Supervisors to consider Highway 101 zoning alternative

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After the defeat of Measure K in the March 3 election, San Benito County Supervisors will take the first step in approving an alternative on March 24.

Measure K would have adopted an ordinance approved unanimously by county supervisors in September that converts four properties at highway interchanges to regional commercial “C-3” zoning.

The four interchanges, known as “nodes,” outlined in the ordinance are the Betabel Road and Highway 129/Searle Road interchanges in San Juan Bautista, and the Rocks Ranch and 101 Livestock Market interchanges in Aromas.

The four properties, totaling about 326 acres, would be converted to regional commercial zoning, which according to the 2035 General Plan approved in 2015 provides “areas that function as destinations for commercial activity serving the regional population.” The types of developments allowed are shopping centers, automobile stations and hotels.

With just 750 votes remaining to be counted as of March 10, nearly 60 percent of voters rejected Measure K.

On March 24, the supervisors will consider a request by Betabel property owner Thomas John McDowell and Victoria McDowell Charitable Remainder Unitrust to convert the land to another commercial zoning designation, known as “C-1.”

The C-1 zoning classification shares many similarities with the C-3 zoning in terms of building standards and permitted uses. However, it is less restrictive in other areas, such as landscaping, theming and tourism.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the public cannot attend the March 24 meeting in person. However, the public can watch the meeting online by visiting zoom.us/j/497226173. They can also call in to 1-669-900-6833 or 1-408-638-0968 to make public comments.

The San Benito County Supervisors will meet March 24 at 9am. To view the agenda, visit tinyurl.com/tyd5kqx.

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