Annexation of Orcutt area in San Luis Obispo advances

San Luis Obispo took another step toward annexation of the Orcutt area with a unanimous vote Tuesday night by the City Council on boundaries that form the 230-acre area.

The council, on a 4-0 vote, will pursue boundaries that include a property owned by Paul Garay, who opposes inclusion.

Councilwoman Jan Marx recused herself on the vote because she owns property in the area. The annexation could lead to nearly 1,000 new homes on the southern end of the city.

The decision to include Garay’s property in the annexation differed from a recommendation by city staff. Staff members said that Garay doesn’t want inclusion of his property in the annexation, and could potentially encourage property owners to protest.

But Mayor Dave Romero and other council members said that excluding a portion of the block bounded by Orcutt and Tank Farm roads could present complications with infrastructure access, including sewer and water installation.

The Garay property is a natural fit with the area for planning purposes, they said.

Council members said that the proposed annexation wouldn’t change Garay’s property tax.

The city must apply to the Local Area Formation Committee to move forward with the proposal.

On another issue, the council also discussed whether to continue with plans to dredge Laguna Lake, which staff has recommended to put on hold until the city finds the money.

Staff presented a plan to dredge a portion of the lake, but a decision by the council had not been made by press time.