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Voting on Measure T set to begin

Posted: Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Voters will decide in June whether to annex the Sakata-Kett property that is between West Beach Street and Riverside Drive. (Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE In less than a week, Watsonville voters will receive vote-by-mail ballots for Measure T, a controversial proposal to annex 95 acres of farmland for potential commercial or industrial development.

More than 7,100 vote-by-mail ballots for the June 4 special election will be mailed May 6. The remaining 7,000 or so voters will have other opportunities to cast their ballots.

If approved, the measure will clear the way for development of the Sakata-Kett and Greenfarm properties, located east of Highway 1 between West Beach Street and Riverside Drive. The area is best known for the old Redman-Hirahara House and a huge field of strawberries.

Watsonville City Councilman Daniel Dodge, who has spearheaded efforts to annex the land, said the move would create jobs and bring tax revenue to a city beleaguered by budget cuts and slammed by the loss of its redevelopment agencies.

The property, Dodge has said, could be used for a big-box store such as a Costco.

Opponents say the properties are currently being used to grow strawberries and are already generating money for the community and employing approximately 100 people.

Moreover, opponents point out that no business is currently in line to use the property, raising fears that it could be razed and permanently destroyed with no solid plans to finish the work.

For the complete article see the 05-02-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 05-02-2013 paper.

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