How is Strada Verde addressing the potential for increased traffic congestion?
Strada Verde has been designed to minimize impacts to local roads as well as provide funding to improve local and regional traffic conditions.
Access to Strada Verde’s will be from the underutilized Betabel Road/Highway 101 interchange. There will be no public access to/from State Route 25. By providing thousands of jobs on-site, many of which will be filled by San Benito County residents who currently commute to Silicon Valley, Strada Verde will dramatically reduce the number of commuters who currently impact the State Route 25/101 interchange.
In addition to contributing $19 million in traffic impact fees and nearly $2 million annually for transportation improvements from Measure G sales tax, Strada Verde is working with San Benito County, SBCOG, VTA, and State to accelerate the payment of fees or provide funds (as a community benefit) to address critical regional transportation improvements. These include:
- US 101 widening/upgrade
- San Benito SR 156 Improvement Project
- SR 25 Expressway Conversion Project
How is this project funded?
Development of Strada Verde will be fiscally self-sufficient, paying its own way, and will not create any financial burden on San Benito County residents.
The construction of all infrastructure and public services will be privately financed using a variety of financing mechanisms designed to protect San Benito County taxpayers. This project will not need any funding from San Benito County taxpayers. All infrastructure improvements will be installed or constructed using private financing for the majority of the development costs. Certain elements of the improvements, however, may use assessments or community improvement district mechanisms. If used to fund improvements, these assessments or community improvement districts will only apply to Strada Verde and only be assessed against the property owner, tenants, or occupants thereof. No tenant or property owner outside of Strada Verde will be included in any proposed assessment or community facility district, ensuring that Strada Verde pays its own way.
Is this a race track?
No. Strada Verde will feature public and/or private advanced automotive testing facilities featuring a variety of test tracks, including a three-mile straightway, high speed tracks, and shared handling courses, which are in high demand by automakers and emerging technology companies, particularly in the areas of automation and efficiency, including the rapidly growing electric vehicle market.
Is this just another housing development in disguise?
No. As a technology-based research and development business campus, Strada Verde will not include any residential housing development, neither single-family nor multi-family development.
Wasn't this plan rejected by Measure N in 2020?
- No Project Access to/from Highway 25 — project access will only be from the Highway 101/Betabel interchange.
- No Residential Development – the Strada Verde Specific Plan affirms, as before, that residential development will not be allowed.
- Enhanced Natural Resource Protection – two biological preserves totaling 550 acres will be created and permanently maintained to protect and expand biologically sensitive habitats.
- Reduced Development Area– total building area has been reduced resulting in a net built area of less than six percent of the total project site.
- Comprehensive Environmental Review – San Benito County will be preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to assess and mitigate potential environmental effects of the project. This process will include opportunities for public review and comment.
- Working Cooperatively with Trical – we are working closely with Trical to help assure a safe environment for both Strada Verde and the surrounding community.
- A Commitment to Education and Training – strategic partnerships with Gavilan College and local schools will be pursed to facilitate career pathway programs, providing high-wage employment opportunities for the residents of San Benito County.
- Comprehensive Environmental Review – San Benito County will be preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to assess and mitigate potential environmental effects of the Project. This process will include opportunities for public review and comment on the draft EIR. Upon completion of this process, County consideration and certification of the final EIR is legally required prior to County approval or issuance of any development permits for Strada Verde.
What are the fiscal benefits to San Benito County from Strada Verde?
Strada Verde will create significant recurring fiscal benefit for San Benito County. This includes annual contributions of nearly $4 million in surplus to the County’s General Fund, $8 million in property taxes earmarked for educational purposes, and $2 million for local transportation improvements from Measure G sales tax.
In total, Strada Verde will generate nearly $17 million annually in new property and sale tax.
Will Strada Verde provide new jobs for San Benito County residents?
Yes. The one-time economic impact from the construction of Strada Verde will be $2.42 billion, creating more than 15,000 construction jobs with income in excess of the area median income over its buildout, many of which will be sourced from businesses based in San Benito County.
At its buildout, Strada Verde will also increase the overall annual economic output of the County by $2.48 billion, creating over 5,000 permanent direct jobs at build out and $660 million in annual payrolls representing a wide range of salaries and job titles from Automotive Engineers and Software Developers to Truck Drivers and Cashiers.