Nipomo Development Conference Writeup In Santa Maria Times

Mike Hodgson, an associate editor with the Santa Maria Times attended yesterday’s Nipomo Development Conference hosted by the Nipomo Incorporation Committee for Education (NICE).  Mike’s excellent write up is in this morning’s Santa Maria Times here

Noting some 200 Nipomo residents attended,  (closer to 263, based on NICE counts during the conference) this was an incredible turnout to hear about Nipomo’s development future:

If developers build all the projects described Saturday at an informational meeting, Nipomo would have or be close to having enough tax revenue to become San Luis Obispo County’s eighth city and the largest in the South County.

An estimated 200 Nipomo area residents — about double the number anticipated — turned out to hear about nine projects at a meeting sponsored by the Nipomo Incorporation Committee for Education (NICE) in the Monarch Club at Trilogy Central Coast.

None of the developers could estimate the tax revenues that their projects might generate.

True, no one can precisely estimate the amount of potential tax revenues the projects might bring; however, the trend in sales tax revenue in Nipomo has been trending upward over the last several years.  Mike asked me whether I thought if all these projects came to fruition that might result in enough revenue for Nipomo’s Incorporation:

But Guy Murray, vice president of NICE, said if all were fully built,
they could generate enough, combined with other revenues, to allow a
city to pay for all the services it would have to provide.

“It would certainly close the gap (in required tax revenue), if not get us
very close,” Murray said, adding the proposed hotels would provide a
major boost through transient occupancy taxes, which would all go to
the city.

Again, we would have to calculate all the sales tax and transient occupancy tax generated by the projects.  This would be accomplished through a comprehensive fiscal analysis overseen by LAFCO during the actual incorporation process:

Exactly how much revenue would have to be generated through sales and
transient occupancy taxes won’t be known until an incorporation
application is made to the Local Agency Formation Commission, he said.

Then a $200,000 feasibility study would have to be conducted which,
essentially, would lay out the proposed city’s budget for the first
five years.

“The trick is to be as close to the line (for funding city services) as you can be,” Murray said. Too far over and the community would become a “cash cow” for the county, which would
require huge payments from the city to neutralize the county’s loss of
tax revenues.

Right now, Nipomo is in the red in terms of budget shortfall; however, that is actually the better position to be in rather than having so much surplus that the new city would be saddled with years of revenue neutrality payments to the county.

The rest of the story noted the previous NCSD preliminary feasibility study, as well as Nipomo’s projected population will be approximately 20,000 by 2012 making Nipomo the largest south county community, and if incorporated, the largest south county city:

When Nipomo Community Services District conducted a preliminary feasibility study in 2003, it indicated a city would need a $6 million budget and would operate at a 2 percent deficit that could be eliminated in four years.

In addition to sales and transient occupancy taxes, revenue would come from property taxes and other state and local taxes, licenses and fees.

NICE President Mike Eisner said originally it was estimated Nipomo could become a city in 2012, when the community’s population is projected to hit 20,000.

That would make it the South County’s fourth and largest city in terms of population, but given the current state of the economy, Nipomo can’t become a city that soon, he said.

Most of the developers said the dates for launching their projects depends upon when the economy improves and financing becomes available, although a few did have projected start dates next year.

At least one is virtually complete, with the first retail store to open next month.

But without the developments, Nipomo will remain shy of the revenues needed for cityhood.

Developers and the projects they outlined were George Newman of Nipomo Town Square, Dave Watson of King Ventures’ project on South Frontage Road, Greg Nester of the Trading Post and the Villagio Deli, Jim La Loggia and John Scardino of the Woodlands Marketplace, Rob Rossi of Blacklake and Terry Flatley of Flatley Homes’ project on West Tefft Street.

Two developers — Rob Marinai of Nipomo Commons and Tai Martin of the Longs Drugs project — could not attend, so Eisner provided brief outlines of those projects.

In a related story in the Santa Maria Times Mike briefly outlined the nine projects discussed at the Nipomo Development Conference:

Nine projects on horizon for Nipomo

By Mike Hodgson/Associated Editor

Here’s a brief look at the nine projects described by developers at the Nipomo Incorporation Committee for Education meeting held Saturday:

Nipomo Town Square, Mary Avenue and Juniper Street —19 acres, retail stores, professional offices, wide variety of medical services, assisted living facility with dementia support, ambulance; potential tenants include hardware store, health food/grocery store, two restaurants; groundbreaking mid- to late 2009, full buildout in 30 months.

King Ventures, South Frontage Road between Hill and Mary streets — 10 acres, 60 residential units, 35,000 square feet of retail space, 25,000 square feet of office space, 15,000 square feet of restaurant space; includes realignment of South Frontage Road to accommodate proposed southbound Highway 101 onramp in cooperation with adjacent Nipomo Commons; uncertain start date.

Nipomo Commons, South Frontage Road, north of Hill Street (former Nipomo Recreation Center site) — 5-plus acres, 38,000 square feet of commercial, 17,000 square feet of office space, 51 residential units; adjacent 72- to 83-room hotel; uncertain start date.

Flatley Homes, 691 W. Tefft St. (across from Nipomo Post Office) — 4 acres, four commercial buildings with 32,000 square feet of office space, 20 mixed-use buildings with garages and offices on first floor, two to three residential units on second and third floors; infrastructure under construction, with completion in four months; uncertain start date for remainder.

