News briefs: Ordinance starts 45-day ban on building east of U.S. 101

Habitat meeting set for Wednesday

The Gilroy City Council voted 7-0 to approve a 45-day ban on
residential building east of U.S. Highway 101 Monday
– already a staple of the city’s general plan – as it waits to
hear from state officials whether its citywide housing plan is up
to par.
The Gilroy City Council voted 7-0 to approve a 45-day ban on residential building east of U.S. Highway 101 Monday – already a staple of the city’s general plan – as it waits to hear from state officials whether its citywide housing plan is up to par.

The ban is being contested by CW Development Company, which seeks to build a 349-unit senior housing development on an 82-acre cherry orchard along Bolsa Road in south Gilroy. Attorneys for the company say the city shouldn’t delay the project, which would allow the city to inch closer to its affordable housing requirements.

City officials, however, have put discussing that project on hold until the state’s housing department weighs in on the city’s housing element, which contains the status of housing and affordability thereof within Gilroy, City Administrator Tom Haglund said.

Based on the plan, the state will identify how Gilroy might be able to meet its regional housing needs, he said.

Haglund said the city submitted its housing element July 18. The waiting period is expected to be approximately 60 days.

“There’s some concern over the lack of a housing element in the short run,” Councilman Perry Woodward said. *”Until we have a housing element in place, we want to make sure no projects get underway that may clash with our longstanding policy of not having residential construction east of 101.”

City announces open commission seats

The city of Gilroy is looking for residents to fill nine openings on two commissions, with deadlines coming next month.

Seven members are sought for the Gilroy Youth Commission, an 11-member group of residents ages 13-19 which serves as an advisory to the Gilroy City Council, making recommendations on issues affecting local youth. The commission is involved in the planning, organization and implementation of programs and events in the community.

The City Council will interview applicants at 6 p.m. Sept. 12 and make appointments one week later at the City Hall City Council Chambers, 7351 Rosanna Street. All applicants must be present for interviews if they wish to serve as a Youth Commissioner.

Applications may be submitted by email, mail or in person, and must be received no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6.

The city is also recruiting applicants to fill two seats on its Housing Advisory Committee, a nine-member group that provides oversight to the city’s housing policies. The open seats are for local affordable housing and the Gilroy Unified School District.

The Council will interview applicants for the affordable housing seat and make appointments 6 p.m. at Council Chambers. Applications may be submitted by email, mail or in person, and must be received no later than 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 5.

Christophers donate another $50K to arts center

Don and Karen Christopher have made their second $50,000 donation in three months to the Gilroy Foundation to benefit the Gilroy Arts Center, located at 7341 Monterey Road downtown, according to Gilroy Foundation Executive Director Donna Pray

Crews used the first donation to, among other improvements, replace the approximately 50-year-old chipped tile floor with new laminate wood.

Indoor and outdoor lighting was removed and updated, with new security lights installed illuminate downtown walkers’ steps in front of the center, Pray said.

The second donation will fund the construction of a ADA-compliant bathroom, outdoor signage and parking lot improvements, said Sylvia Myrvold, president of the Gilroy Arts Alliance, which uses the building as its temporary home.

Myrvold said the renovations should be completed by Sept. 1. The city of Gilroy also plans to demolish three nearby, unoccupied buildings, planting new sod in their place.

“Now when people come into down from the south end, the first thing people are going to see is the temporary arts center,” Myrvold said. “It will be a nice center for the downtown.”

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