The San Benito Health Foundation is planning a clinic and housing in SJB

Approximately 52 additional acres are planned to be developed south of the city.

At the same time That San Juan Bautista is creating limits to its future growth, the San Benito Health Foundation plans to build a clinic and 60 high-density housing units on seven acres of land located at the city’s southwest entrance. No application has yet been submitted to the city.

The Corporation also intends to develop 51 acres of agricultural land located south of Highway 156, outside the city limits Close to the south entrance to town and across from Windmill Market.

BenitoLink interviewed Health Foundation President/CEO Rosa Vivian Fernandez about these plans. We started with a discussion of the San Juan Bautista City Council and the June 13th Planning Committee meeting, which Fernandez attended.

BenitoLink: What do you think of the planning meeting?

Rosa Vivian Hernandez: I just don’t understand the process because my experience is managing community health concerns, not necessarily the topic. I was a little frustrated that I had been invited to a meeting that morning with the other landlords. The property owners provided feedback but my impression was that the maps provided were the result of comments from the community meetings I attended. I wondered where the contribution of the 50 or so people who took part in those meetings was. I also did not understand how last night’s meeting went without a quorum.

In the meeting you attended in the morning, were they discussing other developments?

There was a group of about six people discussing our private property. They were discussing areas that could or could not have developments due to things like rising groundwater levels. And there were areas that were agriculturally marked, but they already had a home on them. There were people who knew the history of the land and they were able to tell us things like a specific area of ​​development that was already owned by the St. Francis Retreat and wouldn’t be open to development.

What are your plans for your seven-acre off Valero station on the corner of Muckelemi and Monterey Streets?

For about five years we have been interested in buying land in SJB. When we look at where our patients come from, we have a lot of sick farm workers who live outside the area like Monterey and Santa Cruz. In our strategic plan, it seems to make sense to have a clinic at SJB. We were interested in the first two plots for the clinic and the adjacent parcel for workforce housing. The first two are commercial and the third is mixed use.

How many employees do you currently have?

We currently have around 32 employees but have the capacity to accommodate 55 employees. We are hiring them now. He thought we would have housing for our employees because it is very difficult to find good housing and many of our employees live in multigenerational housing, with their parents.

Will that be rental property?

yes. It will be similar. Our housing initiative is similar to that of UC Santa Cruz, which has plenty of housing for students and staff. We were looking at rental properties that would be owned by the organization but that employees could live in.

Will it be limited to employees?

At first, yes. They will have the right of first refusal. And then we’ll have staff and a certain level of seniors’ housing at that location.

How many units will you have in this location?

This has evolved. What we found is that the drug has a capacity of up to 60 units. There are different laws in terms of usage and we have a consulting entity working on feasibility studies. I just got a study that says we can have 58 to 69 units if we want to use 70% of the land. Before buying it, there was another plan from the previous owners of about 50 units.

Who are your advisors?

table He’s doing the feasibility study and the other group is Mynt Systems, who did our solar project.

are you connected to blue areas Absolutely?

We are not associated with the blue zones, but I did study the blue zones process and was in favor of doing the blue zone analysis. We are not directly related to them but envision a project like theirs that is energy efficient, off grid, walkable, and up to date in terms of technology.

What are the plans for the 51 acre estate?

We bought that before we bought this land and we envisioned having homes there, of medium to low density. This for us is a residential project. We will, again, have some staff housing along with hiking trails and a community garden.

How many homes do you envision for that property?

We haven’t decided yet. We have focused on other properties and that is the priority now.

If you only have 55 employees and you’re already planning on 60 units, why are you counting more employee housing?

We’re envisioning students coming in, too. We have five to 10 students who come and work with us. At the moment, they are renting accommodation or hotels, so some housing will be theirs.

Again, if you have 55 employees and you add 10 students, that’s 65 houses at most.

When we open the clinic and the education center, we will likely have the same number of staff, so we want to have the capacity for residency and teaching programs. We don’t envision relocating staff from our current location, so it would be more appropriate to have housing near Hwy 101 because we work with CSUMB and community colleges, as well as potentially working with Stanford and UC Berkeley. That is why we say that the other property will be a service facility.

Will this development be limited to your employees and students only?

There will be no students – only long-term employees or employees who have retired. It may also include housing for the elderly. But we haven’t really finished visualizing those properties. It will be part housing, part retreat. In the past, we have been approached to use part of the land for a community garden, so there may be an opportunity for that.

Do you see the possibility of opening any of the units to the public for purchase or rent?

Perhaps for rent, not necessarily for purchase. It will be more in the sense of affordable housing. We view this as a solution to the housing problem, but our employees will have the first pre-emption. But they may not want to live in our society – they may want to live elsewhere.

Is there another scheme for this property other than the dwelling and garden?

Not at this time. We have a board that will decide what we’re going to do and we’ll have to seek federal approval because we’re a federally funded health center. But we are not in the home selling business. This is not our goal. It may have a babysitting center or a gym. But it must be consistent with the mission of the service-oriented organisation.

If the public decides that they don’t want housing at such a dense level, will you be open to bargaining? Say 25 units instead of 60?

We have to talk about it because when we bought the land, 60 units were approved. This is one of the discussions that landlords have. We need to be clear that we have land that was bought as investment for a specific purpose and if that purpose is changed, then someone has to pay for it. With the housing shortage, why not? It would be selfish not to allow additional housing.

[Note: The design firm Blue Zone, along with EMC Planning Group, a land use planning and design firm, was hired by the city to “reconfigure land uses to increase housing potential in the area.” Their services, according to their website, include “permanent and semi-permanent changes on multiple levels” in communities including “optimizing” city streets, public spaces, schools, restaurants, grocery stores, and employers.]

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