Price Canyon project likely to be reduced

March 1, 2011

At tonight’s Pismo Beach City Council meeting, it is likely that the proposal to build a community in the hills above Pismo Beach along Price Canyon Road will be reduced to a 950 acre project.

The former proposal included approximately 1,700 acres.

The new proposals includes the removal of the 530 acre Spanish Springs property located at the north side the proposed project that was slated to include a 124 acre vineyard, a winery, a 40 unit lodge and 44 homes.

In addition, the Big Bird ranch property of 258 acres is not part of the project slated to be built by an investment group managed by West Coast Housing.

Pismo Beach City Council approval is only one step in the approval process.

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Connected One said:

“The city is stating that the convention center is 20,000 sq.ft. which is way to big for a 8500 pop town to handle 2000 people coming in for a weekend. Can you imagine having Father’s Day car show crowds every weekend? The City is creating an environment where the widening of Hwy 101 will have to be done and a local and regional sales tax is just the beginning as the indirect impact to the resident population will be enormous.

It doesn’t matter to me who is attached to this project, the new entities attached to this project are well funded, the project itself stays the same.

The city has passed at least 5 major projects with a traffic study that is flawed. The analysis is based on the widening of Hwy 101 by 2020 which Pismo knows is not going to happen and has not said a word. It seems there should be an obligation to the citizens of Pismo Beach to inform them that this is not in Caltrans budget right now so unless we tax you, we will have the worst case scenario when this approved projects are built out.

This doesn’t include the Price Canyon Project.”

Such a great post that I had to bring it to the top so everyone could see it. This is all true! Can someone remind me, does the City Council work for the developers, for themselves or for the tax payers (us, the little people)? Who are they trying to help, it certainly doesn’t appear to be us, the tax payers? It appears that they are out of touch with what’s going on with this state or in the world at this point. I’ll assume that the present council aren’t plumbers, teachers, grocery checkers etc, they need to get back in touch with the real world. Our econmy can’t support this.

The traffic will be horrible. This won’t just effect Pismo Beach this will affect everyone that uses Price Canyon, Oak Park, the 101 and of course the little side streets will be a mess.

I will remind you…

The City Council represents the interest of their jurisdiction but the developer has paid a fee for the City Council and staff to go through the CEQA process, determine if the impacts can be mitigated, either by reduction of scope or by mitigation banks or if the the impacts cannot be mitigated either decide if the project serves the greater good or just to deny the project in it’s entirety. So it may come across like the system is working for the applicant but that is the legal system in California. Property owners have legal rights. If it is determined by the city that there are class 1 impacts that need mitigation (ie water requirements & traffic impacts) and the owner(s) are able to satisfy the mitigation requirements then the project should be deemed acceptable.

Do not be mistaken I am not for any and all development. My motives in my recent postings are to realign perspectives. I have been trying to speak generally about large scale development planning. Another thing people need to realize is that not all property owners have the horsepower or desire to build projects on the land planners deem a better location for growth. When a property owner is proposing a project that creates a much needed product it is the responsibility of the jurisdiction to take it under serious consideration.

The city is not going to reject this project as they (the city) are the ones that proposed it to the developers in the first place, it was the city’s idea. Our council wants this just as much if not more than the actual developers. Frankly I don’t believe that the City Council has even read all the studies and reports, I don’t believe that even they have a good understanding of this process, at least that’s the way it seems when I hear their questions at the meetings. As a matter of fact one of the developers sounds very reluctant about this whole thing, he sees how the city and one of the other developers have slopped this along. His rep at the last meeting seemed mad because he said that they only had two days to go over the recent MOI and he wasn’t happy with the last go round with this project so I’m guessing he’s going to pull out all together. I’m also guessing that there will still be roughly 400 homes, the 140 rm hotel, the 20,000 ft conference center, wellness center and wine room. I believe that they are only taking off the 40 room hotel and about 170 homes Won’t it be up for LAFCO to review CEQA, EIR etc. findings and the project as a whole and then they will make the determination as to whether the property gets annexed? The last time the the draft was purposed to the LAFCO, LAFCO told them basically to hit the road because everything about it was so flawed.

They can’t seem to get these big project right. When the city manager spoke before LAFCO for the LRDM project he seemed to not have an understanding of what was going on,,,perhaps that’s why the city is being sued by those developers.

