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The Santa Maria Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve a planned development permit on Wednesday night, bringing builders a step closer to breaking ground on the residential portion of the highly-anticipated Enos Ranchos Development which is starting to take shape near Highway 101 and Betteravia Road.

The residential project, to be called Easton Plaza Apartments, will be in the northwest corner of the Enos Ranchos project and consist of 318 apartment units - the complex will be at the intersection of College Drive and Battles Road.

NKT Commercial began the work to create the Enos Ranchos project, which when completed will bring new retail, commercial and restaurant options, along with auto dealers and new living space on property that was once the Enos family farm.

NKT chose Santa Barbara-based and frequent Santa Maria-rental housing developer The Towbes Group to purchase, build and manage the living portion of the Enos Ranchos Project.

“We conceive it as a family project,” said Michael Towbes, founder of The Towbes Group. “Easton Plaza will be our fourth major apartment project in Santa Maria in the last two years.”

The complex will be a mix of studio, and one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, Towbes said.

Of the more than 300 units, 154 apartments will have two bedrooms, 68 will have three bedrooms, 84 will have one bedroom and 12 will be studio units.

The project received an endorsement from the city’s Planning Division staff on Wednesday evening.

“There are a lot of amenities on this site,” said Peter Gilli, planning division manager. “Overall staff thinks this project is very high quality.”

The planned amenities include multiple play areas for children of different ages, picnic areas, workout rooms, media rooms and a central clubhouse.

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The development will also be pet friendly and include a 3,000 square foot, fenced-in dog park and areas to bathe dogs.

Each unit will come equipped with a washer and dryer and each building will also have communal laundry facilities.

Also on Wednesday night, the Planning Commission approved an application by Boomers - a corporately owned recreation facility located in the northern part of Santa Maria - to sell beer and wine to customers.

Boomers provides various outdoor activities including batting cages, go-kart racing, and mini-golf. Boomers Santa Maria is part of a chain of amusement parks. Its corporate owner, Apex Parks Group, is currently applying to add beer and wine to its other locations in other jurisdictions.

Logan B. Anderson covers city government in Santa Maria for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter: @LoganBAnderson.


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