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Monday, December 8, 2008

SLO is poised to add to greenbelt: Most of Stenner Ranch parcel would be left undeveloped

8/26/2008 8/26/2008

The city of San Luis Obispo is expected to acquire a conservation easement on 838 acres of rural land northeast of Cal Poly that would restrict development to four houses and leave most of the land in ranching. The proposal calls for an $850,000 package to acquire the conservation easement on the Stenner Ranch, which would be another step in the city’s long effort to piece together a greenbelt officials hope will some day encircle the city.

“Our proposed greenbelt is about 36,000 acres,” said Neil Havlik, the city’s Natural Resources director. “After this, we would have 6,335 acres, or about a sixth of the proposed greenbelt owned or controlled by the city.” He said some other parts of the greenbelt are controlled by Cal Poly, Camp San Luis Obispo or the National Forest Service, and parts of that land are unlikely to be developed. The Stenner Ranch is far outside the city limits now, north and slightly east of the upper edges of Cal Poly, bounded on the west by Camp San Luis Obispo.

The Glick family owns the ranch, and the Glicks have been interested for many years in purchasing a 13.6-acre piece of city-owned land at the southern end of Stenner Ranch, Havlik said. The proposal calls for the city to sell the Glicks that land for $320,000, with the Glicks restricting development on about 13 acres of that property in exchange for the right to build a residence where a mobile home now stands.

In a related transaction, the Glicks own a one-half interest in a 180-acre portion of the Bowden Ranch Open Space, and the city owns the other half. Bowden Ranch is located on the hills above Lizzie Street south and east of San Luis Obispo High School, and it is being developed into trails and other public open-space uses. The city is planning to use $120,000 from the $320,000 sale of the city-owned property near Stenner Ranch to buy the Glicks out of Bowden Ranch. The city will then own that land and completely determine its future, Havlik said...

The city currently has a policy that, in order to maintain a rural flavor at its edges, new annexations to the city must provide 80 percent open space for every 20 percent that is developed.

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