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'Life plan' community off LOVR in San Luis Obispo would add senior housing, retail space

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Posted at 5:35 PM, Sep 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-16 00:47:55-04

A new neighborhood could soon be built off Los Osos Valley Road in San Luis Obispo.

Located at the base of Irish Hills, the 44-acre site is slated to be transformed into a new mixed-use development.

Independent and assisted senior housing, family residential units, retail and commercial space including a possible hotel, open space and a public trailhead park, are all part of the Froom Ranch Specific Plan.

It's a project that's been years in the making.

"In 2015, our general plan was updated with a specific development program for this area," said Michael Codron, City of San Luis Obispo Community Development Director.

Though it's a large development, Codron says the natural feel of the area will be preserved.

"The city has a development limit line at 150 feet in that location so we won't be allowing development up the hillside," Codron said.

New housing is the biggest aspect of the plan - around 400 units for the first-ever life plan community in San Luis Obispo County.

"A life plan community really is a way for people to plan ahead for their retirement years," said Julie Howard, Villaggio Director of Residency Development and Communications. "It helps people plan ahead financially. They can project out over time what their costs will be."

"It's the first where you have the ability in one location to live in that space from assisted living all the way through convalescent care," Codron added.

To date, more than 500 households have signed up to be a part of the community.

"We'll have three or four dining venues, an arts and crafts studio, a card room, a billiard room, large auditorium for performing arts, a business center library," Howard explained.

Outside that facility, another 174 units, including potential apartments, affordable housing, and multi-family units like townhomes, are also in the works.

The architecture will be Mediterranean-style.

Some historic buildings currently on the site will be preserved for park facilities.

A park, called Trailhead Park, will also be created.

"It has a kids' play area, an adult big open field to play in and then it has a centralized bicycle parking area," said Victor Montgomery, Project Manager/RRM Design Group Architect.

Phase 1 of the project is required to provide protected bike lanes along Los Osos Valley Road.

Construction could start in about two years.

The San Luis Obispo City Council will consider approval of the project at its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 6 p.m.