Tompkins rethinking Arroyo Grande project

March 9, 2011

A proposal to build a shopping center anchored by a grocery store on Grand Avenue was sent back to the drawing board by request of the developer at Tuesday’s Arroyo Grande Council meeting.

“It is a step in the right direction,” said John Spencer, a critic of the previously proposed project and the owner of Spencer’s Fresh  Markets. “That he is looking at all aspects of economic and public issues sounds positive.”

Developer Nick Tompkins said he wants to start with a clean slate.

“I think it was clear that a majority felt the project wasn’t right for the community,” Tompkins said. “There were local business that felt threatened. Let’s stop and take a look.”

Tompkins said he wants to hold public workshops in order to hear what the community wants in the area.

“I don’t know what we will come back with,” Tompkins added and said that the goal is to create a financially viable project that has community approval.

The council voted 4-0 to approve a proposal to build 36 low income units at a property that sets behind Tompkins’ proposed development separating the projects’ approval processes. The properties are connected through an environmental impact report.

Mayor Tony Ferrara had to recuse himself from the vote because he owns property within 500 feet of the proposed project.



  1. Booty JuJu says:

    American food production is yet another area of bi-polar, dysfunctional, unsustainable foolishness: Our rich are skinny and our poor are obese. We have rich farmers selling crappy food to the poor and poor farmers selling good food to the rich.

    (4) 12 Total Votes - 8 up - 4 down
  2. MAD HATTER says:

    “It is a step in the right direction,” said John Spencer, a critic of the previously proposed project and the owner of Spencer’s Fresh Markets.” Of course it’s the right direction John. Now you don’t have to worry about more competition. How about lowering your prices and adding some heat to your store..

    (4) 10 Total Votes - 7 up - 3 down
  3. Booty JuJu says:

    Given the current trajectory of matters social and economic might I suggest the “best and highest” use of this land be agriculture and medical marijuana.

    (-2) 12 Total Votes - 5 up - 7 down
  4. undertow says:

    Low income? hope it dosent end up like some of the other 5 cities “low income” housing projects. Remember the Pismo James way project Pelican Point? where some were bought by council members and used as rentals.

    (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
  5. azuresees says:

    Wonder if he’s related to Walker Tompkins, the historian…

    (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down

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