Press Release February 4, 2020 For Immediate Release From John Freeman Candidate for District Two Supervisor
John Freeman is announcing that if Measure K passes, upon his election as Supervisor for District Two, he will vote to require that any developers building within a Highway 101 node be required to purchase an “Open Space Easement” to be applied on the rest of 101 for the same amount (or more) of land being converted to Highway Commercial. Although he is open to the thoughts of his future colleagues on the board, Candidate Freeman currently envisions a multiplier in the conversion. For example, at a 1:3 ratio, if a developer within a node might take advantage of 20 acres, that developer might then be required to purchase a 60 acres Open Space Easement somewhere on the rest of Highway 101, to keep it open and scenic.
Freeman commented: “This will limit any development on Highway 101 to the four specific, defined spots as defined in the General Plan, but keep the rest of the entirety of the corridors open, scenic and beautiful forever.”
The Open Space Easements Freeman is referencing, are of course, indelible and provide a permanent block to future development. They are the tool used by the Big Sur Land Trust and other conservation groups around the State to preserve and protect special places.
Just as in Big Sur, “present agricultural and rural uses would of course continue, but any commercial or residential development on the rest of Highway 101 would be absolutely barred forever,” Freeman said. Going even further, Freeman states that he will require that each of the four nodes on Highway 101 have electric charging-stations in equal or greater numbers to the gas pumps. This, Freeman says, will improve San Benito’s carbon footprint and attract EV owners “to visit our county.” It will also “future proof” the gas stations from obsolescence in ten years, he says.
“This action will keep our scenic Highway 101 from becoming more developed than it already is, and protect the way it is now and for generations to come. It is the best solution,” Freeman stated emphatically. “While it will provide for very limited, controlled, regulated and design-themed development at only 4 locations, the rest of Highway 101 would remain protected and preserved forever, as a result of the required ‘Open Space Easements’ purchased and put in place by the node developers,” he added.
Freeman concluded, “we can do exceptional things here in San Benito County because this is an exceptional place.” He added “everything that might be built out on Highway 101 should benefit from the public’s input which, in his opinion, “will only make any one of the four stops better.”
“I truly hope that this concept to require node developers purchase of Open Space Easements to protect the entire rest of Highway 101 will stop the rancor and division that has besieged District Two. Both sides can win. The county can get much-needed tax revenue, and for those of us who live here, we can preserve the rest of Highway 101 as we enjoy it now, and keep it from becoming Prunedale or Gilroy.”
John Freeman may be reached at email@example.com
www.freeemanforsupervisor2020.com facebook.com@votejohnfreeman Twitter.com@Freemanforsupe1
FPPC ID# 1419221