Arroyo Grande City Council approves Tompkins’ project again

October 9, 2015

Courtland and GrandA month after approving a mixed-use project planned by developer Nick Tompkins, the Arroyo Grande City Council again approved the development. [Tribune]

Tompkins, the owner of development firm NKT Commercial, is planning to build a high-density housing and mixed use project on a a 4.5-acre lot at Grand Avenue and Courtland Street. The project includes 38-single family homes, four condominium units and 15,600 square feet of commercial space.

On Thursday, the council voted 3-2 to approve the project with Mayor Jim Hill and Councilman Tim Brown dissenting. The council also approved an amendment to the general plan, which was required in order for Tompkins to move forward with the development.

The council approved the project in its entirety on Sept. 8, but it reheard the issue because of a noticing violation that occurred prior to the meeting. San Luis Obispo County activist Julie Tacker discovered a notice announcing the meeting that the city sent out to nearby property owners contained the address of City Hall rather than the address of the council chambers.

Tacker submitted a Brown Act complaint and requested the council redo the hearing.

During the redo hearing, nine members of the public spoke against the project, and eight made public comments in favor of the project.

Tompkins previously proposed building a retail center at the site of the project, but the council did not give him final approval. Tompkins received final approval for the current project despite objections from the city planning commission.

Critics objected to the density of housing Tompkins is building and the conversion of land previously zoned for commercial activity into residential space.

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Thanks again for a costly waste of time and taxpayers dollars, Julie.

Certain people are simply shameless. Their narcissism controls every aspect of their life.

AG city staff needs an overhaul.

They are consistently underwhelming.


Why would you “thank” me for the expense of this do-over? If you had knowledge of the missing noticing would you have let it slide? IF you say “yes” to that question, it says an awful lot about you.

The city attorney wrote me and said, “once the City determined to send the Notice, it is imperative that it provide the correct location of the public hearing.”

The do-over allowed the public to have their say, that the outcome was the same does not mean it was wrong to rehear the matter.

Civility. Learn it. Use it.

Look people,

right now there is a 5 acre field there and Grand Ave is a graveyard of failed, low end businesses. If you don’t like Tompkins plan, come up with 5 million and a plan of your own. Otherwise, be appreciate that people are even willing to risk their money developing this little town because it is tough times for most businesses here.

That said, it would have been nice had the article explained why the mayor dissented. He seems to be an above board straight shooter.


15,600sf of commercial–that’s it?

The city needs revenue, and business is what generates that, not high density residential.

Actually, the project was scaled back do to concerns about density and parking. The development approved is for 36 single family residences, eliminates the four condos and increases the number of parking spaces.

36 “single family residences” on 4 acres (after subtracting .5 acre for commercial) is pretty darned dense for “single family.” 9 per acre. Plus access, parking, etc. How do they do that?

You don’t without a really screwed up traffic problem. Plus some of the parking proposed is a small lot in the back corner, which is already there and currently a overflow lot for Peoples Self Help housing project. On most nights that lot is already full plus the People Self Help lot is full, plus people are parking on Courtland and even some on Strawberry. So when this new project is completed let the parking space debacle begin. Good Luck, guess all government groups need their crowning glory, our governor has his non-bullet train to nowhere and our city council has this project. Guess will we need three new seats on the council. Maybe Caren Ray will instead of running for mayor of AG run for a council seat, she had a chance of winning that race. Not sure trading Guthrie or Barneich for Ray is a good step but a least it gets rid of the them.

They “scaled back” the condos above the commercial because of concerns of enough parking in the commercial area. The developer ultimately felt the units would be “unmarketable”, so they were removed from the plan. By doing that, this project no longer can be classified as mixed use, which was required in the general plan.

That being said, my concern now is the lack of adequate parking in the residential area (not really mixed use, more like large neighborhood). These homes are extremely close together, with one side of a house being the side “fence” of the next house. Each house has an attached, 2 car garage. The driveway to the narrow street with no sidewalks is only 2 feet deep! So, obviously no parking in front of your house or garage. Guest parking was increased to 1 per house, not necessarily near by. So, buyers will be required to park in their garage. With a 4 bedroom model, this really eliminates teenagers owning their own car, or homeowners to keep an extra vehicle.

I forsee overflow parking way over at the CVS parking lot, creating lots of foot traffic across the middle of Courtland St. I am sure the owner of that property will not be happy!

I watched your comments on TV, Mike. At $400,000 +/-, these homes are not what buyers are looking for. What is really needed is more rental properties, but unfortunately those 4 units were eliminated. If I was to pay that much for a home, I would want more space and yard around my home. These are glorified townhomes, being sold at single family home prices.

Oh, well, the process has played out and we must accept the majority vote. I just hope our concerns do not come to fruition. Time will tell!