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To my council colleagues, city staff and the public, I am very excited to be a part of the many changes coming to Gilroy this year. We have many policies and practices that will continue to be updated to 2024 standards. 

The entire community was a part of the Gilroy General Plan 2040 process in late 2020. It was approved by the General Plan Advisory Committee, Planning Commission and City Council, along with a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR). We planned for growth and have detailed plans to address everything inside the General Plan 2040. The General Plan 2040 represents the City of Gilroy’s view of its future, expresses the community’s vision, local control and guiding principles for development. The Zoning Code Ordinance is the script of how those visions will unfold.

With the 2024-25 legislative work plan already established, the Gilroy City Council will dive right into many items that need to be completed in 2024. Once the new city council is seated after the November election, a new legislative work plan will be established. 

I am in full support of laying the groundwork for a Civic Center Master Plan and building a community center that is for all ages. The focus on a free safe place for our youth to have after school and on the weekends is a top priority for me. 

Year to date, my office has worked with our state and federal legislators to secure $5.2 million for project funding that directly benefits our residents from the westside, eastside and a senior housing project on the southside. I am proud to have worked with State Sen. John Laird, SD-17, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, CA-18, on identifying the Gateway Senior Apartments Pedestrian Crossing Safety Improvements project. 

Combined, the City of Gilroy will be receiving $700,000 to install a High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK), high visibility crosswalk improvements and curb ramps to provide a safe pedestrian crossing of Monterey Road in front of the Gateway Senior Apartments.

In 2024, we have opportunities for furthering our economic development with a hillside adventure and water surf park proposal around Gilroy Gardens, Sharks Ice Arena at the Sports Park, and Gourmet Alley in Downtown. These proposals form the recreation triangle and further our recreation community designation by city resolution. 

Redevelopment and new construction create additional hotels, housing, jobs, restaurants, industrial opportunities and shopping experiences. 

The City of Gilroy was awarded a $3.9 million grant through the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Clean California Local Grant Program for improvements within Gilroy’s Historic Downtown that broke ground April 8. Gilroy’s project includes the renovation and beautification of Gourmet Alley between Fourth and Sixth streets, renovating these spaces into pedestrian and bicycle-friendly pathways through infrastructure and aesthetic improvements. 

Santa Clara County Public Health staff, funded by a $2.5 million Caltrans Active Transportation grant for East Gilroy, has a goal of promoting safe routes to community hubs. I’m very confident that staff will continue to find grant funding opportunities that directly benefit all of our residents. 

The annual Downtown Gilroy La Ofrenda Festival brings together a cross section of sponsorships and partnerships from government, education, health, private sector, arts, transportation, culture, non-profits, labor workforce and more. My dreams for a bike/pedestrian/walking/transit oriented festival have come true with the creation of Cycle, Health and Transit Plaza. 

On behalf of my office, my student interns, and my family, I am excited for the challenges that 2024 has to offer and I look forward to launching my re-election campaign later this year. There are still many things to be addressed, and I am taking them head on. 

Through the power of public participation, I am confident that 2024 can be one of the best years that Gilroy has ever had. 

For my full statement, please visit

Zach Hilton

Gilroy City Council member

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