Mixed views from residents on whether or not to support the new project

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — Templeton is one step closer to being the home of a new gas station and convenience store on Las Tablas Road following the Tuesday, Jan. 23, San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting.

During the meeting, supervisors approved with a 3-2 vote — Jimmy Paulding (Dist. 4) and Bruce Gibson (Dist. 2) dissenting — to deny the appeal of Joe Jarboe and uphold the Planning Commission’s decision to approve the project’s Minor Use Permit. 

The project includes construction of a fueling station including eight fuel dispensers and nine electric vehicle charging spaces and a 5,200 square-foot convenience store on what is known as East Bennet Village Parcel 1. Located between Bennet Way and Duncan Road on Las Tables, the station is in close proximity to the Twin Cities Hospital.

The project has gone through several revisions since its 2021 introduction. What started with a quick service restaurant, fuel station, car wash, and convenience store, now will have a fuel and charging station and market.

Residents of Templeton have taken a long stand against the project. Jarboe, the appellant of the project, made the argument that the proposed project is close to other gas stations already in the area as there is a Chevron station on Las Tablas on the other side of Highway 101.

“This appeal is heavily supported by the community,” Jarboe said at the meeting on Tuesday. “This is a monstrosity that has no business being this close to residences.”

A representative for the Filipponi Family Trust — the applicant for the project, responded to the appellant’s argument, saying the project is expected to bring in a surplus of tax funds. 

Templeton residents spoke both for and against the project. Some issued concerns that the project’s planned 24 hours of operation and conflict with the other established gas stations in the area, also with it being in close to residences. Many believed it would change the town’s established charm.

Vikki Hoffman, one of those opposing the project, kept her opinion staight to the point: “I oppose the project in its entirety. That was clear, right?”

Some residents approved of the project seeing its benefits for the hospital, law enforcement, and other workers in the area who work night-time hours.

Former Paso Robles Police Chief of Police Dennis Cassidy said, “I believe that this project will benefit travelers from outside of the county using the 101 corridor … I also believe that it will benefit local residents of the area.”

District 1 Supervisor John Peschong, who represents Templeton and lives there, issued his support for the project. 

“I have heard from both sides … this is not a battle between neighbors. This is a discussion about policies and property rights,” said Peschong. “I do believe at the end of the day, after listening to this, that this project will benefit the community the way it is now.”

District 5 Supervisor Debbie Arnold and District 3 Supervisor Dawn Ortiz Legg both echoed Peschong and gave their support for the project, providing the final 3-2 vote. Supervisors Paulding and Gibson both voted no to approve the project as presented.

The next San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 9 a.m.