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April 2, 2020

7,000 housing units in 20 years?

Council rejects high-density housing for First Street

The Gilroy City Council recommended a scenario Nov. 18 that could add more than 7,000 housing units over the next 20 years.
The preferred land use alternative, as it is called, will be studied in the 2040 General Plan environmental impact report. The general plan is expected to be considered for adoption in late 2020.
Gilroy’s General Plan outlines a broad overview of the city’s growth goals and sets zoning and other policies that help reach those goals. The 2040 update has been in the works since 2013.
Faced with five alternatives, the council voted unanimously to move forward with the scenario recommended by the General Plan Advisory Committee, which consists of 30 Gilroy residents representing various organizations and industries.
That scenario attempts to strike a balance between commercial and residential growth, according to senior planner Stan Ketchum.
According to the city’s consultant Applied Development Economics, Gilroy’s population is estimated to reach 72,000 to 84,000 by 2040.The city’s population is currently estimated at 58,756, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Among the areas identified for growth is the First Street corridor, which extends from Santa Teresa Boulevard to Monterey Street. The new plan proposes converting its current use from General Services Commercial to a new mixed use designation, which would allow for a combination of commercial uses and multi-family residential, Ketchum said.
But the planning commission’s October recommendation of up to 40 housing units per acre on First Street went against the advisory committee and alarmed a citizens’ group known as Gilroy Growing Smarter, which advocates for the 2016 voter-approved Measure H that set an urban growth limit, among other things.
Some members of the planning commission argued that the First Street corridor, as one of the city’s major arterials, would be the best place for additional high-density housing, and such a move would help Gilroy prepare to meet upcoming state legislation requiring more multi-family residential development.
Carolyn Tognetti of the General Plan Advisory Committee said 40 units per acre roughly corresponds to six stories, which could be increased to seven stories with “density bonuses.”
“There are not a lot of places on First Street where we can actually do that,” she said. “There would be a few of them standing out like sore thumbs.”
Connie Rogers of Gilroy Growing Smarter said the group supports the advisory committee’s recommendation of 20 to 30 units per acre over the planning commission’s, mainly due to potential building heights on First Street.
“We don’t want to take a chance to see six- or seven-story buildings on First Street,” she said.
An environmental impact report for the General Plan update will be prepared early next year, with the council expected to adopt the plan by December 2020.

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  1. Gilroy city council members need to be looked at. They must be getting a kick back by the developers of these proposed projects.

    The giant appartment complex that was put in where the old Indian motorcycle plant was an after thought which Gilroy’s residents had to deal with and absorb.
    Gilroy did not allocate homes for programs like they were supposed too. So as a ” knee jerk reaction ” gilroy built the giant appartment complex.

    The city of gilroy city council needs to be absolved. New members with the thought of stretching its city and bringing its law enforcement and fire departments up to standards needs full staff needs to take place. The current city council member have killed off Gilroy’s down town and created outlets as the new center of gilroy.

    People wake up we need to look at the current situation and city council member to see how and why they are so easily swayed by money. Have they received kick backs and if so get them out of office.

    We need city council members who will listen and speak for all residents not just the minority or upper class but for all 3 tiers. Make programs for its youth. Help clean up our city.

  2. Why are there so many new housing developments? The small town charm is gone! Gilroy is quickly becoming just another over-crowded and over-priced city.


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