Developers of the Strada Verde Innovation Park are still weighing options for building the autonomous vehicle facility following voters’ rejection of Measure N in the November election.
The proposed project near Highways 25 and 101 along the Pajaro River was 2,777 acres, including open land with a 2.4-mile trail; a business center with a hotel, retail shops and restaurants; and an automotive technology and research center with automobile testing tracks.
Measure N was defeated with 59.5% of residents voting against it, but that doesn’t mean plans for Strada Verde vanished. Development could still be pursued through the normal permitting process.
Strada Verde spokesperson Scott Fuller said options include moving forward with the project application submitted to the county over a year ago, revising that application, submitting a new application altogether, or not moving forward at all.
“They are evaluating what to do next,” Fuller said about the developer Newport Pacific Land Company LLC. “So in the process of analysing the results of the election, the reason for those results, and they are still analysing what to do next and how or if to move forward.”
Since the project was introduced to the public through a ballot initiative last May, it’s received criticism from local groups about environmental concerns. Health concerns were later brought up in response to the study on the impact of neighboring Trical, Inc., a distributor and applicator of agricultural fumigants.
While the Strada Verde developers analyze their options, another vehicle research facility known as the Hollister Research Campus is being proposed at the intersection of San Felipe Road and Highway 156. The Hollister City Council unanimously pre-zoned two properties totalling 229.32 acres on Oct. 19.
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