Location of the future Wendy's and Panera Bread restaurants in the Hollister Farms shopping center. Photo by Noe Magaña.
Location of the future Wendy's and Panera Bread restaurants in the Hollister Farms shopping center. Photo by Noe Magaña.

The Hollister Planning Commission unanimously approved a site and architecture review for both a Wendy’s and Panera Bread restaurant within the Hollister Farms shopping center.

According to the presentation to the commission Aug. 31 and the agenda packet, the Wendy’s will have 29 seats in the dining area, a drive-through window, and will be open 24 hours.

It will be located on E. Park Street, west of the Quick Quack Car Wash. The one-story, 2,262-square-foot building includes 28 parking stalls and a bike rack. Landscaping for the project will be water efficient and include trees, shrubs, grasses, perennials and vines.

The Panera Bread restaurant is 3,550 square feet and will also include a drive-through window. The drive-through capacity is 11 vehicles. The maximum queue is expected to be nine vehicles, according to the agenda packet. 

The packet adds this figure excludes the rapid pickup lane’s 10-vehicle capacity, which would be used by customers who ordered prior to arriving at the drive-through. 

Panera is also required to use drought-tolerant landscaping, which includes a variety of trees and plants.

The restaurant will be east of Wendy’s and includes 44 parking spaces and a bike rack. The operating hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. 

According to the agenda packet, the approval for both projects expire two years from the date of approval unless a building permit is obtained or an extension is requested and approved.

The commission also unanimously approved two for-rent residential projects, one consisting of apartments and the other of townhomes, on San Juan Road. 

In public comments made on the apartment project the city was asked to consider recommending or requiring infrastructure for electric vehicle charging as well as giving preference to local labor for construction.

Speaker Barry Katz said projects should consider making its parking 80% electric vehicle ready, which means having charging stations or infrastructure in place to install charging stations in the future. In response, Randy Russom with the project design team said that was not feasible as it would require more energy than is available in the area. 

“Probably the power in the street could not take care of 157 spots,” Russom said. 

He added that California does require a certain number of charging stations or infrastructure for stations to be installed in the future but did not provide specific data.

According to the 2022 California Green Building Standards Code, multifamily projects with 20 or more residential units, including hotels and motels, need to provide 10% of the total number of parking spaces that are “EV capable,” 25% of the parking spaces be “EV ready” and 5% be equipped with charging stations.

The code also states those requirements are considered on a case-by-case and that local enforcement agencies must determine if charging stations and infrastructure are not feasible such as local power supply is unable to supply adequate power.

In response to the call to prioritize local labor force, City Attorney Jennifer Thompson said while the city can give preference to local labor on its own projects, it cannot compel a private developer to do so.

Commissioners Carol Lenoir and Kevin Henderson spoke in favor of the project.  

“In reviewing the general plan, one of the things that was brought up quite a bit was that there were about 80% single-family homes in our community, which is high compared to other communities so we definitely need more rentals,” Henderson said. “I’m happy to see a rental project coming in.”

There were no public comments opposing the projects. 

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Noe Magaña is a BenitoLink reporter. He also experiments with videography and photography. He is a San Benito High School graduate with a bachelor’s in journalism from San Jose State and a Liberal Arts...