- PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CITY OF ATASCADERO
- BIGGER : Atascadero may be getting a new neighborhood.
The Eagle Ranch project, if built, would bring a vast new housing development to the southwestern section of the city, west of the U.S. 101 freeway. The plan calls for approximately 500 houses, some commercial development, and a resort. More than 83 percent of the land on the ranch would be preserved as open space.
A full project plan will be developed concurrent with the environmental impact report, an unusual procedure that the developer and the city say will streamline the development process.
Annexation of the property by the city has been in the works for years. The property has been in the city’s general plan since 2002. Much of the land was parceled during the early 20th century when the Atascadero colony was formed, but it has remained undeveloped.
This isn’t the first time the city council considered the project. It was given a tentative green light in September 2008 but the sour economy sidetracked construction, according to Warren Frace, the city’s development director.
The land is now used for ranching and mostly consists of rolling hills studded with oaks. The ranch spans 7,000 acres, only half of which will be developed and eventually annexed to the city. The other half is located in the county and may be preserved as open space if negotiations between the SLO Land Conservancy and the Smith family, the owners, are successful.