Pismo deals with potential expansion

Concerns about water and “leapfrog development” dominated a discussion Thursday about where Pismo Beach might expand outside its city limits over the next 20 years.

At issue are four parcels totaling 1,161 acres outside the city in the Price Canyon area. If eventually annexed and developed, they could bring anything from 650 to 1,000 homes into the city — and if added at once, could expand Pismo Beach by a third.

But first, the San Luis Obispo Local Agency Formation Commission, a board composed of local county and city officials, will review the city’s “sphere of influence,” or the area in which it is likely to expand in the next two decades.

An annexation request would follow much later.

Three parcels are currently in the city’s sphere, and the LAFCO board could decide to include a fourth property, a 250-acre parcel that could include 176 to 250 homes and part of a nine-hole golf course.

That decision, scheduled for Thursday, was pushed back to Oct. 20. David Church, LAFCO’s executive officer, said staff is evaluating its recommendation to include the 250-acre property.

Some South County residents hope that property, located east of Oak Park Boulevard with an access road off Vetter Lane, stays in the county.

“For people on Vetter and nearby connecting streets, the proposed development will have a huge negative impact on traffic and congestion,” said Dean Berto, who lives in the county off Noyes Road.

Berto — who relies on a well for water — and several other speakers also urged the LAFCO board to scrutinize the water supply for any future developments. LAFCO requires the city to have an “adequate, reliable and sustainable source of water” before the board will consider an annexation request.

LAFCO board member Ed Eby, who sits on the Nipomo Community Services District board, warned that if water supplies turn out to be less than expected, “you’ll end up robbing from existing residents in the city” to supply the newer development.

David Watson, a planning consultant for owners of three of the four properties in the Price Canyon plan, said a water supply assessment will be completed.

“We hear what you’re saying,” he told the board.

Workshop on Pismo Beach ‘sphere’

The San Luis Obispo Local Agency Formation Commission will hold a public workshop Wednesday in Pismo Beach to discuss the process of updating the city’s “sphere of influence” — the area in which Pismo Beach is expected to grow outside its current city limits over the next 20 years. Staff from LAFCO, Pismo Beach and the county will be on hand to answer questions and receive input.

The workshop will start at 7 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building at 680 Bello St. For more information, go to www.slolafco.com.