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San Juan modular home project put on hold

Planning Commission wants answers on sewer capacity.
Commissioners listen to public comment during the Feb. 5 meeting. Photo by Noe Magaña.

The San Juan Bautista Planning Commission halted a modular home project planned for Lausen Drive at its Feb. 5 meeting due to sewer and sidewalk concerns. The tabled item is expected back at a future meeting for site and design review.

Commissioners and neighbors of the project questioned whether the four-inch sewer line was sufficient to handle additional homes on the street.

Matt Kelley of Kelley Engineering & Surveying, who spoke for applicants David and Kevin McGovert, said it was a condition of approval for the city to analyze the capacity of the line.

The McGoverts bought the land that was previously part of the Nyland Ranch property south of Route 156. Of the two modular homes proposed for the property, one is about 1,200 square feet, while the other is less than 1,000 square feet, Kelly said at the meeting.

Resident Bob Cosio said a plumbing contractor told him there should be at least a six-inch line to accommodate all the homes on the street. He brought up other concerns with the pipe, noting that it was almost 60 years old and that it had a leak.

“It’s been leaking for quite a few years,” Cosio said. “You can’t smell it when you drive by, but I’ve been walking up that hill for 40 years.”

David McGovert told the Planning Commission that before buying the property, he was assured he could build on it.

“It’s authorized to have six units on top and two on my property,” he said.

McGovert explained how he and his son Kevin discovered a leak in the sewer pipe that allowed waste to get into the storm drain. He said he repaired it and had a city inspector review it twice.

There was also discussion surrounding a city code requirement that the modular home project include a sidewalk.

When Commissioner Yolanda Delgado asked if the developers were required to build a sidewalk, City Planner Todd Kennedy said the city deemed it unnecessary because of the project’s modest size. Delgado responded that if a sidewalk is required, the applicants will need to install it.

Commissioners Shirley Brewer and David Medeiros felt differently, and agreed construction of a sidewalk was unnecessary.

“I think we need to go back and make sure that we have all the restrictions before we build on this and probably bring it back to discuss those restrictions to make sure that we are going to do the right thing for that property,” Medeiros said.



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Noe Magaña's picture
Noe Magaña (Noe Magaña)

Noe Magaña is a freelance writer for BenitoLink. He also experiments with videography and photography. A San Benito High School graduate with a bachelor's in journalism from San Jose State and a Liberal Arts Associate's Degree from Gavilan College. Noe also attended San Jose City College and was the managing editor for the City College Times, the school's newspaper. He also was a reporter and later a copy editor for San Jose State's Spartan Daily.

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