Why should we vote Yes on N?
Our economy is sliding into a recession and thousands of our neighbors have lost their jobs. We need a project like Measure N that brings unprecedented job growth and economic opportunity to San Benito County.
Voting Yes on N would create Strada Verde, a state-of-the-art autonomous vehicle testing and e-commerce center in the northwest corner of the County. It will bring new employers to our County and with them, 5,500 permanent high-quality, high-paying jobs and more than 18,000 construction-related jobs. Potential partnerships with Gavilan Community College and the local high schools would also provide unique training and 21st-century job opportunities for the County’s students.
How will Measure N mitigate traffic impacts?
Once completed, Strada Verde will connect directly to Highway 101, limiting further traffic congestion on Highway 25. Measure N will also combat traffic congestion by providing $18 million in private funds for public roadway improvements at no cost to taxpayers. By providing a major jobs center in the County, SVIP will also cut down on commute times, offering employment opportunities that are closer to home for local residents.
Does Strada Verde include dedicated parkland and open space?
Yes, Measure N will create a new, 209-acre public park along three miles of the Pajaro River, providing public access to the riverfront for the first time. Creating the park will improve water quality in the Pajaro River and restore and protect wildlife habitat along the river.
How will Measure N promote water conservation and improve water quality in the Pajaro River?
Strada Verde will be a model for water conservation and reuse and is expected to achieve net zero water waste. An innovative system for water delivery, storage and treatment is a major component of the plan and is anticipated to reduce overall water demand. Furthermore, new and improved stormwater conveyance and storage will reduce flooding in the area. Therefore, the new projected water demand for the project will be much less than was used historically to support agriculture.
How does Measure N honor our County’s rich agricultural heritage?
Voting Yes on N will protect 562 acres exclusively for agricultural use on the Strada Verde property. These protected acres will ensure that historical agricultural uses remain an important part of the area. This preserved land will produce healthy and fresh food for Strada Verde’s employees and visitors. The developed portions of the project are going to be contained to areas of the property that haven’t been used for productive agriculture in over 40 years. Furthermore, Measure N allows for expanded agricultural uses during and after full build out, should more than 562 acres be available.
What types of services will be supported by the $24.2 million in annual revenue?
Revenue generated by the project will support vital County services like County fire protection, emergency response, schools, traffic relief, road repair and public safety. The development will be 100% privately funded and will not rely on any taxpayer money or local government subsidy. All of these benefits will come at no cost to taxpayers.
Does the Measure N plan include housing?
No. Unlike many other development projects, Strada Verde does not include any new housing on the land. What it will do is bring our County the jobs and economic stimulus we desperately need.
Why did Measure N’s proponents circulate a voter initiative?
The supporters of Measure N believe that the fate of this project should lie solely in the hands of San Benito County voters. In order to qualify for the ballot, Measure N needed 2,009 signatures from registered San Benito County voters on an initiative sponsored by former San Benito County Sheriff Hill and local business owners Steve and Donna Haynes. The community response was overwhelming and over 2,500 qualified signatures were received in just 10 days. The San Benito County Registrar of Voters certified Measure N on July 14th and the San Benito County Board of Supervisors voted to place it on the November 2020 ballot during their July 21st meeting.
Will Strada Verde be subject to environmental review?
Yes, Strada Verde will go through a comprehensive environmental impact study and extensive public review process before a single shovel can be put into the ground. Measure N is in no way an end around CEQA and the project itself is certainly subject to CEQA. This is because the project will require several, future discretionary approvals from the County and other agencies, and CEQA compliance is required — as a matter of state law — before any of these approvals can be granted. That means the County will, at the project sponsor’s expense, be required to ensure full CEQA review and compliance before the project can move forward.
Will the November election be the last opportunity for voters to weigh in on Strada Verde?
Absolutely not. Measure N provides an opportunity for the voters to directly get involved and jump start the Strada Verde project and San Benito’s economy. It is not, however, a circumvention of CEQA, and the project will still need various public meetings, hearings, reports and studies and require further approvals from the County and other public agencies. This public process would only begin if the measure is approved this fall.
Can Strada Verde be built on the Floriani property given its proximity to TriCal?
Strada Verde will not be built if the project is deemed unsafe. Period.
The TriCal property has operated safely in San Benito County for over 40 years. Even still, before any construction can begin, Strada Verde will undergo a full environmental review and impact report to ensure that the project is entirely safe. SVIP’s proponents put the health and safety of the future Strada Verde workforce first and foremost, and are committed to delivering a project that is deemed safe by qualified independent experts.