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Paso hotel project snagged by traffic concerns 

Four new hotels proposed in Paso Robles will have to wait until their “potentially significant” traffic impacts are hashed out and mitigated.

On Oct. 11, the Paso Robles Planning Commission declined to make a decision on the 291-room “Destino Paso Resort” proposed for 3350 Airport Road, continuing the hearing to a future date.

The project groups four hotels on about 37 acres of land just north of Highway 46. Applicant Karen Stier envisions one full-service hotel building, with 136 rooms, a restaurant, bar/lounge/ballroom, and outdoor patio, and two “smaller, more boutique-oriented hotels.”

The Planning Commission was primarily concerned about the project’s traffic impacts, according to City Planner Susan DeCarli. Hotel visitors are expected to affect traffic at the intersection of Airport Road and Highway 46, especially during weekends. The city proposed two traffic mitigation measures, including prohibiting a southbound left turn on Highway 46 or completing a road connection between Wisteria Lane and Airport Road, to then “direct hotel visitors” toward the new road connection instead of Highway 46.

Shortly before the meeting, Cal Trans, which has jurisdiction over Highway 46, wrote to the city opposing the left turn prohibition, and suggested different mitigation measures. The Planning Commission wanted to see those options fully fleshed out before making a final recommendation to the City Council.

Water availability was reportedly not a concern at the meeting. Recent hotel and housing developments in Paso Robles have inflamed concerns from residents about water availability, but the city has tried to assure everyone that it has adequate water supply for its future buildout plans. “Destino Paso Resort” would use about 35.52 acre-feet of water per year and was factored into the city’s 2015 Urban Water Management Plan.

The project also requests permission to remove seven oak trees, including four that are in fair to good condition.

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