The Santa Maria Planning Commission voted Wednesday to approve a tract map for the new Enos Ranchos development, which will restructure some streets and create others.

The tract map is for 113.4 acres within the Enos Ranchos Specific Plan at the northwest corner of what is currently Betteravia and Bradley roads. It soon will be the home of retail space for Costco, Lowe's Home Improvement and auto dealers but also apartments, a park and possibly a school.

"We've been working with [city] staff for about 10 months now on the design of this project," said Laurie Tamura of Urban Planning Concepts on behalf of the developers. "This is one of the implementing tools to take the property down to sizes that ultimately become the base maps for each one of the different lots and development plans. We're really excited about moving forward with this action."

Several aspects of the project already have been approved by both the City Council and the Planning Commission, and the tract map is the next step.

"This map is just the next layer to the project and it's taking that area from three parcels and breaking it down into 20 lots," said city planner Neda Zayer.

Not only does the new tract map separate the land into lots, but it also creates a new street network.

The network includes the realignment of Bradley Road with the existing T-intersection of Betteravia Road, the widening of College Drive, the extension of Shepard Drive into the project area, and a new east-west route, Meehan Street, between Bradley Road and College Drive. Meehan Street is named after a Santa Maria veteran.

Also included in the tract map are conditions that guide public improvement plans for the area to be developed. Public improvement plans include design and location of utilities as well as the street frontage improvements required to be made by developers.

For this specific project, that means a 10-foot parkway and a separated sidewalk along every street in the project. It also means canopy trees are required to be planted in almost every parkway, except along the west side of the new Bradley Road, where auto dealerships will set up shop. That special directive was approved by the City Council. 

Developers say they plan to start construction this summer and that the first step will be realigning Bradley Road. The old Bradley Road will be closed down between Betteravia and Battles roads, and traffic will be rerouted to College Drive.

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After that, during the winter, Bradley will be reopened and College Drive will be shut down to be widened between Betteravia and Battles roads. Traffic then will be routed to the new Bradley Road.

Shepard Drive also will be extended, and the new Meehan Drive will be constructed at the same time.

Planned development permits, which address the specifics of the lots when it comes to things like construction and what businesses will go where, are scheduled for the Planning Commission meeting March 30. The issue of permits was continued at Wednesday's meeting due to workload constraints.

"This is the legal document to sell off the different parcels to different entities, and we're moving forward on that," Tamura said.

Four commissioners approved the map, and Maribel Aguilera-Hernandez did not vote due to a conflict of interest.

Abby Hamblin covers city government in Santa Maria and Guadalupe for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow her on Twitter: @AbbyHamblin.

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