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Santa Maria City Council to hear plans for senior living housing complexes

Posted at 6:05 PM, Oct 03, 2022

Future senior living complexes are proposed to be built in Santa Maria, and Tuesday's city council meeting could set the plans in motion.

As it stands, the proposed lot on the 1700 block of East Main Street and Suey Road is currently occupied by one single-family residence and more than 10 acres of open land. But come Tuesday evening, Coastal Community Builders will inform the Santa Maria City Council of their plans to construct three 75-unit senior living complexes at the site, along with a 90-unit duplex apartment community.

"No entitlements, no permits, no grants will be issued at the meeting," said Mark van de Kamp, City of Santa Maria Public Information Manager. "This is strictly informational, so if the developer chooses to, they could make adjustments to the proposal."

Both potential developments would be gated, with the duplex units intended for single-family use and the senior complexes offering one and two-bedroom options. The proposed duplex units would range from 1,800 to 2,100 square feet, while the senior living spaces would vary from 500 to 1,000 square feet.

But despite the many apartment developments in the works for Santa Maria, local seniors we spoke to say there are still not enough housing options.

"We have a lot of homeless people. If there was [enough housing], we wouldn't see so many elderly people out on the streets," said Silviano Valencia, a senior resident of Santa Maria.

"I am doing fine," added fellow senior Dennis Ekdahl. "I got my house. People keep wanting to buy it. I go, 'no, no, not selling.'"

Right now, the site is only zoned for single-family residences, but van de Kamp says the new proposal would allow for this much larger-scale project.

"We have seen several hundred units approved over the last five or six years, and we have some new units going up that are senior housing in about three different locations," van de Kamp told KSBY. "So it is a very desirable place to live, and developers know that and they are looking for opportunities to meet the demand."

He says that it still has not been determined if the proposed developments will include affordable housing options.

"The city does encourage affordable housing when possible, so we will see how that works out as the development moves its way through the process," he added.

On Tuesday evening, the Santa Maria City Council will provide feedback on the plans but a timeline for a decision on these projects has still not been finalized. Following that city council meeting, the developer will then make any necessary adjustments to the plan and submit a formal application to the City of Santa Maria.

Van de Kamp says there will be plenty of future opportunities for the public to voice their opinions on the proposal.