I’m part of the ‘missing middle.’ Here’s why I support Dana Reserve | Opinion

This story was originally published Oct. 22, 2023, as an opinion by Joe Pivovaroff


I am a local renter who lives on the Central Coast, and I hope to call this place home for years to come.

My friends are here, my family is here and I contribute actively as a security professional locally. As an honorably discharged veteran who wants to buy a home on the Central Coast, I’m writing today in response to the opposition I have seen to the Dana Reserve development.

To those in opposition, I would like to say: Respectfully, get out of our way.

The Dana Reserve, as designed, is somewhere I want to live. The project and its proposals have made me hopeful that I could one day own my own home. The majority of homes in this development would serve a demographic that is currently overlooked in the housing market — people like me. I am truly a part of what we call the “missing middle.” I make too much money to qualify for housing assistance, but not enough to afford the homes that are currently on the market.

This project puts its money where its mouth is and makes a place for people like me, and this is why I believe it’s the right project at the right time for Nipomo. Tell me of another project that offers so many benefits to new residents: down payment assistance, onsite childcare, a new Cuesta campus, parks and trails, places to eat and places to gather.

The project is also funding major water and circulation infrastructure that all of Nipomo will benefit from — even those in opposition. I don’t think we should be overlooking this fact. Nipomo needs these updates and this project will provide them.

This is a comprehensive and thoughtful development we should be excited about.I am not a developer, but I do know there are significant costs that go into the new infrastructure and the fees required for a project like this. If the more expensive, age-restricted neighborhoods help cover those costs in order for people like me to have access to the more affordable homes, then I look forward to living near those folks and having access to the same neighborhood amenities.

I am tired of hearing this project isn’t “a right fit” for Nipomo, as the nay-sayers like to put it. As someone who is proud to call the Central Coast home, I think it is the right fit, because I believe I, my generation, and the working class are the right fit for this county. Dana Reserve is a project that’s been thoughtfully worked on for years, located on a site planned as a development property since 1994. It gives solutions to our housing issues, works creatively to address our water needs and funds major infrastructure to alleviate traffic.

Most of all, it makes home ownership a possibility for many people who currently don’t have a way in. This project isn’t too good to be true — it’s just a really good project.

This is the place I want to call home, and I look forward to the opportunity to be a future resident of Dana Reserve.

Grover Beach resident Joe Pivovaroff served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1995 to 1999 and studied at the American Military University, focusing on information technology. He has a decade of experience in the wind energy industry and currently works in security.

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