Friday, December 4, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 40

Santa Maria Sun / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on November 18th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 38 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 38

A tale of a town

By Seth Steiner, Los Alamos

A developer wants to build as many as 11 homes on a 1 1/2 acre lot in Los Alamos with access from a quiet road that is less accustomed to vehicular traffic than to walkers and joggers, dog walkers, children on bikes, and parents with infants in strollers.

The county Planning Department is in the process of granting the developer’s request for access from this road even while two other possibilities would be less problematic. If allowed, the community’s enjoyment of this section of road would be significantly influenced by a considerable increase in vehicular traffic, and this impact would be unmitigable. 

The Planning Department has not taken sufficient account of the one-lane bottleneck at the end of this road that, with greatly expanded vehicular traffic, is more likely to result in accident and injury. Further, [the transportation planning] supervisor woefully underestimated the increase in road traffic arising from an additional 11 homes and from the draw resulting from widening the road.

The Planning Department has zigged and zagged on its commitment to hearing concerns of the town’s residents in a forum that could make a decision that would have weight in the deliberations of the county’s planning commissioners. And, mystifyingly, the Planning Department sees no need for a traffic study that would require it to justify its contested estimates.

Many townsfolk have spoken up in favor of a change of access road to one of the other two possibilities, and there is concern about the planned density of the development. The first issue could be resolved if the developer was willing to compromise and request a design exception. We look forward to being able to speak up in a forum that would allow residents a say in the outcome of a project that could have major consequences for our wonderful little town.

Seth Steiner
Los Alamos

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