Supervisors talk Johnson Avenue land



A 31-acre parcel of county-owned land near the former General Hospital is slated to be sold for development.

The county Board of Supervisors talked about the issue at its Sept. 25 meeting, after hearing from its consultant about how to maximize the value of the property before selling it.

Current plans call for 27 single-family homes and a small area of multi-family housing, plus annexation into the city of San Luis Obispo. Obtaining all the necessary permits before selling the property to a developer is expected to cost $354,000, according to a staff report.

The county has already spent more than $100,000 for its consultant, Carol Florence of Oasis Associates, hired after the county's selection policy was waived, the staff report shows.

The city's Planning Commission in July recommended denial of the county's current configuration for the property. The San Luis Obispo City Council is due to consider the issue at its Oct. 23 meeting, where Florence said the city's chief administration officer will present a different recommendation.

Supervisors Jim Patterson and Bruce Gibson suggested developing affordable housing rather than large-lot single-family homes.

"We have a significant opportunity to really start walking our walk in terms of affordable housing," Gibson said.

"As we move forward, we ought to consider the opportunity to create affordable housing," said Patterson, adding that a homeless services center is another option for discussion.

"I don't want to confuse the City Council. I just want authority to move forward," Florence replied.

Supervisor Katcho Achadjian said the neighbors would oppose those ideas.

"Think twice about what's doable. Do not ignore the power the neighborhood has. We're not in the driver's seat. I want us to be more realistic about our wishes," Achadjian said. "That property probably has the most beautiful view in the city. Why did the city put the homeless center on Prado Road? Think."

The City Council will be asked to approve the processing of an environmental impact report covering development of the county's property and several other large parcels in the hills east of Johnson Avenue.

A neighborhood group has formed to monitor plans for the parcels members argue that some of the lots are too steep to be safely developed and others would require so much engineering they would mar views of the hillside.

"At the end of the day, some project will occur," Florence said.


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