Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 28
SLO County finalizes improvements around Maria Vista Estates
BY MATT FOUNTAIN
The last of three phases of public improvement projects surrounding the beleaguered Maria Vista Estates in Nipomo will finally get underway following a contract awarded to a local company.
On Sept. 18, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors approved in their consent agenda an item awarding approximately $544,000 to the lowest bidder, Nipomo-based T. Simons Co., Inc.
The award will initiate the final phase in a public improvements project aimed at bringing the county land surrounding the long-stalled residential cluster subdivision up to snuff in terms of road repairs and Americans with Disabilities Act access requirements.
Work to be completed in the final phase includes the reconstruction of a failed portion of the main access road, Vista Del Rio; the installation of sidewalks, driveway aprons, and curb ramps; completion of electrical conduits; sewer improvements; and miscellaneous pavement repairs due to several structural failures alongside onsite roads.
Previous county work done near the track includes the reconstruction of Hutton Road, on- and off-site drainage improvements, and grading for basin slope repair.
The county took over the improvements after developers for the estates defaulted on an agreement to complete these projects as conditioned with approval of the tract. In April 2010, through a county performance bond claim settlement, proceeds became available to reimburse the county for expenses incurred.
Sitting on some 84 acres on a scenic hilltop in southern Nipomo, the 77-home, upscale, gated Maria Vista Estates development has been stalled since the first phase of construction was completed in 2006.
Since then, problems involving the two businessmen funding the residential project, litigation with the Nipomo Community Services District, a Chapter-11 bankruptcy filing, and the sub-prime mortgage crisis have left houses unfinished, weeds overgrown, and an attractive hilltop target for vandals, burglars, and vagrants.
Things got worse for the development in November 2008 when Security Pacific Bank failed and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation seized its assets—including Maria Vista Estates. A civil lawsuit followed.
When the Sun last spoke to an FDIC spokesman in February 2010, one of the businessmen remained the legitimate owner of the property. However, an FDIC spokesman was unable to confirm the status of the development as of press time.
The final phase of public improvements is expected to commence in late October or early November, according to Project Manager Glen Marshall, and should be completed by February 2013.
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