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SLO Co. Planning Commission hearing for Dana Reserve Project postponed to October

dana reserve
Posted at 4:42 PM, Aug 30, 2023

As proposed, the Dana Reserve housing development would bring more than 1,300 homes to 288 acres of land west of Highway 101 and south of Willow Road.

Wednesday morning, the San Luis Obispo Planning Commission was set to hold its first hearing to review the project, but after hours of deliberation, the hearing was postponed to October.

“Originally, there was a Planning Commission meeting scheduled for the Dana Reserve today, but we had input from the stakeholders, the community, neighbors, also some of the decision makers that they would like more time to review the EIR,” said Jocelyn Brennan, a representative for the Dana Reserve Project.

She says the development would bring condos, townhomes, workforce units and higher-end homes to Nipomo. However, she says an approval of the project would also entail the removal or replanting of thousands of long-standing oak trees.

“This project would be a very bad idea for Nipomo. The land it will be built on is very sacred to me,” said Rebecca Pittenger, who grew up in Nipomo.

“There is so much land in Nipomo that does not have oak trees on it, that is vacant, that is ready to be developed that we would love to have people come in,” added Nipomo resident Erica Castello.

On Wednesday, more than 50 members of the Nipomo Action Committee showed up to the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission meeting to voice their opinions.

Committee director Alison Martinez says her group is against the development as it is currently proposed.

“We are not anti-development; we are not anti the project,” Martinez told KSBY. “What we want to do is some sensible development for our community and for the county.”

“It is critical that for the quality of life of new residents coming to an area to an affordable housing development that they have opportunities to access the treasures that are there,” added Herb Kandel, a former member of the South County Advisory Council.

Those opposed to the project say the Dana Reserve development could harm the air quality in Nipomo, as well as increase traffic.

Despite these concerns, Jocelyn Brennan says the project has many positives.

“It is the housing that we need in this county, specifically in South County,” she explained. “It also creates opportunities for jobs in the commercial center, and it also creates a south county Cuesta campus which they have been looking for for over 20 years.”

Following Wednesday’s meeting, the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission voted to schedule another environmental impact study session on September 28, with the first hearing on the matter pushed back to October 23 and 24.

During that October meeting, planning commissioners will hear public comment, a staff presentation, and ultimately decide whether to recommend an approval of the Dana Reserve Project to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors.