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Santa Maria Planning Commission approves Hi-Way Drive in Theater’s rezoning recommendation to city council

SANTA MARIA, Calif. – The Hi-Way Drive-In theater could be gone for good. 

The Santa Maria Planning Commission approved the recommendation for city council to approve the zone change and build affordable housing on the land. 

This comes after last month's postponed decision from the planning commission.

At Wednesday night’s meeting, non-profit organization People's Self Help Housing had a brief powerpoint, stating reasons why affordable housing is needed in Santa Maria.

Even the owners of the drive-in were at the meeting expressing that times have changed as the years have gone by, and are making no profit out of the drive-in theater.

Santa Maria residents also expressed they want to keep the drive-in, as it has been part of the community for years. 

People’s Self Help Housing hopes the zone changes, so 49 homes can be built on the 8.89 acre land.

The land is currently on sale for $3.3 million dollars, according to Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services' website.

The area is only allowed to have commercial use. 

But that could soon change, if city council approves the plan. 

“If it all proceeds according to plan, then we’ll come back to the planning commission with an actual detailed plan of what we purpose,” said CEO of the non-profit Ken Trigueiro.

“We have one screen that shows 2 shows a night, we look at the website for Edward’s,” said Co-Owner Jerret Gran. “They have obviously 14 screenings, 13 different movies, 44 shows.” 

At this time, nothing has changed, the planning commission simply said “yes'' to recommending the plan to city council.

But for now, the non-profit organization says it will hire more engineers and staff to work on a detailed plan of  the project.

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Karen Cruz-Orduña

Karen Cruz-Orduña is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Karen, click here.

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