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Arroyo Grande looks to consultant to help with development on East Grand Avenue

By: Melissa Newman

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. – It’s one of the busiest stretches of road in Arroyo Grande, but the city is still having trouble developing it.

“There are a lot of small.. sort of underutilized lots and I think it’s going to take over time some better coordination for parking for example in order to better utilize those numerous small lots along the corridor,” explains Director of Community Development Teresa McClish.

The city just hired local consultants for the price tag of more than $200,000.

This is something they say is necessary to help them create their plans of how to best grow East Grand Avenue.

“What can we tell developers in terms of expectations for parking needs and what are we expecting in terms of the economy in the future – what is our best bet? [We will] assemble that into a good plan and let the council approve it and that will give certainty to developers coming in,” McClish says.

Ultimately McClish says the city would like to see new homes and commercial space built along the corridor that stretches less than three miles but not everyone is on board with this idea.

Long time A.G. business owners Bea and Gerald Reed say it’s hard running a business on some parts of East Grand Avenue.

That freeway just cuts it right in two so there are prospective customers on the other side of the freeway that never come over here cause they don’t need to – they have everything that they need on the other side of the freeway,” explains Gerald Reed, owner of Gerald’s Old Tyme Chocolates.

While they like the idea of more competition, they would like to see the city help businesses that are already here and fill more of the existing shopping centers.

“I think every center on Grand has vacancies and that’s the problem – whether it’s the rents or small business it’s difficult, you have to have money set aside to start a business,” says Bea Reed of Gerald’s Old Tyme Chocolates.

So what do you think of this idea? The city is hoping to hear feedback from the community – they invite people to come their city council meetings or just stopping by city hall.