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Dana Reserve project with 1,270 housing units proposed in Nipomo 

Long-discussed plans to develop the 275-acre Cañada Ranch near Willow Road in Nipomo are inching closer to becoming reality.

click to enlarge VISION If built, the Dana Reserve project (rendered) would bring more than 1,200 new housing units to Nipomo. - MAP COURTESY OF SLO COUNTY
  • Map Courtesy Of SLO County
  • VISION If built, the Dana Reserve project (rendered) would bring more than 1,200 new housing units to Nipomo.

On Jan. 26, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted to begin formally processing the application for Dana Reserve—a major project proposing 1,270 units of single-family and multi-family housing, a commercial center, and 74 acres of parks and open space.

With the vote, SLO County entered into a memorandum of understanding with the developer, NKT Commercial's Nick Tompkins, that sets the parameters for the project's review, and also amended the county general plan in South County to better align it with the project.

"The South County Area Plan is between 20 and 25 years out of date," SLO County Planning Department Division Manager Airlin Singewald explained to county supervisors. "The project reflects current needs, current conditions, and prioritizes housing over employment-generating uses. Part of this effort is to go into the plan and make the necessary amendments."

According to planning documents, the Dana Reserve envisions 10 neighborhoods, a central park, and a variety of commercial activities clustered at the frontage of Highway 101.

The project would also dedicate a portion of property to nonprofit Peoples' Self-Help Housing to develop and manage 75 units of deed-restricted affordable housing. As a mitigation measure for the loss of oak woodlands on the ranch, the developer also plans to donate a 388-acre off-site parcel in Nipomo's eastern hills to serve as permanent open space.

Several community interest groups wrote or called in to the Jan. 26 meeting to express their support for Dana Reserve, including the South County Chambers of Commerce, REACH Central Coast, Peoples' Self-Help Housing, Bike SLO County, the Nipomo Recreation Association, and the Ride Nipomo Equestrian Trails Alliance.

Up next for the project is to approve a contract for an environmental impact report, which will analyze, among other factors, the complicated subject of water supply. The Nipomo Community Services District is expected to serve the project, if built. Δ

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