This article was contributed by the San Benito County Business Council.
The San Benito County Business Council has submitted a comment letter to the San Benito County Board of Supervisors requesting their continued support of implementing the 2035 General Plan and the Land Use Diagram Designation of Commercial Regional Zoning, therefore establishing highway commercial node boundaries for Highway 101. The nodes include Highway 101 at Betabel Road, Highway 101 at State Route 129 and Searle Road, Highway 101 at San Juan Road—Rocks Ranch, and Highway 101 at Livestock 101.
Following the new zoning designation, the Business Council further encourages in-depth review of the opportunities at each node based on individual unique merits and impacts.
The Business Council supports the opportunities for applicants to solicit public input, encourage feedback from local stakeholders and neighboring landowners in each region, incorporating comments in the process of developing project specific plans where possible.
Furthermore, the organization supports maintaining the rural nature of the corridor while allowing for limited commercial development, informing and welcoming visitors to San Benito County, providing traveler conveniences while blending into the atmosphere with appealing architecture.
The Business Council was engaged and commented extensively in the development of the 2035 San Benito County General Plan and encouraged the development of local economic development/benefit, job creation, local business growth, enhanced infrastructure, community benefit and preservation of quality of life throughout. The nodes were supported then as targeted, small economic opportunity zones which remains smart and sustainable planning.
To our knowledge, San Benito County holds the only expanse of the Highway 101 corridor absent of direct access to commercial activity, generation of sales tax and transient occupancy tax (TOT). There are an estimated 250,000 car trips passing through the corridor every weekend. The combined revenue of limited commercial activity in this region could add an estimated $5-6 million to the county General Fund to be put to work for public safety, economic and workforce development, social services, infrastructure and roads, open space, agricultural preservation, and more.