The following article was taken from: Watsonville Patch
(February 14, 2013) Watsonville’s City Council meeting Tuesday brought up a hot question: should the city annex farmland to be converted into a shopping center?
The Council decided on a 5-2 vote to hold a special election on the matter on June 4,reported the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Many in the agricultural community are urging the Council to postpone the vote until 2014. The 80-acre plot is prime farmland, they say, yielding $25,000 in profit for every acre of strawberries.
Advocates for the shopping center, however, say that the economic impact on the community would be greater with a shopping center.
Watsonville City Council member Daniel Dodge has said annexing what’s known as the Sakata Kett parcel into the city’s reserves could create a hub of economic activity, Patch reported in October 2012. He envisions a commercial center with anchor stores such as Costco that could provide jobs and tax revenue.
The citizen-driven proposal to annex the land south of West Beach Street and east of Highway 1began earlier in 2012, but still did not gather the 1,500 required signatures to place it on the 2012 November ballet. But in late October, it received enough signatures to go on the ballet in 2013.
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