SLO Council OKs plan to develop Orcutt area

The San Luis Obispo City Council approved 4-0 Tuesday night a development plan that could lead to nearly 1,000 new homes on the southern end of the city.

The 230-acre Orcutt area is bounded by Orcutt and Tank Farm roads.

Adopting the Orcutt Area Specific Plan and certifying the project’s environmental impact report is one of the last steps the council must make before declaring intent to annex the area. That decision could come in the next few months.

The council also agreed to share half the cost of the $1.76 million Industrial Way pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the railroad tracks by seeking grant money. The 13 property owners of the land in the Orcutt Area plan vocally opposed the bridge Tuesday night, calling it a safety hazard, too expensive and a potential eyesore.

The city’s Planning Commission had recommended that city seek grant money to pay for 20 percent, or $352,000, of the cost of the bridge because it is expected that a large of number of residents outside the Orcutt Area will use it.

About half of the area of the project would be devoted to 979 homes, ranging from single-family dwellings to multifamily apartments. The remaining area will be preserved as open space and parkland.

Councilwoman Jan Marx recused herself.