Hot Springs Eternal

The location of the proposed Paraiso Springs project, in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains near Soledad.

A major new tourist destination could soon spring up near Soledad after the Monterey County Planning Commission voted unanimously on Oct. 30 to approve construction at Paraiso Springs Resort.  

According to the plans, 180 units, including a hotel and timeshares, and extensive event and shopping space will be built into the hillsides of the Santa Lucia Mountains, where a historic resort once stood.  

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The project was approved over the objections of some land-use activists, like those at LandWatch, who say that development in fire-prone areas should be halted. LandWatch’s director, Mike DeLapa, says that his group will not appeal the decision to the County Board of Supervisors, given the board’s “current make-up.”

Supporters of the project say it will be a significant economic benefit to a part of Monterey County that does not receive its fair share of tourism dollars. 

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Asaf Shalev is a staff writer at the Monterey County Weekly. He covers higher education, the military, the environment, public lands and the geographic areas of Seaside, Monterey, Sand City, Big Sur and Carmel Valley.

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