Caltrans tells SLO to rethink building homes near airport

March 25, 2015
Jan Marx

Jan Marx

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has warned the city of San Luis Obispo that it should reconsider its plan to allow the construction of high-density housing near the regional airport.

In December, the city council voted 4-1, with Councilman Dan Carpenter dissenting, to override the airport land use commission, which sets limits on development in the city’s southern edge. The council vote cleared a major hurdle for developers such as Gary Grossman, who seeks to build high-density housing in the area.

Last week, an attorney representing the aeronautical division of Caltrans sent a letter to San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx asking the council to reassess its improper decision to overrule the airport commission. Previously, both the airport commission and the Caltrans aeronautics division threatened to sue the city over its plan to allow high-density developments near the airport.

The Caltrans letter states that the city’s plan violates height, noise, safety and density regulations pertaining to development surrounding the airport. The letter notes that the Santa Monica airport could be closed due to complaints from residents about noise, safety and pollution.

In response, City Attorney Christine Dietrick told the Tribune that the Caltrans letter contains numerous inaccuracies and a misrepresentation of the law.

During last year’s election season, Grossman gave maximum allowable contributions to the campaigns of Marx and Councilwoman Carlyn Christianson. The developer also donated $5,000 to the county bicycle coalition, for which Councilman Dan Rivoire serves as the executive director.

Grossman is currently trying to develop the 131-acre property owned by rancher Ernie Dalidio. Sources have told CalCoastNews that he has already spent several million dollars on the proposed development, and that he needs approval for high-density development in order to make the project more financially viable.

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39 Comments

  1. JMO says:

    Why don’t we shut down the SLO airport and consolidate air service at Santa Maria airport? Included in the shutdown would be funding of bus service every 1/2 hour between downtown SLO and the Santa Maria airport for a fee of only $3 each way. The SLO airport could then be rezoned as a commercial hub that would bring much wanted head-of-household jobs to SLO. The increase in passenger traffic at Santa Maria airport will lower ticket prices due to competition. Any extra revenue should be used to promote Obamacare (ok, I had to throw that last part in to keep it interesting).

    (-3) 3 Total Votes - 0 up - 3 down
  2. Myself says:

    I think that Dalido’s property should now be zoned as more green belt, leave the farming as it is,leave the common garden project go on, and as a nice guesture Grossman should buy those 3 lots that were allowed to be set up and donate those to the city as well.
    Intresting look at Ms Marx she strikes me as a 2nd or 3rd grade teacher, standing at the front of the class making up new rules to try to keep the rowdy children in check.

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  3. Rambunctious says:

    If the city is aiming at revenue from home development and the only place they have to look is near the airport then you can place that blame on the stupid greenbelt initiative. Reap what you sow.

    (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
    • hijinks says:

      Fact: there’s no “revenue” flow from residential development. Residential demands and requires more in services than it returns in revenue. Thus it is a loss to a city to provide it. This has been known for at least 30 years. Surprised anybody still believes the contrary.

      What “stupid greenbelt initiative?” Facts madame?

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
      • hijinks says:

        Correction: first sentence should read “no positive ‘revenue’ flow from residential development.”

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down

Comments are closed.