Price Canyon debate continues in Pismo Beach

February 5, 2013

spanish springsPeople for and against the Spanish Springs development are talking about potential transformations to the community if the Pismo Beach project proposal successfully finds its way through the process.

Both sides have made claims. Proponents and city staff have been accused of attempting to hide the true nature of the project and its costs to the community, in turn, have accused opponents of the project for attempting to disseminating false misinformation.

The proposed project, by West Coast Housing Partners, spans 950 acres and is slated to include 468 homes, a nine-hole golf course, conference center, wine center, vineyards, trails and open space.

The arguments for and against:

Proponents of the project say the plan and its proposed conference center will increase tourism and hotel tax revenue for the city. Opponents say that Pismo Beach will never become a destination spot and the project will negatively change the character of the city.

Opponents of the project have said that the plan will double the population of the city and increase its size by 43 percent. However, the project is slated to increase the population by 18 percent over 15 years, not 50 percent. While the project would increase the land size of the city by 43 percent, 73 percent of that would be left in open space, parks and trails.

Opponents of the project claim the developers have only built eight houses and that West Coast Housing Partner’s website says the group primarily gets projects permitted before selling to another builder. However, the group’s website says they currently have eight homes under construction though they have built more than 3,500 single family homes.

Proponents of the project note that, according to the agreement, the developer’s obligations include an upgrade to the city’s wastewater treatment plant to tertiary levels and to begin a recycled water program in the city at a cost of approximately $3.5 million, bringing in 1,400 acre feet of recycled water. Opponents argue that the developers are being given a sweetheart deal that includes lower water rates than current residents.

The state water rates are slated to be rolled down for this project as is the standard for developments using recycled water.

In November, the Pismo Beach Planning Commission voted 3-2 to approve the development agreement with the owners of the development.

The Pismo Beach City Council will vote tonight on whether or not to approve the project at a meeting being held at 5:30 p.m. at the Veteran’s Hall. If approved, the project would then require approval by the Local Agency Formation Commission.


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Although I support the rights of property owners this proposal seems ill timed. The water problems not withstanding, what is being proposed is an increase of the population of 20% plus the transient vacation population. This puts a burden on infrastructure such as roads, bridges, sewer etc. First upgrade these then solve the water shortfall then decide if the project fits the city. In Paso we went through a building craze and got an increase in crime, an overstretched school system and an overtaxed infrastructure.. The parks are nice but fewer people would have been nicer..

I always love fuzzy math. They say it will double the size of the city? As of Jul 2011 it was 7,726. So that would be 15,454 if doubled.

If you take the 468 and figure, a family of 4 per household average (in todays world that is about right) and x that, you get 1,872. So on top of todays population that would be 9,598.

Make your point but save the fuzzy math. You undermine your arguement and credibility.

I love these numbers guys. Now I see in paper this morning the other side says that during the peak it will provide 3000 construction jobs? REALLY!??? For 468 homes? How many different crews of each trade do they plan on using? During this past building boom, drive by most sites and I bet you they had a peak on a big job closer to 400. At best at that.

I love these people and their numbers when making arguements.

Price Canyon’s water situation is unsuitable for that type of development. Period.

Mary & I agree.

Our rates keep going up now. Increased demand will only serve to drive up costs for all of us.

Don’t forget the acts of Mr Wallace will also make rates go up, He commits the crimes the ratepayers pay the fines