Pismo council's decision on Price Canyon proposal could come March 5

clambert@thetribunenews.comFebruary 12, 2013 

This view looking south shows a portion of Price Canyon in 2011 where 961 acres could eventually be annexed into Pismo Beach and developed.

JOE JOHNSTON — jjohnston@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

After listening to about 60 speakers share passionate comments about a controversial proposal for Price Canyon last week, the Pismo Beach City Council was left with several questions and a desire for more time to discuss the development.

The council delayed a decision on the proposed project to March 5 so that council member Mary Ann Reiss, who missed the Feb. 5 meeting, can attend.

Council members also sought more information on several parts of the so-called Spanish Springs development.

The proposal includes 493 residential homes, up to 320 senior residential units, 150 hotel rooms, a nine-hole golf course, parks and open space spread over a total of 961 acres north of the city limits and east of Price Canyon Road.

Since the properties are located outside of Pismo Beach, they would still have to be annexed into the city before they could be developed.

On March 5, the City Council will again consider numerous documents, including an environmental impact report, a fiscal impact analysis and a development agreement between the city and the project owner, a limited liability corporation called BHT II Pismo. The LLC is managed by Southern California-based land investment and development firm West Coast Housing Partners.

The public will have an opportunity to speak on March 5, but the documents will be considered as part of a business item, not a public hearing.

About 60 people spoke to the council during a public hearing Feb. 5, with a little more than half opposed to the project. It was the strongest showing of support for the project at a public hearing so far.

Toward the end of the meeting, the council members outlined a few issues they’d like addressed on March 5, including:

  • More description of the senior housing facility and where it will be placed within the project;
  • Discussion of traffic impacts to Highland Drive, which would become a main access road to the lower part of the proposed development, and how the anticipated traffic counts compare to current counts on Longview Avenue in the Pismo Heights area;
  • Whether the inland arterial — a road that traverses the development and connects to Price Canyon Road — could be moved to the first phase from the second phase; and
  • More discussion about the developers’ proposal to create an assessment district within the residential areas of the project to cover any shortfall between the services costs and the revenue generated by the project.

Also, Mayor Shelly Higginbotham asked, what happens if nothing is built in Price Canyon?

“It’s important that we also talk about … the impacts if Pismo Beach does not grow,” she said. “What does that mean from a financial standpoint, what does that mean for planning?”

The March 5 meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building at 780 Bello St.

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