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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on August 20th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 24 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 24

Buellton Planning Commission approves Meritage project

BY AMY ASMAN

Senior citizens could be getting more real estate options in the Santa Ynez Valley in the years to come.

On Aug. 15, the Buellton Planning Commission unanimously approved issuing a conditional use permit and certified the environmental impact report for the Meritage senior living project. It now goes before the Buellton City Council for approval.

The project, proposed for an 18.2-acre lot on Jonanta Park Road, would include a skilled nursing facility, a memory care unit, and independent and assisted living units. According to a staff report from the Buellton Planning Department, Meritage would be staffed 24/7, and it would also include a dining hall, commercial kitchen, pool, health center, and parking spaces.

Portions of the site at the northern end of the city are currently used for grazing and farming. There’s some concern from the county regarding organic farming that would occur close to the property if the project were completed. As a result, the EIR requires a 200-foot agricultural buffer.

Another concern is traffic: While a traffic study concluded that the project wouldn’t create significant congestion, some improvements would need to be made to the street, including travel lanes, curbs, sidewalks, and a fire lane. The project would pay traffic impact fees to the city to help fund construction.

According to assistant planner Angela Perez, the project is expected to create new jobs in the local skilled nursing and medical fields.

The City Council is tentatively scheduled to review the project on Oct. 10.