Woodlands Marketplace, center of the Woodlands project — Total of 140,000 square feet of retail and office space; 36,000 square feet of office and retail, sheriff’s department field office, 20 apartments on second floor; three separate buildings for offices, restaurants, markets or medical facilities; hotel with 200 to 200 rooms (500 permitted); 19-acre business park for light manufacturing and distribution; 3-acre park, 19-acre butterfly habitat, golf course; first phase to start in 2009.

Blacklake, from Willow Road to site of current Blacklake Golf Resort clubhouse — 1,800-square-foot three-bedroom golf bungalows, 60-room hotel, three stories above ground, one below; new entrance, reconfiguration of golf course front nine, state-of-the-art irrigation system to reduce water use; possible groundbreaking in 2011.

Villagio Deli, corner of Pomeroy Road and realigned Willow Road — 5,000-square-foot convenience store and restaurant-quality delicatessen, wine tasting of local wines, event room, outdoor eating area; golf-cart/handicapped-accessible path from Blacklake community; unannounced start date.

Trading Post, Thompson Road near Tefft Street — Seven buildings, two-story restaurant with clock tower, 400- to 3,600-square-foot single-story retail stores, three residential condominiums on south side of creek tributary, connected by footbridge; unannounced start date.

Longs Drugs extension, Mary Avenue at West Tefft Street — Retail center with Me-n-Ed’s Pizzeria, UPS Store, Mexican restaurant, vitamins and herbs store, Lemos Feed & Pet Supply, TNT’s Frozen Yogurt, Healthy Inspiration women’s exercise center, Healing Touch day spa, Wells Fargo Bank; three units still not leased; near completion, Lemos to open in October.

September 21, 2008

The front page article in it’s entirety on the front page:

Projects could make Nipomo a city

By Mike Hodgson/Associate Editor

If developers build all the projects described Saturday at an informational meeting, Nipomo would have or be close to having enough tax revenue to become San Luis Obispo County’s eighth city and the largest in the South County.

An estimated 200 Nipomo area residents — about double the number anticipated — turned out to hear about nine projects at a meeting sponsored by the Nipomo Incorporation Committee for Education (NICE) in the Monarch Club at Trilogy Central Coast.

None of the developers could estimate the tax revenues that their projects might generate.

But Guy Murray, vice president of NICE, said if all were fully built, they could generate enough, combined with other revenues, to allow a city to pay for all the services it would have to provide.

“It would certainly close the gap (in required tax revenue), if not get us very close,” Murray said, adding the proposed hotels would provide a major boost through transient occupancy taxes, which would all go to the city.

Exactly how much revenue would have to be generated through sales and transient occupancy taxes won’t be known until an incorporation application is made to the Local Agency Formation Commission, he said.

Then a $200,000 feasibility study would have to be conducted which, essentially, would lay out the proposed city’s budget for the first five years.

“The trick is to be as close to the line (for funding city services) as you can be,” Murray said. Too far over and the community would become a “cash cow” for the county, which would require huge payments from the city to neutralize the county’s loss of tax revenues.

When Nipomo Community Services District conducted a preliminary feasibility study in 2003, it indicated a city would need a $6 million budget and would operate at a 2 percent deficit that could be eliminated in four years.

In addition to sales and transient occupancy taxes, revenue would come from property taxes and other state and local taxes, licenses and fees.

NICE President Mike Eisner said originally it was estimated Nipomo could become a city in 2012, when the community’s population is projected to hit 20,000.

That would make it the South County’s fourth and largest city in terms of population, but given the current state of the economy, Nipomo can’t become a city that soon, he said.

Most of the developers said the dates for launching their projects depends upon when the economy improves and financing becomes available, although a few did have projected start dates next year.

At least one is virtually complete, with the first retail store to open next month.

But without the developments, Nipomo will remain shy of the revenues needed for cityhood.

Developers and the projects they outlined were George Newman of Nipomo Town Square, Dave Watson of King Ventures’ project on South Frontage Road, Greg Nester of the Trading Post and the Villagio Deli, Jim La Loggia and John Scardino of the Woodlands Marketplace, Rob Rossi of Blacklake and Terry Flatley of Flatley Homes’ project on West Tefft Street.

Two developers — Rob Marinai of Nipomo Commons and Tai Martin of the Longs Drugs project — could not attend, so Eisner provided brief outlines of those projects.

(For descriptions of the projects, see related story.)

Jim Tefft also gave a presentation on the Olde Towne Nipomo Association and its efforts to turn the area around Tefft Street and Thompson Road into a pedestrian-friendly tourist attraction.

NICE does not advocate for or against incorporation, Eisner said. Instead, the committee is dedicated to providing residents with as much information as possible about incorporation and “moving the process forward so the citizens can vote” on becoming a city.

Mike Hodgson can be reached at 739-2221 or mhodgson@santamariatimes.com.

September 21, 2008

Thanks to Mike Hodgson for actually attending the conference and following up with his two excellent stories.

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4 responses to “Nipomo Development Conference Writeup In Santa Maria Times

  1. Pingback: Santa Maria Times Covers Nipomo Development Conference « Nipomo News

  2. Now everyone is talking about the American economy and eclections, nice to read something different. Eugene

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  4. sounds like UN agenda 21 stuff..am i wrong? hopefully i am. but i dont think so. see freedomadvocates.com

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