Paso Robles residents have opportunity to provide feedback on new developments

Posted at 7:04 PM, May 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-30 22:04:16-04

Three major housing developments are in the works in Paso Robles. This week, residents will have a chance to voice their concerns about two of those projects. 

The city says these new projects could house more than 5,000 residents.

"I was a little bit shocked to hear about it at first," said Emily Reneau. "Actually, part of the development is going up around our house."

The new neighborhood is planned for the eastern part of town. 

"I’ve always been kind of pro-development myself. I came from the Bay Area so I’m not overly concerned," Reneau added. 

This Friday and again on Monday, the public is invited to discuss their concerns about the Olsen Chandler Ranch Specific Plan.

"The city is planned for the Chandler Ranch which is planned for 1,439 units, the Olsen Ranch which is 674 and the Beechwood area which is 673 units," said Susan DeCarli, Paso Robles City Planner. 

With more than 2,700 units in the pipeline, current resident Elizabeth Williams has some concerns. 

"My parents are farmers. I worry about the water situation," Williams said.

School district and traffic impacts are additional worries for a city that hasn’t grown in some time. 

"The city’s growth rate in the last eight years since the recession has only been in between 30 and 50 units per year, which is really low," DeCarli said.

At the city’s peak in 2004, it averaged 500 units per year.

"I think there’s such a strong housing demand that all the developers are realizing it’s time to get in while the iron’s hot," DeCarli added.

It will likely be two to three years until construction begins on these projects.

"I’m also one of those people that I’m like, let’s wait and see if it does happen. Maybe I’m more skeptical about that," Reneau said.

The city says more than 1,100 additional units are planned for the northern and western parts of town in the years to come.

A public meeting is planned for Friday, June 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express on Riverside Avenue. On Monday, June 4, a meeting will be held again at Virginia Peterson Elementary from 6 to 8 p.m.