photo of map of Isha Foundation Project

The Agricultural Preserve Advisory Committee voted to recommend to the San Benito County Board of Supervisors acceptance of the Isha Foundation's application for Compatible Use for a 5 acre section of their 62 acre parcel just outside of San Juan, bordered by The Alameda and Salinas Road.The Isha Foundation is proposing to build a 22,500sft Meditation Center with patios and parking spaces and plant an additional 25 acres of native trees.

It was noted by Commission Chair Paul Hain that the scope of the Commission only pertains to whether the property qualifies for the application and whether the proposed use qualifies under Compatible Use under the Williamson Act requirements.

The property is not to be renewed in the Williamson Act and is scheduled to be out of the Act's jurisdiction in 2018.

Several residents of the area affected spoke of their concerns about the project and the suitability of the project. Anne Hall of San Benito Engineering and Surveying was present to speak for the applicants and to answer the Commissions questions, as well as, Nikki Johnson, a Board Member of the Isha Foundation.

Voting 3 to 2, the Advisory Committee found that the planting of 12 acres of olive trees met the Williamson Act requirement to allow Compatible Use and found that the proposed use was appropriate. They will send their recommendation to the Board of Supervisors.

Link to a previous article about the Isha Foundation property.