A highly anticipated commercial project that crews are currently working on will not only bring new shopping, dining and living options to the region, it will work to preserve history and provide a place where people can come together and learn.
The Enos Ranchos development is growing on land once worked by the Enos family in the area of Betteravia Road and Highway 101.
To build a development that will include a new Lowe’s home improvement store, Costco, car dealers and a more than 300-unit apartment complex, a portion of the property had to be set aside to be used as a public park.
Recently, the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department released plans for such a park, which will include preserving the Enos family home, planting an orchard and building a barn.
“The park design is complete and hopefully the project to place the house will begin in a few weeks,” said Alex Posada, Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department director.
City officials hope the Enos Ranch House and Gardens will be a place for weddings, gatherings and educational opportunities.
The old ranch house, which was saved and moved from one corner of the property to another, will be restored and stand proudly again along the newly redesigned Bradley Street.
Small gardens for visitors to stroll through will flank the house. The park will extend to a large open area at the rear of the house with a large oval-shaped great lawn with shaded promenade.
The park will have a parking lot along its northern boundary, with access from Bradley Street and yet-to-be-built Shepard Drive.
Park builders will construct a barn in the northwest corner of the open area to be used as an outdoor classroom or a place of festivals and other gatherings.
An orchard and vegetable garden will also be planted on the site.
“The park itself is funded mostly by fees paid by the residential component of the Enos Ranchos project, which is in the plan review stage now," Posada said. "So construction on the park itself will not begin until the residential component is completed, early 2018.”
The residential component, the Easton Plaza Apartments, recently received planned development plan approval from the city’s planning commission.
The complex, being built by the Towbes Group, will consist of more than 300 rental units. When completed, the Towbes Group, owned by Michael Towbes, will pay more than $700,000 in park impact fees that will go to pay for the development of the Enos Ranch House and Gardens Park.
Like a lot of other projects in the city, the Enos Ranchos development will also have to set aside space for a flood control water retention basin.
Many similar areas in the city are used by soccer and other athletic teams as practice and green space. Though the space will be there, it will not be a part of the city’s park plans.