Spanish Springs proposal may go before Pismo Beach voters

Opponents in Pismo collect enough signatures for a referendum; council could also take action

dsneed@thetribunenews.comAugust 26, 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

Pismo Beach City Clerk Elaina Cano has certified that enough signatures were gathered to place a referendum on the Spanish Springs development on the ballot that would allow voters to decide whether the controversial Spanish Springs development should go forward.

“I will be bringing the formal certification as well as options for next steps in this process to the City Council on Sept. 3,” Cano wrote in an email.

At that meeting, the council can either schedule an election or rescind a vote they took in June to amend the city general plan that laid the groundwork for Spanish Springs and other developments in the Price Canyon area, Cano said

Marcia Guthrie, with the citizens group Save Price Canyon that circulated the referendum, said she hopes the council rescinds its general plan amendment rather than schedule an election.

A special election could cost the city as much as $100,000.

The Spanish Springs proposal is a plan to build hundreds of homes, hotel rooms and a golf course on 961 acres off Price Canyon Road, outside the city limit.

The project would include 416 single-family homes, 73 apartments or condos, 120 senior units, a 150-room hotel, a 10,000-square-foot conference center, a nine-hole golf course, parks and vineyards on undeveloped land.

Opponents of the project cite traffic congestion, water availability and quality of life issues.

The earliest an election could be held on the matter is December. The council could also put the referendum on the June primary or November general election ballots.

Activists gathered 865 signatures for the referendum. They needed 546 signatures to qualify.

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