The recent Sun article, “Sticking point” (Nov. 9), highlighted concerns from residents and the California Native Plant Society regarding the proposed Dana Reserve Project in Nipomo. The project aims to remove 3,000 mature oak trees, impacting the Burton Mesa chaparral habitat. The developers’ stated focus is on carbon reduction and oxygen replenishment, with plans to plant 1,500 new oak trees. However, there are still 16 class 1 environmental impacts, some lacking effective mitigation measures. Notably, the greenhouse gas impacts of tree removals are overlooked.
Situated downwind from the PM10 fugitive dust air quality problem of the Oceano Dunes, the choice of this site raises questions. Why not opt for the open, flat grazing/agricultural land to the east of S. Thompson, free from oak trees and traffic issues? We must look at the best fit for a project in a region, and all its impacts.
Despite the illusion of the Dana Reserve as an affordable housing project, its irreversible environmental impacts prompt a call for the SLO County Board of Supervisors to address inconsistencies, deny the project, and propose an alternative site with similar benefits but fewer environmental drawbacks.