PRICE CANYON – It's a favorite spot for locals to take their dog off-leash.
"Oh it's beautiful, it's beautiful!", says local resident Stuart Miller.
The rolling, oak-studded hills are used mostly for cattle ranching and are nestled into picturesque Price Canyon.
"It's a piece of paradise", adds local resident Anna Ostravani.
For years the City of Pismo Beach has also had its eye on the land.
"They've been looking at the area primarily for visitor service expansion, recreation, creek trails, a golf course", says Spanish Springs project consultant David Watson, "and some residential development to help pay for all that."
The Spanish Springs development includes more than 750 homes spread over 960 acres, two- thirds of which would remain open space.
"A combination of single family, multi-family and some senior housing", Watson says, "we have a 150 room hotel that we're proposing, as well as about 8 or 9 miles of trails and a nine hole golf course."
Several environmental impacts have been identified with the Spanish Springs project including air quality, traffic, noise and perhaps the biggest of all, water.
The project includes a plan to reclaim and reuse wastewater.
"It will allow landscape irrigation which is about two thirds of the demand of the project", Watson says, "almost 200 acre-feet a year can be met through that resource."
Watson says the 100-acre feet of potable water needed every year for drinking and eating would have to come from the city's existing water system.
Another major mitigating factor, traffic, includes building a road link between Oak Park Blvd with Price Canyon Road.
"About half of that goes across the properties that I'm involved with at Spanish Springs, Watson says, "another half of that goes through properties that are still in the county that have yet to be annexed and developed."
The fate of Spanish Springs will ultimately rest with the Pismo Beach City Council.
"I really think this area doesn't need it", Ostravani says.
"I guess its their legal right to build", Stuart says, "but its just really sad because its going to take away one of the few, last open spaces that we have access to on the Central Coast."
The Pismo Beach Planning Commission is hosting a public hearing on the Spanish Springs Environmental Impact Report on August 28 at Pismo Beach City Hall.
To read more about the Spanish Springs project visit the project web site at http://spanishspringspismo.com/index.html.