On February 19, 2008, at the request of several property owners in the Price Canyon Planning Area, the City Council initiated a General Plan Update study for properties within the Price Canyon Planning Area, including lands currently within the adopted Sphere of Influence (SOI) Line and abutting properties within the city's "Extended Planning Area."

The City Council directed Community Development staff and their consultants to prepare an Initial Environmental Study and on June 3, 2008 the Initial Study was presented to the City Council. At that meeting the council determined that a comprehensive Constraint and Resource Analysis would be an appropriate first step in considering potential Land Use scenarios in a General Plan Update for the Price Canyon Planning Area.

Purpose of the Update
The purpose of the General Plan Update process is to determine appropriate land uses and densities for the respective Planning Area properties and to determine any appropriate change to the city's Sphere of Influence Line. The process may include proposed changes to Land Use Element and other General Plan policies that would direct and prescribe the nature of future development in the Planning Area, as well as new land use categories appropriate to the properties involved.

All costs associated with the Constraint Study, Fiscal Analysis, General Plan Update, Environmental Impact Report, Master Plan Preparation and subsequent application processing through the various public agencies are being financed by the property owners of the study area properties.

Study Area Properties & Their Physical Setting
The Price Canyon Planning Area properties consist of over 1,700 acres in 5 ownerships located north of the city limits along Price Canyon Road (refer to Figure 1.X, above). The topography and characteristics of the area include level floodplains, gentle slopes and steep hillside terrain composed of open grasslands, chaparral, oak woodlands and riparian vegetation. Pismo Creek extends across the valley floor meandering through the properties in a north-south direction.

Existing land uses on the study area properties are primarily undeveloped rural lands, historically used for grazing and other agriculture, and recently planted grape vineyards on the Spanish Springs North Ranch. Land uses abutting the study area properties in the county primarily include undeveloped rural lands, suburban and rural residential development and urban residential development within the city along the southern boundary of the study area.

Table I-1 shows the landowners and property sizes. Parcels 2,3 and 4 are identified by these parcel references in the Pismo Beach General Plan Land Use Element for Price Canyon Planning Area R. The 10 acre Price Canyon LLC property was added to the city's SOI in 2002 along with the Spanish Springs south ranch. Land Area by property owners is as follows:

Table I-1- Study Area Parcels
GP Parcel
Approx. Gross Acres
Common Name
Parcel 2
182 acres
PCI Property
Parcel 3
Lewy - Shetler
258 acres
Big Bird
Parcel 4
471 acres
Spanish Springs South Ranch
250 acres
Spanish Springs South Ranch
530 acres
Spanish Springs North Ranch
10 acres
Price Canyon LLC property

1,701 acres

Constraint Study Objectives
The Constraint Study is the first step in evaluating a General Plan Land Use Element Update for the Price Canyon Panning Area. The purposes of the Constraint Study are to:
  • Serve as an informational document to guide the development of land use scenarios for the Planning Area.
  • Identify the physical, capacity and quality of life related constraints of the Planning Area properties.
  • Anticipate the kinds and magnitudes of environmental and fiscal impacts associated with potential development of the Planning Area.
  • Identify feasible development and design standards that could avoid or reduce significant impacts to the environment.
  • Formulate General Plan and Planning Area policy objectives to implement the appropriate type and extent of development.
  • Provide a means for stakeholders and citizens to participate in the decision-making process from the beginning.
  • The Constraint Study is a prelude to a subsequent Environmental Impact Report for the General Plan Update. As such, this Study will use definitions and terminology common to the environmental review process prescribed under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
Planning Area Potential
As described in the City General Plan Land Use Element Planning Area R-Price Canyon, priority land uses include a golf course, expansion of the Price Historic Park, recreational uses, habitat and flood protection, Price Canyon open space corridor considerations, opportunities for a Pismo Creek Linear Park/Trail system and possibilities for a Price Canyon Regional Park. Consideration will also be given to hospitality and tourist serving uses and other uses as appropriate. To accomplish the General Plan goals, multiple properties within the Price Canyon Planning Area were envisioned to be evaluated as a group to create a cohesive and homogeneous mosaic of land uses and circulation systems. Based on the 1994 Land Use Element of the General Plan, principal Planning Area Objectives include:

Development should primarily focus on visitor-serving uses with residential use as a secondary component. The fiscal costs of development to the city should be fiscally neutral or positive. Development should maintain the scenic values of the Price Canyon transportation corridor. Development must demonstrate adequate long-term sources of water outside existing city supplies. Development should conserve natural resources and respect natural systems. The Planning Area should develop an inland circulation route ultimately connecting Oak Park Road to Price Canyon Road.

What's Going on Now?
The Price Canyon Master Plan Constraints Analysis and Technical Appendix is now available online.

Notice of Preparation of a Draft Master Environmental Impact Report
A Notice of Preparation (NOP) was sent out to agency's with statutory connections with the proposed project. The agencies are being asked for their views as to the scope and content of the environmental information.

The 45 day public review period for the Price Canyon Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) started on Monday, September 13, 2010 and will conclude on Thursday, October 28, 2010 at the close of business. Comments on the Draft EIR may be submitted to the City’s environmental consultant, FIRMA, at the following address:
Attn: David Foote, ASLA
187 Tank Farm Road
Suite 230
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Copies of the Draft EIR and Technical Appendices may also be reviewed at the Pismo Beach Community Development Department, 760 Mattie Road, Pismo Beach, CA 93449.

Comments received by the city will be reviewed and a response provided. Comments and responses will be included in the Final EIR, which will be considered by City Council in accordance with the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Stay In Touch
Updates to the Price Canyon Planning Area General Plan Update project progress will be periodically posted on the city's website and will include upcoming meeting dates and consultant team findings and summaries as soon as they can be assembled and produced for public review. Keep informed of the progress of this very significant project by checking this website and/or by contacting the Community Development Department staff or their Planning Consultants from the contact information below.

Joseph Boud
Joseph Boud & Associates
Design and Planning Services
1009 Morro St.
Suite 202
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Ph: 805-543-0565

David Foote
1034 Mill St.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Ph: 805-781-9800

Jon Biggs
Community Development Director
City of Pismo Beach
760 Mattie Road
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Ph: 805-773-4658