PS, typed fast excuse typos.

a smaller pile of King dog feces

I will no doubt be eviscerated for this post but I want to say it anyways:

Why do you all seem so anti-growth? Supply needs to be brought closer to demand for this county to survive. The attitude should not be to vilify the builders for projects they don’t think will work but help come up with ideas to make them work. There are so many naysayers in this county that don’t seem to have in mind the greater good. When ever a story like this one is released it always seems to turn to how the developer is corrupt or that there is some conspiracy to pull the wool over the eyes of the public. The attitude that growth is evil, which is how many editorials and blog postings come across, is self serving. I wish there could be a shift in mind set to ‘we need more housing’ from ‘building more housing is evil’.There are few to no areas left to expand in the county without being deemed sprawl due in large part to SLO’s greenbelt. I am a 4th generation SLO native and would love to live here forever but that it seeming less like a possibility. Jobs are few to none caused directly by cost of living.

Let the thumbs down begin…

Where do you propose to get the water to support development? I am absolutely not against development, I am however against running out of water.

I’m no water expert so let me Google “California water for sale” and get back to you.

Cadillac Desert – A must read for anyone that is interested in California water rights, policy, etc.

Projects like this one baffle me. In general, I am in favor of growth. But, not when it is in the form of sprawl. There’s plenty of land to develop or redevelop within areas that have services already. My opinion is that this project is DOA.

I too am concerned about not having enough water.

Why is it one community is mandated to obtain additional water supplies, because their system is not adequate and all the while planning issues building permits anyway?

Why is one community mnandated to increase water supply to meet fire flow yet planning continues to issue building permits in that community?

Why if there is not enough local water to supply the existing cities and all the surrounding vineyards, is the county importing water from other areas of California, then they continue to issue building permits and allow more vineyards?

The answer to all of the above questions is money…

The sad truth is that we do need well planned growth but these two projects mentioned are tainted by crooked back door connections by the developers to override the rules and regulations to get what they want at any cost-NO COMPROMISE!-Not all development/ers behave this way…but we sure have had our share of crooked dealings in SLO County -Folks have lost trust /faith in the counties ability to make developers follow rules and regulations in place to mitigate the impacts whichdevelopers try to get around because it is costly-We need water-MITIGATE THAT or don’t approve the project!

Full support given here if these proposals would follow the rules…but they don’t-The developers on one of these AG wine sprawl clusters projects wrote their own findings of approval!!! and the county ACCEPTED THAT!!!! changing the findings written by the county planners-all in order to overturn denial at a special hearing just before Christmas-when the public was GONE. That developer group had inside connections to 3 of the 5 Supervisors who overturned denial and were all beholden by the large campaign donations..they simply bulldozed it through for their good ol buddies-It was a perfect example of rampant SLO county good ol boy corruption-Now of course tax payers pay for the resulting lawsuit. Vic Hollanda RESIGNED 2 weeks after this scam! Folks are nervous after that! But you are right-these folks spoiled it for the rest of the hard working ethical developers who bring forward sound projects beneficial to communities and with the least impact possible on environments ie a WIN WIN..for all–.by the way…these two developers mentioned were former partners and use the SAME tactics-Review their mixing of LLC’s-bring on RESPONSIBLE AND LEGAL DEVELOPMENT WITH RESOURSES IN PLACE BEFORE IT IS BUILT-

I for one am not “anti-growth”, I am however, anti-stupid. Projects that are planned well should be able to proceed, IF they follow intelligent parameters respecting the environment, the community that they are wanting to build in and the rules laid down by the professionals in the appropriate planning department, be it an individual city or the county. The number one concern that any project has to have as a consideration is where the water is going to come from for that development. Traffic increases are certainly a major consideration as widening any road or highway is a major expense. Mitigating factors like historical consideration or how a residential development will fit into an area that has industrial sites very near where it is proposed for homes for people to live in have to be considered since no one would want to live near a facility that has very foul order that cannot be ignored. And of course, any and all developments in these economically challenging times have to have the funding completely secured; this project, on the face of it, does not seem to meet ANY of those considerations.

I for one would like to see some projects being built since any construction project injects much needed income and revenue into the local communities, BUT, any project, all projects need to meet the guidelines so that a community is not over run with unexpected expenses such as having to widen or make new streets or roadways to handle the increased traffic and so on and so on. Find an area that can handle a project, obtain the water rights for it, show how the traffic will not be a problem and prove that the developer can finish the project and then let’s talk about no-growth or ant-growth policies as being a problem.

