The Dana Reserve, a mixed-use housing and commercial development property with 1,289 homes is set to break ground in Nipomo by the end of next year.
Two-thirds of the units are intended for workforce housing.
Workforce housing is in the $600K range for San Luis Obispo County and is based on median income.
The rest of the homes will cost a bit more.
The community will include a grocery store, multiple parks, hiking trails, and a village commercial area.
The Dana Reserve development team has donated parts of the land for use by Cuesta College for a satellite campus, a daycare agency, and a new fire station site. They’ve also donated part of the land to People's Self-Help Housing to allow for the construction of low-income, for-rent housing.
One of the main goals of this project is to address the housing crisis in San Luis Obispo County. Neighbors agree this new development could help but say they are concerned about the traffic and environmental impacts.
"The traffic is going to be unbelievable," said Matt Kobliska, Nipomo resident.
"It's a huge project and it's going to be a disruption, I think, for us in the neighborhood," said Greg Porter, Nipomo resident.
Residents are concerned about the size of the project in such a rural area.
"Well I'd like to see a lot less homes," said Kobliska.
"The traffic and the noise aspects. In this neighborhood we already get quite a few shortcutters coming through here commuting," said Porter.
Nipomo resident Jacob Davis moved to the area in 1985 and says the street on which he lives has changed significantly throughout the years. Though the new housing units would add to that change, Davis says he is okay with the project.
"But don't just start building homes and apartment complexes everywhere. Make sure it looks nice. Make sure it's good for the community," said Davis.
Dana Reserve Managing Member Nick Tompkins says they have a plan in place to address the traffic generated by the project.
"We are going to take the Frontage Road extension that goes across the front of the Swap Meet, we're taking that road all the way through to Willow," said Tompkins.
They are also creating another shortcut through the property.
"We're taking the traffic that would be coming off of Pomeroy and the people live on that side of Nipomo and allowing them a shortcut through this property," said Tompkins.
Tompkins says the environmental impact report addresses the issue of removing oak trees from the area.
The Dana Reserve development team has secured a piece of land on which they will put a permanent conservation easement. The land has between 10,600 and 14,000 trees.
"So, altogether, we will be permanently conserving about between 4 and 5 trees for every one that we remove," said Tompkins.
Nipomo residents will be given priority when applying for housing in the new development as well as those who can demonstrate that by moving there, they will cut their vehicle miles traveled.
The draft environmental impact reportfor the project is available for review now. It will be discussed at the next San Luis Obispo County planning commission meeting this Thursday, July 14. The meeting is open for public comment.