The Nipomo Incorporation Committee for Education (NICE) held its most recent community meeting on Saturday, 03/28/09 at the Woodlands Trilogy, Avila Room from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Over 100, (103 was the official count) local Nipomo residents, joined several governmental leaders and community leaders at the meeting. Katcho Achadjian, 4th District Supervison, San Luis Obispo County attended, as did officials from the Nipomo Community Services District, Chamber of Commerce, and others. Katcho moderated the morning’s discussion, which included the following presentations.
9:06 a.m. Frank Smith, Triology, Shea Homes. Frank gave a brief overview of the current focus of the Woodlands community. Despite a downturn in the economy, in 2008, Shea Homes closed and sold 83 homes out of their 87 home goal. This year in 2009, they have sold five homes each month, from January through March. The Woodlands community continues its growth. NICE thanks The Monarch Club of Trilogy at The Woodlands for the generous donation of the Avila Room for the meeting location, including light refreshments.
9:12 a.m. Mike Eisner, NICE, President gave an overview of the recent NICE Survey on Incorporation.
NICE powerpoint presentation here. (Click on slideshow icon at top right to view images)
9:19 a.m. Katcho, Moderator. Katcho pointed out that any eventual Nipomo incorporation decision will be one made by Nipomo residents, not the county, not the surrounding communities–but Nipomo residents alone. Katcho felt that NICE has, over the last years delivered what it has promised to the community: education. NICE has brought in representatives from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Deparment, CDF , San Luis Ambulance, Local Developers, and County Government. Katcho also pointed out that NICE is a non-profit organization completely comprised of local volunteer efforts of Nipomo residents.
9:29 a.m. Chuck Stevenson, San Luis Obispo County Planning Department.
Chuck also presented a powerpoint presentation, which you can view here (Click on slideshow icon at top right to view images). Some of the highlights included the following:
2008 population estimates show Nipomo at approximately 14,547 residents, reflecting a 13% increase since 2000. Buildout projections of 2030 estimate Nipomo’s population to be approximately 21,539. If the surrounding rural areas are included (historic Nipomo) the population increases to approximately 35,072.
Some incorporation obstacles include infrastructure, water, tax base, affordable work housing, and costs of government. Nipomo’s infrastructure needs include longtime reliable water source, and various street and highway needs, including Willow Road interchange and Tefft Street freeway improvements.
The powerpoint presentation outlined several opportuinty areas for economic growth. In the next five years, Nipomo will need water supply and highway interchange improvements. Commerical growth will likely be modest and slower. There will be continued residential growth. And, there will likely be an general plan update for the Nipomo area within five years.
9:58 a.m. Dave Flynn, San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Works
Dave’s powerpoint presentation can be seen here. (Click on slideshow icon at top right to view images).
Some highlights include a fascinating inventory of existing Nipomo infrastructure:
94 Lane Miles of Streets
125 Street Lights
42 Drainage Basins
32 miles of Sidewalk
6 Traffic Signals
2 Transit buses
In terms of Nipomo’s 94 miles of streets, we actually rank in the top tier of the county in road conditions; however, all communities are sliding downward in road conditions because of the lack of funding. From 2006 to 2008, the following roads were paved in the Nipomo community: Southland, Division, Orchard, Pomeroy, Las Flores, and Thompson.
Current revenues relating to Nipomo infrastructure total approximately $1,025, 000, while expenditures slightly exceed revenues at approximately $1,310,000. To make up this shortfall, the County must dip into the general fund.
Proposed Tefft Street improvements in four phases over the next eight years will total almost $10,000.00, which will include additional off ramp lanes, and relocating the southbound on ramp.
10:48 a.m. Pete Jenny, County Parks and Recreation:
Pete did not prepare a powerpoint presentation; however, he pointed out that there are approximately 154 acres of community parks. In Nipomo, we fare far better than most other areas of the county. Nipomo enjoys approxmimately 10.5 acres per 1000 residents. The county average is only two acres per 1000 residents.
The county strives to have at least one park within 1/2 mile of a residence, which is not always possible. Pete pointed out that several community services district in the county are now assuming park powers, including here in Nipomo–even though limited at the present time.
Pete also pointed out that much is accomplished throughout the county by unique partner relationships. For example, the county partnerned with the Lucia Mar School District to provide soccer fields at Nipomo High School. Such creative partnerships make many projects possible.
Pete outlined some of Nipomo’s recreational needs for the future: A needs assessment is a big undertaking; howevever, Nipomo needs to know where to start and plan for its recreational future. Pete suggested:
1. Protection of Nipomo’s open space habitat;
2. More community parks;
3. Recreation programs.
4. The NCSD’s assumption of park powers can help implement these goals.
11:20 a.m. Paul Hood LAFCO
Paul’s powerpoint presentation outlined some of the basic steps toward incorporation. You can see Paul’s powerpoint here, directly from the SLOLAFCO website. Paul’s presentation included a background of LAFCO, why communities choose to become cities, and process followed to become a city, including the petition process, administrative process, fiscal analysis and eventual election. It’s a very informative presentation and gives a very good overview of how a city, specifically, how Nipomo would go through the legal requirements to become a city. I encourage you to review the powerpoint.
Overall, the County Staff did an excellent job of presenting the information to the community. The community benefited, and it was truly an educational meeting. NICE plans to hold another community meeting next September. To become more involved please leave a comment with your email address, if we do not already have that information. Thanks to all who participated.