Thursday, October 19, 2006

NO on S!

We residents of San Benito County have a chance to allow the general plan to be modified by Del Webb Communities/Pulte Homes to allow said same to build a 4000 home Sun City just to the north of our town. Keeping in mind that Hollister has around 7000 to 8000 homes already, this will create about half again our sized city between Hollister and Gilroy. Frankly, I'm not big on that kind of growth. Interestingly, the No-on S people are desperately trying to stave Del Webb off with a $700 campaign budget. Del Webb, on the other hand, have apparently spent something more than $658000 to sell the town that this is a good idea.

It certainly is nice that they have sponsored ho-downs at the local Veteran's community center and they have certainly put up enough Yes-on-S signs around town, and have certainly been calling everyone in the community with so-called surveys, which are more like campaign adds. But I wonder if the local population is aware that this invasion tactic Del Webb is using is typical of what developers are doing these days in communities across the country.

Call me a NIMBY jerk, but I don't care for these kind of tactics. If they get their way, Del Webb will muscle their way in, build and sell their crud, and be off to the next town. Their profits will skeedaddle off to Phoenix or Michigan, and we residents of Hollister will get to adjust to the impact of a 50% larger town.

Not only that, but the productive farmland that currently resides in the parcel Del Webb wants to settle, will obviously be made unusable. This is farmland that, unless I'm terribly mistaken, has a significant earthquake fault (the Calaveras Fault) running pretty much directly beneath it. To my way of thinking, it would be best to leave this land as it is.

Soon, another behemoth project will attempt to muscle into a spot that is roughly adjacent to Del Webb's targetted plot. DMB Associates' "El Rancho San Benito" is a project that is literally the same size as Hollister itself. DMB is again from out of state (Arizona), so similar issues apply. In fact, it also is parking itself immediately to the east of the Sargent Fault, next to a hill with an obvious history of mud-slides. Should disaster strike either of these developments, the city of Hollister will be tasked with picking up the pieces.

Right now, special interests are buying up politicians and creating their own political causes as fast as they can. If the citizens of Hollister don't take action, we'll be looking at a 150% growth rate in our local neighborhood in the years shortly after the election, and we'll inherit all the usual problems that come with rampant growth. I certainly don't want that kind of growth, I'm hoping the rest of the citizens of Hollister don't want that kind of growth either.


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