Hecker Pass Widening Another Example of City Growth Run Amok

Dear Editor,
STOP TURNING GILROY INTO SAN JOSE!!!
This response was triggered in disgust to the recent Thursday,
Oct. 20 article,

Widening of Hecker Pass

but more importantly the overwhelmingly unanimous decision by
the city of Gilroy, local government and planning commission to
turn Gilroy into a large metropolitan San Jose-like area.
Dear Editor,

STOP TURNING GILROY INTO SAN JOSE!!!

This response was triggered in disgust to the recent Thursday, Oct. 20 article, “Widening of Hecker Pass” but more importantly the overwhelmingly unanimous decision by the city of Gilroy, local government and planning commission to turn Gilroy into a large metropolitan San Jose-like area.

As a longtime Gilroy resident who was born at Wheeler Hospital, raised, and now raising a family of my own, I ponder the direction Gilroy is moving in. Having lived elsewhere, my wife and I chose to return to Gilroy for its small-town atmosphere – perfect for raising a family. However, I fear that Gilroy is losing its genuine and personable small-town feel that we have known to love. People have enjoyed and continue to enjoy living in Gilroy because it is and was not San Jose or any other large city with traffic, crime, pollution and overpopulation. Many people have already left believing Gilroy is already growing too big, too fast. My family and I have chosen to stay, but strongly feel we as a city are headed in the wrong direction with Gilroy’s grow-fast attitude.

Our local government appears they can’t say no to the dollars or incentives big corporate businesses and developers dangle in front of their faces as tax revenue. Local government has become hypnotized with dollar signs in their eyes … more, more, more. Growth is inevitable, but smart growth requires proper insight and vision long-term for desirable community living. Regrettably, our current local government officials and planning department have proven undoubtedly this concept is misunderstood. We need to preserve our small-town feel before Gilroy represents nothing more than a messy conglomerate metropolitan area that mirrors the greater San Jose area.

The widening of Hecker Pass directive is a fine example of how poorly and mismanaged the local city government and planning commission is. Hecker Pass is and has been classified as a scenic highway by our state. Why? Because it is beautiful and captures the beauty of the local area – simple. Now, local government has succumbed to

Eagle Ridge-type developers and the Bonfante Gardens theme park, which creates extra traffic on the scenic highway which in turn requires a widening of the road creating more access and safety concerns.

Our grand Deadora cedar trees towering aside the highway will be cut down and much of the tranquil scenic beauty lost. All of this because of poor planning, and bad decisions rooted in local government greed for more tax revenue dollars. Local government also wants to extend Third Street to Gilroy Golf Course. Stop the bad decisions! This will only open the scenic corridor to more development until it is nothing more than a maze of tract homes. The current beauty of the area will be lost. Try preserving the Hecker Pass area and other remaining rural areas to low-density development if any at all. It has been demonstrated time and time again that our current local government policy makers clearly do not understand that quality not quantity makes for better planning.

It is time Gilroy changes its current path from fast, huge growth to slow/moderate high-quality growth. The city’s General Plan regarding future development needs to be re-evaluated, refurbished and reinstituted. Make your voice heard …

Bryan Barbaglia, Gilroy

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