This community opinion was contributed by resident and No on Measure N sponsor Mary Zanger. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors.
Rapunzel, the children’s fairy tale, is what this problem with Strada Verde reminds me. Rapunzel, the beautiful daughter with long golden hair, was locked in a tower by her father to guard her from over zealous suitors. San Benito County is a Rapunzel with golden hair of pristine water and fertile agricultural land.
It seems the developers like Strada Verde would like to unlock that beautiful golden land from the tower of agricultural zone to free it to suitors who would develop it into residential and commercial buildings near highway and train transportation arteries. Strada Verde would be a most unsuitable suitor for San Benito County.
This suitor has two faces each with its own name both on the same head. On Sept. 9, Newport Pacific Land, the parent company of Strada Verde Developers, donated $525,000 to the Yes on N proposition on our ballot. This occurred after the Fair Political Practices Commission reported that from June 9, Yes on N previously accumulated $343,362 from Newport Pacific Land Co. This latest donation greatly fattens that budget, just add the two.
One might wonder about the determination of this “suitor.” For instance, how did this issue get on the ballot without first going through the Environmental Impact Report? Professionally paid signature gatherers did the job while netting $4 to $5 dollars each signature.
One might wonder about the ardor of this “suitor” as he seems quite smitten. As with any suitor who looks at the success of his endeavors, he hopes to attain true happiness. For the Strada Verde developers, also known as Newport Pacific Land Co., their happiness will lie in the success of this project and if it is like others which they have accomplished in southern California and in Nevada, they will be building thousands of homes and possibly a new city called Strada Verde, Silicon Valley.