Piling On the Building Fees

Gilroy is one of the most expensive places in the country for a
builder to do business with a city
The following organizations and individuals deserve either CHEERS or JEERS this week:

JEERS: For the latest hike in the city’s home development fees. For every home they build, a developer will now pay the city of Gilroy $47,328. Buyers, of course, end up paying the $314.87 each month that development fee tacks on to a 30-year mortgage at 7 percent. There’s a whole lot of talk in government circles about affordable housing, but shaving costs from the development fees just doesn’t happen. Gilroy is one of the most expensive places in the nation for a builder to do business with a city.

CHEERS: For the great results the Gilroy Unified School District posted on the last attempt for high school students to pass the state exit exam. In March about 51 Gilroy High School and 22 Mt. Madonna seniors had not passed the CAHSEE. Only 17 won’t be receiving diplomas. And, while that’s 17 too many, it’s clear that students, teachers, administrators and volunteers pitched in to make a valiant effort that paid off. Well done.

CHEERS: For the news that Santa Teresa Boulevard construction is scheduled to be finished prior to the Garlic Festival. Good call on the city’s part. Let’s hope it happens on time and that the negotiations between Granite Construction and the city over who’s at fault for the faulty road work do not end up in a huge new bill for taxpayers.

CHEERS: For new Gilroy High School head football coach Rich Hammond who, by all accounts, is running a tight ship in spring practice. The Mustangs have a large student body, a first-class facility and a new coach. Good things – as in victories – should happen this fall.

JEERS: For the Gilroy Unified School District, which delayed for years entering the city’s residential building permit competition despite warnings from the city to “get in line.” GUSD had a plan to sell off the Las Animas School site for conversion to housing, yet delayed and delayed. Now it’s a crisis, and the district is going to ask for special consideration … ah, well, what’s good for Bonfante Gardens …

CHEERS: For Councilman Craig Gartman and the Memorial Day Celebration Committee. Great job on a perfect hometown parade and accompanying festivities that get better each year.

CHEERS: For Gilroy’s Solis Winery, which walked off with the top award – beating out 62 other gold medal wines – in the Syrah category at the Los Angeles County Fair with its 2002 vintage. Congratulations to the Vanni family and winemaker Barry Jackson. Fortino Winery (2002 Charbono) and Guglielmo Winery (Private Reserve) also earned gold medal distinction.

JEERS: For the Gilroy City Council which initially approved a Miller Avenue development plan that would combine lots and build six new homes changing the neighborhood’s character. Rescind it.

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