Jardine residents pack city council to express RV resort concerns
City council approved amended plan for Cabernet Links RV Resort and Golf Course
–At its Tuesday meeting, the Paso Robles City Council unanimously approved an amended plan for the 290 space Cabernet Links RV Resort and Golf Course at 5151 Jardine Road. The Paso Robles Planning Commission approved the project in February and in March, Jeremy and Courtney Howard, Jardine area residents, filed an appeal to the commission’s decision. The concerns that led to the appeal include:
- Water and sanitation, including the source of water for the development, concerns about impacts on private wells in the rural neighborhood, sewage, and potential groundwater contamination.
- Safety and traffic concerns about traffic congestion caused by large recreational vehicle traffic and making left turn from Jardine Road into the park, safety for children getting on and off school buses, the possibility of RV park visitors riding off-road vehicles over the neighborhood dirt roads, noise and additional traffic generated by events, and the traffic hazards that could be caused by large recreational vehicles entering and exiting state Route 46 from Jardine Road, especially those needing to cross oncoming traffic.
- The location of a proposed convenience store at the Jardine Road entrance to the park.
- Safety and emergency response that might be delayed due to traffic congestion on Route 46, Jardine Road and Dry Creek Road.
Before public comments, city staff presented an amended plan for the project, in which several of the concerns identified in the appeal were addressed. The amendments were prepared in response to the concerns from Jardine area residents and include:
- Moving the convenience store to an appropriately zoned lot within the interior of the park.
- Changing the primary access to the park from Jardine Road to Aerotech Center Way, including signage directing park traffic to Aerotech Center Way.
- Road improvements to Dry Creek and Jardine roads.
- Requiring a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) for special events not related to the golf course or RV or that exceed 450 attendees. Ending outdoor activities related to events no later than midnight, limiting exterior amplified sound to 50 dB and ending play at 10 p.m.
- The project will be connected to the city water supply and sewer lines. A temporary “Tank and Hold” waste water system with off-site disposal can be installed. McKinley said this system would only be an interim solution and the project will be connected to the city sewer system.
The Jardine area is a semi-rural community within San Luis Obispo County. Also known as “the Jardine” the area is a neighborhood of homes on one or two acre lots, some that are adjacent to the city limits. Jardine Road is the main access to the community. Residents are concerned that the city would not consider the impact of the RV park on their neighborhood. Although, Jeremy Howard said the amended plan is “a step in the right direction.”
In a private interview, Jardine area resident Joy Sprague said that over 100 Jardine residents had met in early March to organize their concerns. The appeal was an outcome of that meeting. Sprague and her husband, Glenn Sprague, both expressed their concerns during the public comment session.
Public Works Director Dick McKinley said the primary source of water to the process is city water. Two new wells being drilled now are primarily for golf course irrigation. As the city’s recycled water plan advances, irrigating the golf course will switch to recycled water and the wells metered and monitored. McKinley said this system would only be an interim solution and the project will be connected to the city sewer system. McKinley expects to bring the sewer and recycled water plan for the RV park and golf course to the city council in a few weeks.
Both the city water system and sewer system are already connected up to the Warbird Museum on Airport Road. Councilmember Jim Reed asked if the timing of the sewer would “be timely enough” to not need the tank system. McKinley said the design for water and sewer will be done by the end of the year, out for bid in early 2018 and completed by fall of 2018.
Councilmember John Hammon asked about the feasibility of deceleration lanes on Jardine Road to facilitate left turns. Community Development Director Warren Frace said that Jardine can be widened to accommodate a center turn lane “at the council’s discretion.” Hammond said that traffic has always been a main part of the project.
During the public comments, Sprague said that the city, “should be required to do a more thorough traffic analysis.” The city has conducted two separate traffic studies in connection with the development project. The first traffic impact analysis was prepared by Associated Transportation Engineers (ATE) in December 2016. The ATE report was circulated as part of the project Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND). In response to a letter from Caltrans questioning the accuracy of the TRE impacts to Route 46 and Jardine Road intersection, the city retained Central Coast Transportation Consulting (CTCC) to prepare another traffic analysis.
According to the city staff report, the TRE report concludes that “no transportation deficiencies were identified.” The CCTC analysis concludes that the project “will create no transportation deficiencies to SR 46E.” In response to the CCTC study, a May 24 letter from Caltrans stated, “The current study does not reflect (masks) the actual impact to Jardine Rd/SR46.” The letter goes on to state that the intersection of Jardine Rd and 46 “currently operates deficiently, therefore it is especially critical to accurately disclose impacts at this location.” The staff report states that staff is working with Caltrans to resolve the questions raised in the May 24 letter, which “appear to be a misinterpretation of the study.”
Vanessa Harris, another Jardine area resident, informed the council that she was in possession of a letter from the County of San Luis Obispo Department of Public Works to the city. Harris stated the letter required that the city amend the project traffic report and said the letter was not included in the staff report. The letter was dated June 5, the day before the council meeting. During the break, copies of the letter were distributed to the council members, staff, and the audience. Recommendations in the letter include:
- “Evaluate roadway and intersection levels of service along Jardine Road between SR 46 East and the City Limits. Recommend project mitigation measures as needed.”
- “Evaluate collision history at the intersection of Jardine Road and Dry Creek Road. Recommend project mitigation measures as needed (may include traffic control, widening for turn lanes, realignment, etc.)”
- “Submit the amended traffic report to County Public Works for review and comment.”
Harris said a copy of the letter was sent to her by Supervisor John Peschong. When asked for her thoughts about the council approving the project, Harris said she is pleased with the solutions for the water and sewer issues but thinks the project is being “driven through” without enough study of the traffic problems.