A proposal to build 235 single-family homes and 229 accessory dwelling units sailed through the Santa Maria Planning Commission approval process, the final phase of a massive build-for-rent development.
On Wednesday night, planning commissioners approved by 4-0 votes several items related to a pair of projects under the Blosser Ranch development.
Commissioner Tom Lopez abstained from the vote and discussion, as he has done on other segments of the Blosser Ranch residential development, due to potential conflict of interest.
The applicant, Canfield Development, proposed one project with 58 for-rent single-family homes plus a community center on 10.5 acres, along with 175 for-rent units plus a community center on 27 acres.
Commissioner Yasameen Mohajer noted the developer’s efforts to include top-tier amenities such as community centers, a pizza oven, and more.
“I think this is going to be a great contribution to the city overall,” she added.
Chair Tim Seifert also noted the developers had listened to commissioners’ concerns raised during discussions about earlier phases.
“I think we’ve worked out a really nice area to live, and I’m excited to see it built,” Seifert said. “I do believe this is going to be a nice project.”
Expected to have 1,492 units, Blosser Ranch would fill a large portion of the land bordered by Blosser Road, Stowell Road, Depot Street and Battles Road. Residences would include single-family, multi-family and accessory dwelling units.
But Wednesday’s action focused on the final two single-family neighborhoods in the larger development.
For the smaller project, each house would have a one-story detached one-bedroom accessory dwelling unit with a craftsman architectural style
The larger project would see ADUs on 171 of the 175 homes, and would feature a modern farmhouse style.
Each of the single-family lots would include a two-car garage, and two spaces within the driveway.
Additionally, each with a detached ADU would also include two tandem parking spaces located within the side yard area of the lot.
A total of 30 guest parking spaces are planned for the smaller development and 69 guest parking spaces for the other.
The primary entrance and exit to each subdivision is proposed from Western Avenue. An exit only to La Brea Avenue is also provided for each development.
The developer asked for modifications from some normal development standards, including reduced landscaping to have increased front yard paving to accommodate a driveway with tandem parking for ADUs.
Marian Regional Medical Center and A.T. Still University representatives were among those speaking out about the need for housing for their employees and students.
“I’m here to express my enthusiastic support for this proposal here tonight,” said Ted Wendel, senior vice president of A.T. Still University. “
Each year, ATSU brings 90 students to the medical training program in Santa Maria, and intends to grow, but struggles to find housing for faculty, staff and students.
“In conclusion, I just want to really tell you this is an important development, and is very attractive to the development of our university here in this community,” Wendel said.
Commissioners have approved other single-family and apartment projects as part of this development, including two complexes with more than 500 apartments last month.
“We think this is a project that is extremely beneficial to the community and will bring good quality housing to the community at all the different various income levels,” said Tzemach Yemini from Canfield Development.
In addition to housing, land has been set aside for city sports fields, a new school, a new fire station, a stormwater retention basin and retail development.
The Blosser Ranch development is expected to be completed in 2030 at the earliest, according to Canfield’s website.