Housing / Land Use

Hollister Planning Commission approves 116-lot subdivision

Commissioners also approve a wine bar at the location that housed Serendipity.

The Hollister Planning Commission unanimously approved on Oct. 28 a subdivision of 116 single-family home lots on a 23.51-acre property. The commission also approved a wine bar at the former Serendipity location.

The developer, HPG Hollister Development LLC, is required to improve the Memorial Drive and Meridian Street intersection, to enhance the safety of automobile, bicycle and pedestrian traffic from the Hollister Dual Language Academy and Marguerite Maze Middle School. 

Associate Planner Eva Kelly said the project, which is located north of Meridian Street, south of Santa Ana Road and west of Marguerite Maze Middle School, is currently being called Avalon Village. In addition to the single-family lots, the project includes 28 duets (attached housing), three available lots for custom construction, and a park.

Avalon Village plans. Photo from Youtube video of the meeting.
Avalon Village plans. Photo from Youtube video of the meeting.

The applicant requested two variations from the standard residential family zoning (R-3) through a conditional use permit to allow the duets and a 3,066-square-foot minimum lot size instead of the standard 5,000-square-foot lot size. 

Commissioner Roxanne Stephens said, “Anyone who has done pick-ups and drop-offs with most of our elementary schools in Hollister knows that it is a nightmare, and I think the one at [HDLA] is probably the worst.” She asked Kelly to explain the traffic flow as it relates to Marguerite Maze and HDLA schools.

Kelly said the drop-off/pick-up at HDLA would create a safe u-turn for parents who need to exit east from the school’s parking lot. Drivers would still need to make a right turn out of the parking lot, but a proposed roundabout at the intersection of Memorial Drive and Santa Ana Road would enable drivers to make a safe u-turn onto Santa Ana Road.

Kelly added that the project would improve the intersection at Memorial Drive and Meridian Street with curb extensions at the corners, improving safety for automobile, bicycle and pedestrian traffic near Marguerite Maze.

Victor Gomez, representing HPG Hollister and property owners, said the developer has been working with the Hollister School District on this project for “a number of years,” and that the Hollister School District is currently satisfied with the project.  

At the Oct. 26 Hollister School District Board of Trustees meeting, the board of trustees discussed the potential of receiving a donation of developed land adjacent to the Marguerite Maze Middle School campus from the developer that can be used for parking, or whatever the district deems appropriate. HSD Superintendent Erika Sanchez said that the developer was requesting a letter from the district acknowledging its support for the development. 

“The property itself would be used to expand the tight parking lot at Marguerite Maze and would be a benefit in the long run for staff trying to park there, the bus circle and so on,” Sanchez said. 


Wine Bar

Crave Wine Company to open a wine bar and retail shop at the previous Serendipity location at 616 San Benito Street. Photo by Jenny Mendolla Arbizu.
Crave Wine Company to open a wine bar and retail shop at the previous Serendipity location at 616 San Benito Street. Photo by Jenny Mendolla Arbizu.

The Planning Commission also unanimously approved a request for Crave Wine Company to operate a wine bar and retail shop at 616 San Benito Street, the former location of Serendipity. The applicant, Wine Bond CA, LLC (Mike Khone and Maura Cooper) anticipates operating under two types of liquor licenses—on- and off-premises sales.

Kelly said the wine company will offer wine and beer at the 1,675-square-foot commercial space. Wine tastings and by-the-glass purchases will be available, showcasing wines from California and around the world.

She said the company has hopes of highlighting wines grown and produced in San Benito County. It will operate similar to a winery, with a tasting room and retail room, and selling foods such as cheese and charcuterie boards. 

Customers will be able to make walk-in or online purchases and join the company’s wine club. Hours of operation will be Sundays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.


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Jenny Mendolla Arbizu

Jenny is a Hollister native who resides in her hometown with her husband and son. She is a graduate of San Benito High School, and received her BA in Literature from UC Santa Cruz and MA in Education from San Jose State University. Jenny is a former elementary school teacher and has written for the Hollister Freelance, San Benito and South Valley magazines. She enjoys bringing informative and educational news to San Benito County, as well as spotlighting local community members and businesses. On any given day, she can be found performing with SBSC, singing with the Hollister VFW, or working out at Cold Storage CrossFit.