I’m also not anti growth or anti developement but I am for smart growth. One of these same developers has already started this project. Right next to this proposed monster project off of beautiful Price Canyon there sits 68 vacant ugly lots. The oaks and natural animal and plant habitat were mowed down 5 years ago. There are 68 flat lots, electricity, street lights and paved roads. The only thing missing are the homes. They have not sold one lot! It look so weird and ugly. This destruction was done by one of these same developers. But now the city is saying, ‘oh well, you haven’t sold any of those lots, lets build more’. It’s crazy. So I’m not for any development in Price Canyon.

I love Price Canyon, it’s beautiful, I hope they don’t destroy it.

TypoQueen–100% agree with you. Why would you try to develop more homes right now in this area when they have all those lots sitting empty? And what about the developments off Corbett Canyon that haven’t sold either?

It seems to me with all the homes for sale out there right now there is PLENTY OF SUPPLY and NO DEMAND.

Simple econ 101 folks.

Yes, I didn’t even think about Corbett Canyon and that’s right around the corner, good point. Plus the last census shows that the pop. of Pismo has actually gone down. If I remember correctly the entire 5 Cities pop. has gone down.

One point I was attempting to make was that all large scale projects in this county will be meet with hostility. In my opinion large scale projects completed in phases are the only way to achieve the necessary housing supply needed in the region. But; because scope of the work and the drastic impact to the land, it is easier to say that the project is terrible or how the “developer” (which has become a dirty word) is corrupt, than proposing ideas on how to make it viable. Public outcry is the number one reason why this county has a housing problem. There are too many residents that don’t want growth and are more than willing to show up at Planning Commission meeting and Board meetings to voice it. I just wish for a shift in mentality.

Have you seen the traffic impact studies? Perhaps that’s a good place to start.

You should take all EIR’s with a grain of salt. There have been enough situations where EIR’s have been found inaccurate to lend any credence to them at face value.

SF: I am guessing by your comments then that you would prefer any project, put forth by any developer, in any location, no matter what potential impacts that project will have just because YOU don’t think that EIRs have any credence? Really? You must either be a developer yourself, work for one, work in the construction trade and have no conscience about what you build, or you are really really gullible; which is it ? Living in San Luis I for one am truly glad that we have our “greenbelt” so that we do not have a “ring” of McMansions built up around the city hanging off our local hills, that any projects have to have the water needed set aside, that traffic studies have been conducted showing the impacts of the projects, but that is just me. If you enjoy having as much building going on as possible, why don’t you take a trip down to Orange County and see what it looks like to build and build and build with no considerations as to the impacts that come about; perhaps you would be comfortable even moving down there since that is what you seem to want in our area.

I don’t agree with your assumptions.


That is a false and generalized statement with no specific data to back it up. This project was brought to the developers by the City of Pismo Beach not visa versa. The city has guided and instructed them all along the way even when the Fiscal Analysis in the EIR stated that with this multi million dollar project the city would only net $312,000. The figures used VERY generous using a 70% occupancy rate (a rate hotels haven’t seen in many years now) and $250/per night on a 9 hold golf course. They don’t include annual road maintenance, waste water treatment plant upgrade and a few other misc costs that were stated separately. If these costs were included, it would clearly show this would cost the city money.

I have nothing against smart growth but this isn’t smart growth. First of all growth should be in small increments not in giant leaps. Second, this is in a terrible place for such a huge development. The added traffic will be a nightmare, it’s going to almost double the size of Pismo Beach. The water isn’t there period. The city is already being sued because they gave the OK to another large developement close to this one but the developer. couldn’t get water,,,so now they’re/we’re being sued. Third, in my post below I brought up the point that they’ve already started, I won’t repeat it but there are 68 baron lots in Price Canyon right now and they can’t sell them. This is a stupid project. Some of the developers of this project are not bad guys, they are fairly reputable, and they are probably regretting getting involved with one of the others. The whole thing stinks.

Basically, thousands of square miles of California, north and south, used to look like SLO county. Primitive building and planning processes ( like this proposed project) permanently buried the land and ecosystems under thousands of square miles of concrete. SLO county represents one last chance to preserve and protect a special part of the state without destroying it as well.

