The State Offers Sale of Estrella Boys School on Airport Road

PASO ROBLES — During the closed session of the Jan. 19 City Council meeting, members discussed the city manager position as Tom Frutchy is retiring on Feb. 3.

The recruitment process for finding a new city manager closed on Jan. 19.

There will be a special meeting held on Jan. 29 where council members will finalize the application and interview process.

A member from the public asked for the following consent agenda items to be pulled for separate discussion:

9: Approval of Agreement with SWCA Environmental Consultants to Update the U.S. Highway 101 and State Route 46 West Environmental Documents

15: Approval of Oasis Associates Contract – Professional Land Use Planning and Regulatory Liaison Services for the Estrella Boys School

On the consent agenda was an authorization to enter a contract with Oasis Associates for professional land use planning and regulatory liaison services for the Estrella Boys Facility.

The State, which owns the Estrella Boys School on Airport Road, has offered to sell the 137-acre property.

From the agenda report:

“The State has issued a Request for Written Offers (RWO) from a private party to purchase the property. Offers are due by Feb. 16, 2021.”

Warren Frace, Paso Robles City Community Development Director, explained, “We understand from the state that there is a number of interested buyers for this site and that they’re extremely interested in moving quickly on converting it from a state facility into a private enterprise of some sort which would require a general plan and zoning changes as well as an environmental impact report before we could approve a new project out there.”

To move quickly when the State chooses a bidder, the staff wants to make sure a contract planner is in place to manage the Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

The staff has chosen to work with Oasis Associates as the contract planning staff.

From the agenda:

“Oasis’s proposal is for $45,000 to manage the land use entitlements, CEQA environmental document, subconsultant coordination, agency (Caltrans / CDFW / San Luis Obispo County Airport Commission) coordination, Tribal consultations, and public outreach process.”

The $45,000 will be reimbursed to the City by the property buyer.

Council approved the Oasis Associates contract with a 5-0 vote.

PG&E has proposed the route for new 70kv power lines along Union Rd, Highway 46 East, and Golden Hill Rd. Existing 70kv lines in the River Rd area will be upgraded with taller poles and additional power lines.

Given a substantial amount of public and council disagreement over the power line route, a motion was made opposing it.

The motion, which passed with a 5-0 vote, stated staff will submit a letter to PG&E opposing the proposed route as it is in “conflict with everything that our town is about and its beautiful setting” and follow the eastern route in combination with the Estrella route and to become a party to the proceedings.

The next regularly scheduled city council meeting will be held on Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles