New Times San Luis Obispo

Settlement reached in Avila Ranch lawsuit

Peter Johnson Feb 1, 2018 4:00 AM

San Luis Obispo, a developer, and three residential advocacy groups settled a lawsuit on Jan. 23 that protested an alleged lack of mitigation for the impacts of Avila Ranch, a recently approved 720-home housing project in SLO.

Photo Courtesy Of Jim Waldsmith
SETTLED Three SLO residential groups settled a lawsuit with the city and the Avila Ranch developer over concerns about the project's impacts, like traffic safety on Buckley Road when it floods at Vachell Lane.

Preserve the SLO Life and the Los Verdes I and II Homeowners' Associations—resident groups neighboring the planned development—jointly filed the suit in SLO County Superior Court in October, alleging that the city didn't properly address the traffic, noise, air quality, and various other impacts related to Avila Ranch.

As part of the settlement between the parties, Avila Ranch developer Andy Mangano will wire $350,000 directly to the neighborhood groups, which will have to go toward traffic mitigations on Buckley Road and noise buffering infrastructure at Los Verdes I and II—two housing communities that straddle Los Osos Valley Road.

Mangano will also commit $328,000 for traffic improvements at the Buckley and Davenport road intersection and for a study that will determine if traffic signals are needed at the entrances to Los Verdes.

"The bottom line is we're happy with what we got," said Kathy Borland, a Buckley Road resident and member of Preserve the SLO Life. "We came up with a fairly good compromise. ... Our big argument is infrastructure and circulation [impacts]—that's the big issue with all these developments."

Members of both neighborhood groups will also have to be consulted when the city and county address new infrastructure in the area as construction of the development commences.

Borland said Preserve the SLO Life will continue to be active in the community as residential advocates when controversial city issues arise.

"The city is making decision after decision that is not serving the constituents who live here," Borland said. "We'll do what we can do to hold the city's feet to the fire." Δ