Neighbors react to the biggest development in years to come in Paso Robles

Crews are preparing the ground for a large new development in Paso Robles.

Tractors, and just about every heavy equipment you can imagine, are hard at work paving the way for the city’s biggest housing development since before 2008.

The project, called Vinedo, will bring nearly 1,300 new homes to the southeast end of Paso Robles.

“Over the next year there will be a lot of earthworks for the project,” said City Engineer David Athey.

Bulldozers, tractors and tankers are in full force to compact the soil to make way for streets, houses and public services.

Vinedo will be a sprawling 234-acre development encompassing the area along Fontana and Linnie roads.

Plans include single-family homes and townhouses. There will also be a public elementary school, community center, parks and trails.

This is the biggest development of the coming years in Paso Robles.

“We’ve had a string of single-family homes here and there, but this is the biggest plot we’ve had in quite a while,” Athey said.

Neighbors who live on the outskirts of town will soon be surrounded by development.

“My husband and I were really looking for some kind of place in the countryside. We looked for a really long time and it was exactly what we wanted – this place that was kind of our little Shangri-La,” said Joyce Brown, who lives at a community right next to the development.

People who live nearby are concerned about noise, the use of water to reduce dust, and ongoing changes to their neighborhood in the city.

“Mostly, it’s just kind of an emotional thing,” Brown said. “We want it to stay the same and it won’t. It will never be the same again.”

Others aren’t exactly thrilled with the build, but say it’s an inevitable part of progress.

“My wife and I moved here about 20 years ago and it’s a pretty nice community,” Willard Strong said. “We know that progress is being made and we are ready to follow it.”

As for what’s next, the city of Paso Robles will vote on creating two community amenities districts — one for police and fire and one for streets, parks and other infrastructure.

“It’s self-funded, so city taxpayers aren’t paying for these upgrades,” Athey said.

That decision will be made at the Paso Robles City Council meeting on Tuesday night.

Another project just south of the Vinedo development will eventually bring another 780 homes to the town.

The development currently underway will include at least 100 affordable housing units.