Coastal Christian plans are a go

One word came to Mitch Dubbers’ mind after county planning commissioners approved plans Thursday for development of a private school that has been planned for years: “Hallelujah.”

“It’s a special day for families and supporters of Coastal Christian School,” said Dubbers, a board member and project manager for the school.

The school will be developed in phases — eight phases over 10 years — with the first phase including classrooms, office space and a library. It will be able to serve 200 students and will have 20 faculty and staff members.

Eventually, the school, located just outside Arroyo Grande and Pismo Beach city limits, will be able to serve 600 students and 50 faculty and staff members, with a multipurpose room, sports fields, gymnasium and a chapel.

The project site, 28 acres on the west side of Oak Park Boulevard between James Way and Noyes Road, has been recognized as a school site in the county’s general plan since 1980.

The next step, Dubbers, said, is to begin fundraising and complete construction documents. He estimated the first phase to cost about $6.5 million.

Coastal Christian, a nondenominational school, has been temporarily housed for at least 10 years at Landmark Missionary Baptist Church on Farroll Avenue in Arroyo Grande. It serves about 185 students, Dubbers said.

The site had been included in a plan known as Los Robles del Mar, which also proposes 252 single-family homes and 60 senior citizen homes on 182 acres north of the Pismo Beach city limits.

The plans were stalled in January 2008 when the countywide Local Agency Formation Commission — which decides on city annexations — told Pismo Beach officials that an underground aquifer would not provide enough water for the project, and so it could not permit the land to be annexed into the city.

Coastal Christian then decided to put its own application through the county. In December, the county Board of Supervisors approved the use of an on-site well to supply the school’s water.

The board also added measures for water conservation and to bar use of the well for any purpose other than the school’s use.

Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated by following @SouthCountyBeat on Twitter.