Revised Blacklake and Laetitia projects head back to county

Blacklake Golf Resort in Nipomo.
Blacklake Golf Resort in Nipomo. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Two major South County developments are scheduled to go back to the county this week, after both were delayed numerous times in 2015: a proposal to build a hotel and vacations rentals at Blacklake Golf Resort and a proposal to allow an agricultural cluster on the Laetitia Vineyard and Winery property.

Building on the golf course

On Tuesday, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to consider a proposal to build a hotel and 86 vacation rental units at Blacklake Golf Resort in Nipomo.

Developer Rob Rossi submitted an application to the county last year to authorize amendments to the specific plan, general plan and land-use ordinance for the 515-acre golf resort and residential development. The original plans called for ripping up about 23 acres of turf on the 58-acre golf course and reconfiguring the course around 150 new housing units and a hotel.

The project was heavily opposed by a group of Blacklake residents worried that the proposal would devalue existing homes and violate an open-space agreement that promised no development on the golf course.

County approval for the amendments has been delayed several times since it was first scheduled to go before the Board of Supervisors in March. In August, the board delayed the issue to Tuesday, after Rossi asked for more time to come up with a solution with Blacklake residents. Several supervisors specified at the time that they would not be amenable to any more delays.

“If we don’t have something solidified on this project by January, I will be inclined to turn this project down,” Supervisor Frank Mecham said at the August meeting. “This needs to get done, and it just keeps dragging on and dragging on.”

Rossi has since submitted new plans that call for fewer units being built on the property and expands recreational uses at the resort, according to a county staff report.

The new plans call for an 84-unit lodge with a restaurant, conference and retail spaces, pro shop, cafe and event areas; 30 one- and two-bedroom vacation cottages; a 20-cottage boutique hotel near the existing clubhouse; and 36 vacation rental villas for long-term stays. The new plans also call for a 2,500-square-foot chapel, 8,500-square-foot tournament house and restaurant, and a new 1,800-square-foot clubhouse.

The board is scheduled to discuss the proposal at 1:30 p.m.

The Board of Supervisors authorization would allow Rossi to begin the environmental review process on his redevelopment plans, before bringing them before the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission at an as-yet-undetermined date.

Clustering Laetitia

A proposed agricultural cluster housing development in rural Arroyo Grande is expected to return to the county Planning Commission on Thursday, after going before the commission three times in 2015.

Owners of The Reserve at Laetitia will present an amended proposal Thursday, after the commission tentatively said Oct. 29 that it would favor a housing development on the Laetitia Vineyard and Winery property if the size of the project were reduced to 83 homes from 101, and if the development used one less well than proposed.

The original project called for a portion of the 1,910-acre property to be divided into 101 1-acre lots in what is called an agricultural cluster, which allows residential development on farmland as long as the homes are clustered together and have minimal impact on surrounding agricultural uses. One house already exists on the property.

83Number of homes proposed for the scaled-back version of The Reserve at Laetitia, down from 101

About 1,787 acres would be preserved in open-space agreements.

County planning staff recommended denying the project with its original scale, saying it violated several planning standards, specifically residential density. The plans have also drawn intense criticism from neighboring Nipomo residents who claim the development will endanger already stressed water resources and add traffic through the area.

Representatives of Janneck Limited, which owns the winery, have previously said that if the project is not approved, it is likely that parcels of the Laetitia property could be sold off and developed, with less county input and without any preservation of open space — a worry for some of the commissioners in the past.

The project is the last item on the commission’s agenda for Thursday, and the proposal will likely not take place until after it returns from lunch at 1:30 p.m. Depending on the length of other items scheduled to be discussed, the item could also be rescheduled for a future meeting.

Any decision by the Planning Commission is expected to be appealed to the county Board of Supervisors.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie