Transportation and road improvements were the topics that dominated public comment at a hearing Wednesday on plans to develop the Chevron Tank Farm property.
The San Luis Obispo City Planning Commission held a hearing on the project’s environmental impact report that drew 15 public speakers and other interested members of the public, said Phil Dunsmore, city planner for the project.
Plans call for the 332-acre property along the city’s southern boundary to be annexed into the city. Most of the property would be open space but 53 acres, mostly in the northeastern corner of the property, would be developed into business and commercial centers.
The plans also call for Tank Farm Road, which runs through the center of the property, to be widened from two to four lanes. In addition, Santa Fe Road would be extended north to connect with the Margarita area and a bike lane would traverse the property.
The timing of the Tank Farm Road widening is an area of controversy. Plans call for the widening to begin at the start of the commercial development in 2017 or 2018 and could take 15 to 20 years to complete, Dunsmore said.
Cleanup and remediation of the site, which was the site of a huge oil fire 87 years ago, would be done over the first three years. Some public speakers called for the bike lane to be installed during that time.
Others discussed whether intersections on Santa Fe Road should have traffic signals or roundabouts. Roundabouts are considered safer and require less stopping and waiting, Dunsmore said.
The Planning Commission will hold another hearing on the project Sept. 11. The city’s Cultural Heritage Commission and Airport Land Use Commission are also planning hearings.