If there is data showing that Eagle Ranch is fiscally neutral for Atascadero, we wonder where it is and why we have not seen it before now. As taxpayers and city residents, we cannot be expected to support this project based on vague assurances from the owners of the ranch. There is no fiscal information about it on the city’s website or in the presentations that have been put on at the Pavilion.
We are concerned that “fiscal neutrality” will be achieved on paper by making assumptions about future events like hotel construction and retail development, and a new tax deal with the county, which will likely not happen — and property taxes are not going to cover it.
We want the jobs and economic activity that development will bring, and if this project was developing our downtown we would be behind it. We are not behind it because it will be a loser for the city, will severely impact existing neighborhoods and will generate numerous impacts that will be “substantial” and “unavoidable” even according to the developer’s environmental impact report. Development is good, but annexing a remote suburb is not the way to get there.
Chris Toews and Mimi Naish, Atascadero