Enough already! Dalidio entertaining offer
August 4, 2008
By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN
Ernie Dalidio is abandoning a contentious, 16-year effort to develop his property along Highway 101 south of San Luis Obispo, and is negotiating an extended option agreement with a group of local investors.
Dalidio declined comment Monday afternoon, but sources told UncoveredSLO.com, “Dalidio has had enough and just wants to get on with his life.”
A local company, Promenade-Two, has made an unspecified offer to Dalidio, according to reliable sources.
C.M. Florence of Oasis Planning is representing three longtime local prospective partners, identified as John Wilson, Rudy Bachman and Tom Morrell. The trio owns Promenade Shopping Center, adjacent to the Dalidio parcel.
If successful with the purchase, the men have indicated they want to proceed with development of a smaller project than that previously planned by Dalidio, one located within the city limits of San Luis Obispo. Dalidio wanted to develop a 131-acre project incorporating residential, recreational, restaurants, retail, and a hotel.
Opponents have railed against Dalidio’s development plans for nearly 16 years. The project’s eventual jurisdiction has ping-ponged between the county and the city of San Luis Obispo.
Last March, Judge Roger Picquet overturned a 2006 San Luis Obispo County ballot initiative approved by voters by a 65-35 percent margin. The measure would have allowed Dalidio to incorporate business, retail, and residential on his land adjacent to Highway 101 and Madonna Road. Dalidio’s attorney, Michael Morris, has appealed Picquet’s decision.
Regardless of the outcome of the appeal, the trio plans to annex the property into the city. However, the group is leaving all options on the table.
“Our goal is to work with the city and annex the property,” Florence said.
The Downtown Association, one of Dalidio’s fiercest critics, was named along with Responsible County Development LLC in a civil suit alleging conspiracy and unlawful business practices by opponents of the Dalidio project. Negotiation plans will not impact the lawsuit which currently wends its way through the federal court system alleging five RICO counts.
Oasis’ Florence confirmed the ongoing negotiations, adding, “There is so much history, and water under the bridge. We plan to start from today and move forward.” Florence said the Centervest group’s principals are “long time community investors. They own the Promenade, and this made sense to them.”
She said the potential new developers are not yet certain about an eventual project’s size and scope.
“We are taking our cues from the San Luis Obispo city General Plan. It won’t be just 10 acres, [but we are] not sure of the size yet. We’ve only scratched the surface.”
If negotiations proceed as planned, the current option holders, Los Angeles resident Bill Bird and Texas native Scott Dabney, plan to hand the reins to the Promenade-Two trio. They will determine size, shape, and scope of the eventual project.
“We are bringing in a partner,” Dabney said. “We are still involved. We are bringing someone in to control it and get it done.”
Tags:, Dalidio, ernie dalidio, San Luis Obispo, scott dabney