Community protests commercial growth near Aromas

Community protests commercial growth near Aromas
AROMAS, Calif. -

Protestors lined the side of Highway 101 near Aromas, Friday. Dozens carried posters, sang, and received honks from drivers passing by. 

The group showed up to put the brakes on commercial growth in the area. The San Benito County Planning Commission recently approved zoning for four nodes near Highway 101 and Aromas.

Aromas resident, Andy Hsia-Coron, said there has been talk about using the land for a Great Wolf Lodge. "The traffic slows up starting at around 4:30 and often past 6:30. The idea of making that worse is like exacting a tax from everybody in terms of their time," said Hsia-Coron.

Traffic isn't the only thing Hsia-Coron is worried about. He believes the potential new developments will bring people to the area for the wrong reasons. Hsia-Coron said flashy hotels and entertainment venues could detract from the land's natural beauty. "There's a far better use of beautiful places like this, such as state parks and other things. That would actually accentuate the willingness for people to come and visit," said Hsia-Coron.

San Benito County Supervisor, Peter Hernandez, said the approval of the four nodes follows the county's general plan. "The county has been interested in increasing revenue because the community needs more jobs. They need better roads. That money has to come from somewhere. Right now our funds don't support the ability to do anymore," said Hernandez.

Hernandez said the community still has time to ask questions and voice their concern about any potential projects. 

"We are a democracy. People do have a say about these decisions," said Hsia-Coron.

Those concerned with the zoning plan to attend a meeting with the San Benito County Board of Supervisors on September 10th.

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