About the Colony

Now’s your chance to have a say in Atascadero’s Eagle Ranch development

View from Eagle Ranch near Atascadero.
View from Eagle Ranch near Atascadero.

Information is power.

I’ve heard that most of my life. And as a journalist, I’ve always encouraged readers to know what is being proposed next door to them or just down the street.

Atascadero founder E.G. Lewis was very much in favor of building and zoning restrictions in the model community he was attempting to build here on the Central Coast. He wanted to ensure that someone couldn’t come in and build a pig farm next door to your new home on Rosario Avenue above the police station. There were other areas of town where that would be permitted.

Of course, Lewis was the one in charge of the permitting — he was the mayor, planning director, et al.

Now we have a City Council and a Planning Commission that has a say about what happens here. I think I can honestly report that not everyone gets their way under this system, but being informed and having a say goes a long way in creating a community we can all live with.

To that end, we have until April 17 to present written comments and questions to the city on the proposed annexation of the about 4,000-acre Eagle Ranch, a sort of Shangri-La that has sat on the southern edge of the original E.G. Lewis Colony since Lewis bought the Atascadero rancho in 1913.

There have been many, many public meetings to seek public input on how many houses, walking and horse trails, commercial properties and roads will be included in this major development. From what I’ve observed, the developers are honorable folks who have taken input not only from us citizens, but from the city itself that is making a number of demands.

So on March 30, there will be a joint meeting of the Planning Commission and City Council in the council chambers at 6:30 p.m. No action will be taken, but your comments and concerns will become part of the record.

In addition, there will be two open house events from 4 to 6 p.m. March 23 in the council chambers and again from 4 to 6 p.m. March 29 at the Pavilion on the Lake.

At those two events, you’ll be able to peruse the location of proposed roads, single-family residences, multihousing developments and proposed motels and commercial uses. There will be no formal presentation, but it will be your time to trace with your finger the development expected to last over the next 20 years. See it for yourself.

This is your time to provide input into what will be the largest single development since Lewis’ original planned community project was submitted to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors more than 100 years ago.

Lon Allan’s column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for five decades and his column appears here every week. Reach Allan at 805-466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.