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The approval of a final map and improvement agreement for an 81-lot subdivision of Cienega Road southeast of San Benito High School was delayed this week when the city realized it had not properly notified nearby property owners of proposed sewer line work associated with the impending project. The matter will return to the council for consideration at its next meeting on June 16.

The project, on land formerly owned by the Rajkovich family, would bring single-family homes to the parcel bordered by existing homes along Eastview Road, Nora Drive and Southside Road, off the San Benito Street extension near Cienega Road. On a seperate but related matter, a neighboring property owner has been seeking a redesign of the project’s plans by the subdivision developer so he can tap into the sewer line if and when he develops his nearby property, but the two parties have not worked out their differences, according to City Manager William Avera. 

“I thought we had it all worked out but now we’re trying to get them to get along,” he said. “Them not working together has been an issue for awhile. When you have people’s attorneys involved, no one is going to agree to changes in front of cameras (at a council meeting). There are opportunities for us to fix it. We’ll bring the same item back on the 16th with really no changes. We can’t force people to work together if they can’t.”

The project’s subdivider, BMC Promise Way LLC, has agreed to construct an oversized sewer line along the San Benito Street extension to accommodate the new development. Officials realized at this week’s council meeting that the property owners along the proposed sewer line were not properly notified, so the matter will be reconsidered later this month. Avera said that BMC, a publicly-traded company, “can’t afford to be delayed if they have to start redesiging their project at this point,” so he is hoping that the developer and the nearby property owner can work out their differences regarding sewer line tie-ins.

“They’re ready to go,” with site preparation work, Avera said of BMC, noting that any sewer work that would impact San Benito Street near the high school property would be done while the regular school year is not in session. “We’ve asked them to wait before they start digging up the San Benito Street extension until after school is out. All improvement plans are done and approved. They’ll be starting right away” once the city council gives the final go-ahead.