Monday, October 26, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Citing uncertainties over environmental reports, the council voted 4-3 - with Council members Dion Bracco, Bob Dillon and Craig Gartman dissenting - against two annexation requests that would eventually lead to residential development. Gillmor's Lucky Day Ranch application proposed the incorporation of 285 hilly acres straddling Burchell Road north of Hecker Pass Highway for up to 193 homes and 244 acres of open space and parks - just a sliver of the applicant's original proposal to annex 2,014 pristine acres stretching up to the Corde Valle Golf Course in San Martin. The council also rejected a separate application from Wren Investors to annex 48 acres near Christopher High School for up to 430 dwellings.
Environmentalists, rural residents and county representatives encouraged the rejections by arguing that at least 2,100 additional residents, about 4 percent of Gilroy, will tax the city's stressed school and emergency services. That many new residents could cost the county and Gilroy hundreds of thousands of dollars over a 10-year period, according to staff projections that considered property and sales tax revenues against city and county expenses on the hypothetical residents.
"We've just gone through a huge budget crisis and are looking to hire more police (officers) and (firefighters) just to catch up," Council member Peter Arellano said. "I'm not looking forward to trying to find another amount of money to catch up with these developments."
Opponents also stressed that Gilroy - which has exceeded its self-imposed growth limit - already has enough vacant land to develop 3,500 homes over the next 11 years, according to conservative city estimates. They also decried the projects' preliminary environmental reports as lacking carbon footprint analyses and avoiding scenarios based on an exact number of homes. Other residents had simpler concerns about the region's tranquility.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
(You need to let it buffer for a few minutes and then move to the 11:15 minute mark.)
Also, I summarized our concern about the proposed outward expansion of Morgan Hill into farmland:
The item starts at minute 22, citizen comment at minute 33:30 with me first, then followed by Julie Hutcheson and Beth Wyman. The City Council made sympathetic noises about the concerns we raised, but unfortunately they then just did what staff recommended. We'll just have to follow the EIR process to make comments.