A map is shown from the General Plan laying out the 16 nodes that are intended for commercial development. Photo provided.
A map is shown from the General Plan laying out the 16 nodes that are intended for commercial development. Photo provided.

This article was written by BenitoLink intern Marisa Sachau

The petition for the initiative Let Voters Decide How San Benito County Grows was unofficially verified by the elections office May 27. 

This initiative was submitted by the Campaign to Protect San Benito and it aims to let the voters decide how properties are rezoned. If the initiative is adopted by the San Benito County or approved by voters, projects that require rezoning will be decided on the ballot. Currently, projects are decided by the Board of Supervisors. 

It would also remove 13 of 16 areas in the county identified as commercial nodes.

According to the initiative, the goal of Campaign to Protect San Benito is to let the residents decide how their county grows.

For the initiative to get to this stage, proponents were required to collect at least 2,060 signatures of registered voters. Senior Deputy County Clerk Ana De Castro Marquiz said that the proponents submitted 4,092 signatures. 

Marquiz added because of the large number of signatures submitted, there was a sample size of 500 taken to verify the signatures. Of the 500, there were 425 valid signatures and 75 invalid signatures. With the continuing trend of this sample size, the signatures required would likely meet the 2,060 needed, she said. 

According to the countywide petition process, the elections office may take a random 500 signature sample or 3%.

Marquiz said the Board of Supervisors will consider certifying the signatures June 14. Additionally, the Board of Supervisors has two options moving forward—to either adopt the initiative as is or place it on the ballot of the November general election.


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