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Arroyo Grande multi-use project met with opposition

Posted at 10:41 PM, Feb 04, 2019

A new multi-use project, which includes 23 new townhomes and a coffee shop is the buzz around Arroyo Grande.

The Arroyo Grande Planning Commission was set to decide the fate of the latest housing project this week met with opposition, but the meeting has since been moved to later this month.

The project site includes four existing residences on five existing lots for a total of nearly 6,900 square feet.

It sits on the corner of S. Halcyon Road and Fair Oaks Avenue, but many say the location is not good for traffic or the students at Harloe Elementary.

Arroyo Grande multi-use project
KSBY Photo


With Harloe Elementary School across the street from the proposed project site, one mother thinks more cars could be dangerous for kids.

“A lot of kids travel this area, crossing the street in the morning and the afternoon and it already is a very busy intersection,” said Ericka Horn, an Arroyo Grande resident.

One studio, five two-bedroom units, 17 three-bedroom units, 63 parking spaces, and a coffee shop are proposed for this location.

The Arroyo Grande planning Manager said the city is in need of housing and has been trying to utilize this space since 2001.

“The good aspect of it being a largely residential project is that the traffic numbers are lower than they would be if it was a full commercial project,” said Matthew Downing, Arroyo Grande Planning Manager.

Not everyone is a fan of the location.

“I think the apartments are needed, but not in this area,” said Betty Johnson, an Arroyo Grande resident. “I think the traffic is going to be horrendous.”

However, many users on the community forum app “Nextdoor” said the project is beneficial to those who need a place to live.

The project applicant hopes to make the townhomes more affordable by design with smaller lots and attached walls to bring construction costs down.

The cost of the project and projected rent for the rooms is unknown.

The applicant will also pay an affordable housing in-lieu fee.

“That’s money to the city that allows us to leverage different groups that specialize in affordable housing so HASLO or People’s Self-Help Housing actually being able to help provide them funding to get affordable housing projects in our community,” said Downing.

Downing said the proposed project also allows for future improvements at the intersection.

“It doesn’t mean that it’s not going to increase traffic at the intersection,” said Downing. ‘It doesn’t mean that these units won’t be using more water, it’s just that you can accommodate for that and allow the city to continue to grow to its maximum build-out.”

The city has already completed an Environmental Impact Report and Traffic Study of the proposed site.

Nearly 200 people have signed an online petition. However, the Planning Commission will have the final say if this project moves forward.

If it is appealed, then it would go to City Council.