by LANCE DUNCAN
Despite disapproval expressed by citizens and Planning and Zoning Chair Sherwood Bishop, the proposed Paso Robles community received a go-ahead from the San Marcos Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday night.
The P&Z approved the project in a 7-1 vote, with Bishop being the sole commissioner to vote against it. Paso Robles is planned to be a community of more than 3,000 homes, and developer Carma is putting more than $700 million into the project. The 1,338.5 acre project is on Hunter Road at Centerpoint Road.
The approved development agreement allows the city to create a Tax Increment Refinancing Zone (TIRZ) which will reimburse Carma for infrastructure their development from tax revenue generated by development of the property. Representatives of Carma said they would be asking for a $20 million reimbursement. Now that the issue has been given a go-ahead by the P&Z, it will be discussed by the city council next Tuesday night.
In the public hearing held to discuss the development, 7 out of the 14 citizens who commented were opposed to Paso Robles. Most of them felt that the addition of the relatively large community to the outskirts of San Marcos would create traffic problems and would disrupt the rural atmosphere that residents have been accustomed to for many years. Fears about the city trying to purchase land for right-of-way were also expressed, and some residents opposed the creation of the TIRZ and its associated reimbursement.
Four residents approved of the development, and spoke about how it would be a boon to property taxes and would be a general economic stimulus for the San Marcos area. Some of them also saw the upside of it providing another housing alternative for San Marcos residents.
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