The meeting was called to order by Chair, Connie Rogers at 7:00 PM at the Gilroy Library. Introductions were made and guest, Paul Ledesma, from the Committee for Green Foothills was welcomed. Carolyn Tognetti, Treasurer gave the financial report. She reported that GGS received two donations that brought the balance over the threshold required to avoid monthly bank charges.
A. OLD BUSINESS
1. High Speed Rail –
Connie reported that there would be a City Council Study Session on Wednesday, December 6 with city staff bringing status updates on the three alignments as well as a possible fourth alignment. No Council action is anticipated at the Study Session. It seems that the Council is waiting for the High Speed Rail Authority to choose the preferred alternative to study in the upcoming Environmental Report. Discussion was held as to what if anything GGS should do and there was consensus to notify our members of the meeting as well as send a letter to the HSR Authority stating GGS’ position and reasons for preferring the Downtown Viaduct alignment for the future station.
2. Great Wolf Lodge Update-
Connie stated that the plans for Great Wolf Lodge to locate in Gilroy next to Gilroy Gardens is currently in limbo. The exclusive 60-day exploration period ended and Great Wolf decided to look at a couple other communities. It is possible that they could choose to locate in Gilroy sometime in the future, but for now they have stopped meeting in closed session with the City Council and staff.
B. NEW BUSINESS
1. Communications -
Discussion was held regarding improving our communications with our large-group membership. Suggestions were to send more newsletters and also post them on the GGS Facebook page in order to reach a wider group of people. The next newsletter should inform people about the December 6 Study Session regarding High Speed Rail alignments in Gilroy as well as GGS’ stated position.
2. Hecker Pass Agri-Tourist Commercial Project -
Carolyn brought information with elevation drawings of the proposed 6-acre Agri-Tourist Commercial development. The project would include a wine tasting room, wine warehouse, restaurants and 22 one and two-bedroom residential units located above the restaurants and shops. The elevation drawings show two, two-story buildings located side-by-side fronting Hecker Pass Highway. They do not look like they fit the rural setting of the Hecker Pass Corridor or the intent of the Hecker Pass Specific Plan. Gilroy Growing Smarter will be taking a position against this project when it comes before the Planning Commission and the City Council in the next few months.
C. MEMBER REPORTS
1. Steve Seebart reported that the Historic Heritage Committee is asking the City to approve a Request For Proposal to do an historic building inventory. The last such report was done in 1986 and there have been many changes since then.
2. Carolyn reported on the status of the General Plan Update Committee. She stated that three alternatives were chosen at the last meeting. A thorough review and comparison report will now be developed in order for the GPAC to choose a Preferred Alternative to recommend to the City Council. The next GPAC meeting is tentatively scheduled for sometime in February 2018.
Next meeting of Gilroy Growing Smarter will be on January 16, 2018 at 7:00pm at the Gilroy Library. Meeting Room TBD.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:50 PM.