Residents of a Cayucos neighborhood have formed a new group, Concerned Citizens of Cayucos, to oppose plans for a three-story timeshare and commercial development proposed for Old Creek Road and Highway 1.
The group has already succeeded in convincing the Cayucos Advisory Council to re-examine its support of the project at its next meeting on April 4, according to spokesperson Martha Connor. Sixty people showed up at the March meeting to express their opposition, she said.
The Cayucos Del Mar mixed-use project, proposed by Franco DeCicco, would include 17 units of 1,000 square feet each, plus four residential condominiums and 4,500 square feet of commercial space, including a convenience store and bistro, with underground parking for 57 cars, according to the project manager, Kim Hatch. It would fill nearly all of the two-thirds-acre lot.
"Our main concern is with introducing that many tourists into the last bastion of residential neighborhoods in Cayucos, with all that traffic," Connor said. "It's totally incompatible with the neighborhood. Why don't they go to downtown Cayucos?"
"The neighbors are anxious about their views being blocked and compatibility," Hatch said. "We believe it's as compatible as you can get."
The developer is asking for a variance for its architectural style which Hatch described as Mediterranean rather than the Western or Victorian style associated with downtown.
A timeshare "higher end resort-type" development is envisioned, according to Hatch, if the Estero Area Plan is updated to allow for timeshares, where owners purchase the right to stay for 30 days a year. If not, developers plan to operate it as an inn. One advantage of timeshare development compared to an inn is the upfront revenue, Hatch said.
The project is going through the county's environmental review and will be considered by the Planning Commission, according to county planner Mike Wulkan.
"To approve the project, the Planning Commission has to find that it's compatible with the neighborhood," Wulkan explained.
He said the 30-foot building is "fairly massive appearing."
Concerned Citizens of Cayucos is worried about the visual impact, noise, light pollution, traffic, and pedestrian safety, according to a petition the group is circulating.
"What you see now is the ocean. What you don't want to see are neon signs," Connor said.
Hatch said the units are designed for families to enjoy the Central Coast, with full kitchens.
He added, "If I lived there, what a great place to put up guests for a week. We look at it more as a bridge to the community rather than a moat."