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Paso Robles planning commission decides on the future of a major housing development

Posted at 12:01 AM, Jan 29, 2020

The Paso Robles planning commission approved more than a thousand new homes as part of the proposed Olsen South Chandler Project.

A move that the some city officials hope will help address the city’s need for additional housing.

Neighbors and community members packed the meeting on January 28th; and their voices were heard in a decision that could have a major impact in their city.

"I think it's a great project, I think it's absolutely beautiful. My concern is the one thing you can't mitigate: How are you going to mitigate crossing the river in town?y You can't mitigate that,” said Joe Kuntz, Paso Robles resident.

The Olsen South Chandler development is a project more than two years in the making.

It will bring more than 1,200 housing units, almost 10 thousand square feet of non residential use, a public elementary school, and amenities like a community building and rec center.

But the proposal didn’t come without concerns.

Traffic, water, and dust were all issues on the minds of some residents.

City officials say the Olsen South Chandler project would help fill a gap most cities in California are struggling with--affordable housing.

"We anticipate a great number of these units anywhere between 25-to-30 percent; maybe a little bit more will be categorized under the San Luis Obispo County workforce housing category,” said Mike Naggar, Olsen South Chandler project manager.

While some have concerns about the development, the project manager believes it will be a success in Paso Robles.

"I think what we want to do is bring housing that's affordable to the current residents here in Paso. Also, I think--in bringing the housing--it's going to spur economic development and some job creation, so I think we're going to be very successful,” said Naggar.

The next step is approval by the city council.

The council is expected to decide on the proposed development sometime next month.