Plan for road to connect Oak Park, Price Canyon could be ditched

dsneed@thetribunenews.comOctober 14, 2013 

Pismo Beach planners are recommending that the city scrap plans for a new inland connector road across a private ranch.

The City Council on Tuesday will discuss altering its general plan to remove plans for a new road connecting Oak Park Boulevard with Price Canyon Road. The proposed route would cut through a ranch owned by the Mankins family, which opposes the idea.

Tuesday’s presentation is informational only, but the council could direct staff to begin the process of removing the so-called inland arterial from its overall planning blueprint.

The road was originally planned as a way to relieve traffic congestion on Highway 101 and give residents another way to get to San Luis Obispo without having to drive on the freeway. It would also connect two planned developments, Spanish Springs and Los Robles del Mar.

But the road would cut across a 350-acre ranch owned by the Mankins family. The family has repeatedly told city officials in recent years that they want the property preserved and protected from development.

“Staff understands the expressed concerns of the Mankins family and has heard the public comments the family has made about the commitment and desire to protect and preserve their property,” wrote Jon Biggs, community development director, in a staff report. “Given these statements, it is staff’s opinion that an inland arterial as envisioned in the current general plan is not viable in the foreseeable future and that other options should be explored.”

Biggs is recommending that the change be made as part of the city update of its circulation element, which is scheduled for 2014. This will give the city time to coordinate with other agencies and have the public participate in the process, he said.

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