The C-3 zoning district designates specific allowable uses of four specific regional commercial districts each with particular regulations and standards. It allows a maximum of 235,750 square feet (just under 5 acres) of development, preserving many acres for open space. The C-3 zoning district enhances economic development in San Benito County by serving tourists, stimulating the local economy, promoting regionally sourced goods that showcase San Benito County’s history, agricultural economy, and heritage, as well as providing for establishments offering accommodations, supplies, services, or recreation.
The C-3 zoning districts approved by the San Benito County Board of Supervisors on September 24, 2019 apply to four specific areas along Highway 101 identified as: Betabel Road, SR129/Searle Road, Rocks Ranch, and Livestock 101.
The C-3 zoning district includes development standards to specifically protect aesthetic and scenic qualities, including design standards specific to each of the districts. All developments are subjected to the 2035 General Plan goals and policies, which must implement Mitigation Measures AES-3a and AES-3b, restricting development on hillsides and requiring new development to complement existing rural or low-intensity land uses in the vicinity*. The C-3 zoning district also includes lighting standards; all future development must implement Mitigation Measure AES-4, restricting outdoor lighting and glare to promote the preservation of dark skies for nighttime astronomical viewing at local observatories and requires standards to avoid light trespass to sensitive uses, such as the areas surrounding Fremont Peak State Park and Pinnacles National Park.