Laetitia project to undergo more study

The Board of Supervisors is seeking further study on a proposed 106-lot housing development in South County over worries there may not be enough water to support it.

Supervisors have authorized more study of the Laetitia agricultural cluster subdivision at the 1,900-acre Laetitia Winery on Highway 101 just south of Arroyo Grande.

The development would concentrate or “cluster” the houses and leave the rest of the land for agriculture. It would move some of the vineyards and add others for a net gain of 36 acres.

The project would be built in three phases and would include equestrian, community and recreation centers, a wastewater treatment plant, treated-effluent storage ponds, new wells and other amenities. The developer also hopes to eventually put a dude ranch on the land.

The owners conducted an initial environmental impact report that measured, among other things, water.

However, the county’s Water Resources Advisory Committee found “a lot of questions” about the earlier study, Mike Winn of WRAC told the county last week. He said the committee “couldn’t resolve ... serious procedural errors.”

Winn and WRAC said the county needs to look more thoroughly at the water issue. “They need to prove they have a sustainable water supply,” Winn said.

Eric Greening, who also serves on WRAC, said the water may simply not be there.

Winn said he would like to see the additional study, which will cost $167,487, go beyond the site itself and include such outlying factors as the effect of the development on the water supply in Los Berros Creek.

SWCA Environmental Consultants will conduct the “hydrogeological technical analysis.”