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San Benito County Land Use & Development Overview



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The Wilderness Land Trust “keeps the promise of wilderness” by working to transfer private land to public ownership while protecting wilderness.

California Local Pin Marker Local Land Use & Development Digest

Hollister Apartment Complex Proposed

04/20/2024

An apartment complex of several buildings with a total 132 units is being proposed for a 3.8-acre site at Fourth Street and Graf Road in Hollister.

A Private Calif. Ranch Holds Important State History — And It Might Be in Danger

04/19/2024

Some residents fear development could destroy parts of the historic land.

California Local Pin Marker Recent Articles

SanBenitocom logo LOCAL NEWS
Nonprofits Collaborate on Transitional Housing Project

A new project in Hollister will provide transitional homes for residents and families who are struggling with homelessness or other housing insecurity, according to the project developer. 

SanBenitocom logo LOCAL NEWS
Abandoned Appeal Ends Landfill Expansion Push

After months of intense community debate over a proposed expansion of the John Smith Road Landfill, the saga has ended with the landfill operator withdrawing from the approval process.

Gilroy Dispatch logo LOCAL NEWS
Gourmet Alley Work Begins

Construction began this week on the City of Gilroy’s grant-funded makeover of Gourmet Alley in the downtown, and some business and property owners are concerned about the possible impact the work will have on their operations. 

SanBenitocom logo LOCAL NEWS
New Slow Growth Initiative Gathers Signatures

A new initiative to put land use decisions in the hands of San Benito County residents is currently circulating, the latest political effort by slow-growth advocates in the area.

Gilroy Dispatch logo LOCAL NEWS
Construction Set to Begin on Downtown Gourmet Alley Upgrades

The City of Gilroy is set to begin construction to transform the downtown Gourmet Alley into a modern, spacious, pedestrian-friendly corridor. 

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Controversial Housing Law Could Get a Makeover

Some of California’s top lawmakers want to clear up, but also rein in, the “builder’s remedy.”

SanBenitocom logo LOCAL NEWS
Slow Growth Candidates Win in San Benito County

San Benito County District 5 Supervisor Bea Gonzales has fallen to Ignacio Velasquez as of Wednesday morning’s ballot count in the March 5 primary election. 

Image caption: The 1965 law known as the Williamson Act has been responsible for keeping about half of California's farmland out of the hands of developers.
The Williamson Act: How the Law That Protects California’s Farmland Works

The Williamson Act, passed in 1965, now keeps more than 16 million acres of farmland out of the hands of developers. Here's how the law puts the brakes on the development of California agricultural properties.

Image caption: Does California’s signature environmental law protect the state’s scenic beauty, or cause more problems than it solves?
CEQA: The Surprising Story of CA’s Key Environmental Law

The California Environmental Quality Act, CEQA, is both the state’s signature environmental legislation, and is also often named as the villain in the state’s housing shortage. But the story may not be that simple.

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Silicon Valley Billionaires vs. Bay Area’s Housing Crisis?

In NYT’s “The Farmers Had What the Billionaires Wanted,” we meet a man who wants to build a city in the middle of nowhere, and folks who are slowing him down.

Featured

Zoning laws tell you what you can and can't build on the property you own. How does government get away with that?
How Zoning Laws Shape California and Society
Zoning is everywhere, but is it a way to regulate development or a tool for social engineering?
How California reclamation districts turned millions of acres of wetlands into fertile agricultural land, starting in the earliest days of the Gold Rush.
Reclamation Districts: Turning ‘Swamps’ Into Farmland
From its earliest days as a state, California has been trying to turn marshes into productive land.
Since 1972, the California Coastal Commission has ruled over the state’s shoreline.
California Coastal Commission: Where It Comes From, What It Does
How a nuclear plant, a real estate development and an oil spill led to a landmark law.
The Baldwin Hills area in South Los Angeles is one region where a state conservancy would keep open land accessible to the public.
California’s 10 State Conservancies: How They Protect Parks and Open Land
Starting in 1976, the legislature began creating agencies to buy up open land, and keep it open.
Does California’s signature environmental law protect the state’s scenic beauty, or cause more problems than it solves?
CEQA: The Surprising Story of CA’s Key Environmental Law
54-year-old environmental law is often blamed for causing the state’s housing crisis. Is it getting a bad rap?
The 1965 law known as the Williamson Act has been responsible for keeping about half of California's farmland out of the hands of developers.
The Williamson Act: How the Law That Protects California’s Farmland Works
More than half of California farmland is under contracts that prevent its development.
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