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Gavilan College achieves milestone toward San Benito County development

Key milestone cleared in the process of developing an educational center in San Benito County, with the receipt of an “Incidental Take Permit”

On Jan. 12, nearly a decade after the process began, Gavilan College cleared a key milestone in the process of developing a educational center in San Benito County, with the receipt of an “Incidental Take Permit” (ITP) from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. 

The 77-acre property at Fairview Corners — at the corner of Airline Highway and Fairview Road across from the Ridgemark Golf Club and resort — was initially purchased in June 2007 for a San Benito County educational center that will eventually develop into a full-service college campus. The ITP covers both the district’s acreage and Dividend Homes’ adjacent property, with both parties contributing to costs of mitigation.

“This is an important step and brings us closer to our goal of expanding facilities for higher education in San Benito County. It has been in process for a very long time and involved a lot of work on the part of Gavilan College staff,” said Gavilan College President Dr. Kathleen Rose. “We are now in conversation regarding planning for the future of the site.There are still a couple hurdles to cross before we can begin.”

A similar, parallel Habitat Conservation Plan approval process is still underway with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Mitigation easements have been purchased to fulfill habitat mitigation requirements.

The property at Fairview Corners, the work and costs associated with the ITP and HCP, and the mitigation expenses, were provided through the 2004 voter-approved Measure E bond measure. Gavilan College also purchased property in the northern part of the district with Measure E funds, acquiring acreage in Coyote Valley in 2006. That property also required a lengthy habitat mitigation process. Classes began in Phase 1 of the development in January.

About:
Gavilan College (Gavilan College)

Gavilan College offers a wide range of services, including programs of community education, the liberal arts and sciences, the pre-professional, business, vocational, and technical fields. To support student success, we offer services that strengthen and augment the learning environment. Courses and programs of study are offered days, evenings, weekends, and online. All offerings are designed to assist students in meeting their educational and life goals.

Comments

To the best of my knowledge all the Measure E funds are spent or obligated, if there is a plan and schedule here on how the college can build anything without funds it would be good to let the community in on it.  I recently checked with a trustee and she did not know - if the trustees do not know something is wrong.

The only option I see is to have a private developer build something and lease it back - is that the plan, if so what is the forecasted schedule?  Or is the immediate object to clear the deal so Dividend Homes on the adjacent property?

A little clarity would go a long way.  I challenge every County Supervisor and City Council Member, right now, to explain the plan and schedule before making a phone call or contacting the college.

Marty Richman

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