and schools to traffic and pollution.
Hollister Mayor Tony Bruscia and County Board of Supervisors President Bob Cruz should ask someone from their governing bodies to represent us at the meetings when San Jose plans its new town. We also ask residents learn about the issues. Visit the task force’s Web site – www.ci.san-jose.ca.us/coyotevalley – to learn what the task force is doing and when it is meeting. Let local representatives know what you think.
Development of the Coyote Valley will have an effect on San Benito County. It will affect our commutes, our schools and our housing prices. We should watch out for our interests before it’s too late.
To respond to this editorial or comment on this issue, please send or bring letters to Editor, Hollister Free Lance, 350 Sixth St., Hollister, Calif. 95023 or fax to 637-4104 or e-mail to [email protected]