Months ago, the prospect of a sober living facility succeeding on Dan De Vaul's Los Osos Valley Road ranch was bleak. County supervisors were angry with what they saw as De Vaul's continued resistance to authority and legal guidelines. De Vaul thought his ranch could be taken from him, leaving him and the dozens of recovering addicts who lived at Sunny Acres out in the cold.
Since then De Vaul has been working to bring Sunny Acres and his ranch up to code, and most recently he's enlisted the help of a Cal Poly architecture class. According to Architecture Professor Nick Watry, the Integrated Project Servicing class, made up of 50 Cal Poly students, has visited De Vaul's property and begun to develop a master plan for the ranch that will include open space, moderate cost housing, market rate housing, estate homes, commercial space and of course Sunny Acres, the sober living element.
De Vaul, who is definitely appreciative of the design help said, "My main concern is that Sunny Acres is legal and we can get it going again."
According to Watry, the idea to design De Vaul's ranch originally came from Cal Poly President Warren Baker, after the two met last year. Ten student-teams will complete mast plan designs for the eleven-week course, which will include architecture, engineering, building and financing plans. Watry estimates that the equivalent amount of work would cost De Vaul between $250,00 and $1 million from a professional design consultant.