SLO County's newest Planning Commission member, Anne Wyatt of Cambria, faces some weighty decisions at her first meeting, set for Jan. 11.
- PHOTO BY PAOLO FORIANO
- VISION FOR THE FUTURE : New county planning commissioner Anne Wyatt recently appointed by county supervisor and former planning commissioner Bruce Gibson has the background and education to understand the complexities of the local planning process.
# Wyatt appointed to her post by new county supervisor Bruce Gibson and the other four planning commissioners are due to consider three winery projects, all on the west side of Hwy. 101 in the North County.
` Heart Hill Winery, which now owns the Hwy. 46 parcel known for its distinctive heart-shaped stand of oaks, is proposing by far the largest winery complex on Paso Robles' west side. The 90,000-square-foot project would include a winery, tasting room, and hospitality building.
Wyatt said that the vast size of the proposal brings up issues of scale, traffic, water use, and Williamson Act protection.
She's no stranger to controversy, having served on the North Coast Advisory Council where she's currently the chair. She has a master's degree in planning from Cal Poly, as well as an undergraduate degree in planning from UC San Diego.
Wyatt said in an interview that she's interested in affordable housing and smart growth for San Luis Obispo County.
"It all ties together. Smart growth works for more efficient housing, which can be more affordable, and it keeps sprawl from overtaking rural land," she said.
The owner of the Bridge Street Inn in Cambria, Wyatt said she has "some vision of a better future" for the county, adding, "I'm a realist I know one person on the Planning Commission will have a limited scope."
She said that she actually enjoys reading the thick reports included in the Planning Commission's agenda packet.
"I landed the position as a result of Bruce Gibson's mandate from the people of the area to protect our rural areas. They're beautiful, and they need to be protected and preserved," Wyatt noted.
The new planning commissioner said she's aware that Planning Commission decisions can be and often are overturned by three votes of the Board of Supervisors.
"I'd like to think that Planning Commission decisions matter. To the degree that overturning them suggests they're not well-respected, that's a concern," she said.