Pismo Beach group submits signatures for initiative on Price Canyon

clambert@thetribunenews.comApril 16, 2014 

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

A group of residents concerned about large projects proposed outside Pismo Beach’s city limits have gathered 919 signatures — well above the number needed — to place a measure on the November ballot limiting the types of development that could occur there.

Members of the Save Price Canyon group filed their petition Tuesday with Pismo Beach’s city clerk, who will now verify that they gathered signatures from at least 10 percent of the city’s registered voters, which would be at least 517 valid signatures.

City Clerk Elaina Cano said she has 30 days to verify the signatures, and if enough valid signatures exist, she’ll take the petition to the Pismo Beach City Council. Cano anticipates that would happen at the council’s June 3 meeting. At that time, the council can decide whether to adopt the initiative or place it on the November general election ballot.

In an email, Pismo Beach resident Sheila Blake wrote, “The initiative, if passed, would insure that any proposed high density development in Price Canyon would be put to a vote by the people of Pismo Beach.”

The measure would amend the city’s general plan to allow dry farming, grazing, parks, trails, schools, public buildings and limited residential development on about 1,140 acres in Price Canyon, outside city limits.

The initiative creates a new land use designation for the area, called “watershed and resource management,” which would only apply to projects seeking annexation into the city of Pismo Beach.

It would cover four parcels in Price Canyon that are in the city’s “sphere of influence,” or the area in which it is likely to expand. The designation could be rescinded or amended only by a vote of the people for a 30-year period.

Some South County residents were concerned about development in Price Canyon even before a large project called Spanish Springs took shape.

That project proposed 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.

A separate property owner in the Price Canyon area also has plans for his land, which in 2013 included building more than 300 single-family homes, a hotel, event center, a restaurant, and retail space.

To read the initiative, go to http://savepricecanyon.com/.

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