This article was written by BenitoLink intern Juliana Luna
Proponents for the 3.5-mile buffer zone initiative around agriculture chemical distributor TriCal, Inc. submitted 5,096 petition signatures on June 2, the San Benito County Elections Office confirmed. The group began collecting signatures in March.
The petition’s purpose is to establish division between the proposed development of Strada Verde Innovation Park and TriCal.
The initiative’s proponents, Francisco Barragan, Karla Arevalo Perez and Maria Lamberson, say they aim to shut down development of the Strada Verde Innovation Park, a 2,221-acre project featuring an autonomous vehicle testing facility, hotels, restaurants, parks and a distribution center because, according to the initiative, it would “place human life in jeopardy.”
According to the Strada Verde impact report by EMC Planning Group, the TriCal facility receives and blends a range of regulated agricultural fumigants and has no quantity limits of storage.
The proposed buffer zone around TriCal, located at 8770 Bolsa Road off Highway 25, reaches intersections of Lake and Shore roads and Shore Road and Highway 25. The zone would also include Frazier Lake Airpark and reach the northern part of the Betabel Road intersection.
In order for the San Benito County Board of Supervisors to consider the initiative, proponents must submit at least 2,060 valid signatures from registered voters residing in the county.
Senior Deputy County Clerk Ana De Castro Marquiz said the Elections Office has 30 days, until July 2, to verify the signatures.
If the valid signatures meet the threshold, the initiative may be placed on Board of Supervisors agenda for certification as early as June 28; the supervisors will then either adopt the initiative or place it on the Nov. 8 election ballot.
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