Voters to decide on Price Canyon development issues

July 3, 2014

spanish springsPismo Beach voters will get to decide between two development plans for Price Canyon after a proposed initiative received the required approvals to be placed on the Nov. 3 ballot.

A group dubbed Save Price Canyon garnered the required signatures to bring its proposal to either a vote of the people or for the city council to adopt the proposed amendments to the city’s general plan. The council, which in the past has supported smart growth development in the area, vote unanimously on Tuesday to bring the proposed initiative to the public for a vote.

In addition, the council voted 3-1, with Councilman Erik Howell dissenting, to ask the city attorney to prepare an impartial analysis of the pros and cons of the measure. Howell said he wanted to allow those on both sides of the measure to write arguments for and against.

People for and against the Spanish Springs development have been arguing over the proposed “smart growth” project for years.

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, and in turn, have accused opponents of the project for attempting to disseminate 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.

Save Price Canyon’s measure would bar hotels, conference centers and golf courses from the Price Canyon area.

The developers in Price Canyon had proposed hundreds of homes on small contiguous lots with walking trails and community centers. The bulk of the land would remain open space. Smart growth is a planning theory that concentrates growth in compact walkable areas to avoid sprawl.

The Save Price Canyon group wants only large acreage developments on the east side of the city. If passed, the measure would change the city’s general plan to limit parcel size in the Price Canyon area to 40 acres or larger, with a maximum of two homes per parcel.

If passed, Save Price Canyon’s initiative would require each project to have a new long-term water source. Even so, state law currently requires new projects developers to demonstrate that they have the water sources needed for the proposed developments.

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.


I will NEVER support this project until the 101 traffic problems are solved. We need access from Price Canyon to the Outlet Mall area without having to go on the freeway. The daily traffic jam in Shell Beach is getting longer and larger. Fix that first.


Didn’t Cal Trans have this in the works, all planned and ready to build it but a small group of locals threw a hissy fit?


yes. In THAT case, the Pismo Council listened to the input of the public. In THIS case, they do not want to.


Gotta love all the people on the North side of the canyon, sitting on their porches, telling the people who own the South side of the canyon that they have to leave their property alone for the sake of the little animals.


Just as much as those who moved from the LA, SF and other areas here and then tell everyone else they can not move here, develop “their” land and what we can and can not do. You should have just stayed in LA


I didn’t come from “LA”, did you even read my comment? I was just trying to point out the hypocrisy of those who “have theirs”, telling other landowners they can’t have the same thing. Maybe a remedial reading and comprehension class would help you.


Sorry, won’t sink to your level.


Actually, I “gotta love” the “ranchers” that buy huge lots of farm land and forests and then decide to “cash in” by developing it and laughing all the way to the bank. When you buy a ranch, run it as a ranch. I don’t take kindly to some greedy developer telling me what to think. Shove those houses into some plot down in LA. We’ve been there and we don’t like it.


Where will the water come from to support the projected homes and development?


The same place it comes from to support 10,000 to 100,000 plus visitors every event that Pismo has. State water, ground water wells and surface water such as Lopez.

Mitch C

Pismo is on the brink when it comes to water allocation. I spent 11 years in monthly meetings with Pismo/Grover/AG and Oceano where we discussed water issues. There is a delegate balance and supporting what we have as far as visitor events goes stretches our resources to the limit. State Water does not exist. The State Water contract requires those receiving this water to pay for 100% of their allocation, this year the City of Pismo Beach (along with everyone else) received not a drop. That is Pismo paid about $1,500,000 for water they did not receive.

The bottom line is that there is no water for this project. The City Council has already established water rationing during this drough cycle (drought occurs with regularity) … what do you think would happen if the population is increased by 300+ homes?


Better do some research there Mitch. Pismo is receiving state water this very moment and has been off and on all year. Curious when visitor count based on resources has ever been a factor in how many people you hope visit at any given event?