With all due respect, I believe you’re putting the cart before the horse. Jobs and business spur healthy growth. Overbuilt developments, which are much like the ones people come here to escape add nothing but a huge burden on services.

SLO county does nothing to bring in companies that offer positions which pay sufficient wages needed to raise a family.

The result is that many of us struggle to keep up with the cost of living (utility bills, high food bills, etc.) – and our County and towns are run by a clique who recycle themselves endlessly, supported in their campaigns by developers and the lawyers, architects, construction companies,etc. who feed off the building “more&bigger” philosophy.

If we had anyone in charge who wasn’t entirely and thoroughly vested in the status quo – maybe this really could be The Happiest Place to live. Until then, expect more fat cats and potholes.

There is a bit of a chicken or egg scenario here. You are correct that typical growth models use a population factor for various types of jobs added to a community. That analysis is only accurate when hosing supply and demand are at a relative equilibrium. When the market is as far off as it is in this area, resulting in housing prices far above the average, businesses choose not to locate here. San Luis Obispo supply of labor far exceeds it’s demand. Oversupply of labor drives down salaries making cost of living ever higher.

So many issues so few people that want to change it.

Who’s gonna buy there? By the time this were to come to fruition, this country’s financial problems are going to be so dire the place will be a ghost town.

The county has no water for these sprawl projets-There’s a rat in these details….-The other Ag cluster sprawl winery golf cluster project in Margarita has no water either-Shuffling titles and LLC’S is common practice lately..

They still don’t know where the water’s going to come from. The developers are supposed to bring in water but who knows, the city is in tight with these guys perhaps they feel that scaling down the project will help them to attain ground water,,,but it won’t. They have just changed the scope of the project so they are in a way starting over, there will be new reports, new studies, along with waisted city staff time. Your question regarding the funding is the real question that should have the city worried but for some reason they really don’t care,,,it makes one wonder whats in it for them (council). King’s been shuffling around titles and putting things under different LLCs. He owes everyone under the sun and needs to be watched carefully. The project is still massive. Why does the city want this project so much,,,, that’s the big question, what good do they feel will come to Pismo because of this development? The city won’t make a dime for the city from this, just the roads alone will cost a fortune. The only thing the central coast will get from this is higher taxes, congested roads and downtown Pismo businesses going out of business. What disaster. There is still a hotel, 9 hole golf course about 400 homes, a 10,000 sq ft. convention center, wine room,,,geez I’m sure I’m forgetting something. Someone told me that there’s a Facebook page called something like ‘Save Price Canyon’ that has more details.

From what I saw watching the meeting on TV it doesn’t look as if it’s really going to be reduced, perhaps a bit but not much.

I am in agreement with TypoQueen. This project stinks to high heaven.

No mention of a community in Price Canyon sharing the general area with oil exploration. Who is going to want to live there and play golf with the oil smell in the air?

We are out of water. These cities need to learn to operate within their current confines and stop development for the purpose of expanding their tax base. Limit the supply and the values will go up on property. The subsequent property tax increase is more than enough to fund city projects.

I’ve never even thought about the stench, it smells horrible in that area.


The city is stating that the convention center is 20,000 sq.ft. which is way to big for a 8500 pop town to handle 2000 people coming in for a weekend. Can you imagine having Father’s Day car show crowds every weekend? The City is creating an environment where the widening of Hwy 101 will have to be done and a local and regional sales tax is just the beginning as the indirect impact to the resident population will be enormous.

It doesn’t matter to me who is attached to this project, the new entities attached to this project are well funded, the project itself stays the same.

The city has passed at least 5 major projects with a traffic study that is flawed. The analysis is based on the widening of Hwy 101 by 2020 which Pismo knows is not going to happen and has not said a word. It seems there should be an obligation to the citizens of Pismo Beach to inform them that this is not in Caltrans budget right now so unless we tax you, we will have the worst case scenario when this approved projects are built out.

This doesn’t include the Price Canyon Project.

Something smells fishy indeed!

The burning questions still are: Where is the water coming from? How much of a traffic impact will the development make on the county roads, city streets and the highway? Is there a current ERA for this specific development? Are the developers fully funded or in line to receive the credit line needed to complete the project?

I’m sure that there are more questions that others that are more personally involved in Pismo Beach will bring up, but to simply reduce the size of the master project should not be the only reason the project is approved.