Supervisors extend Paso water basin ordinance
October 9, 2013
With the addition of newly sworn in Supervisor Caren Ray Tuesday, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors extended its urgency ordinance that restricts water use in the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin.
The board voted 4-0, with Supervisor Debbie Arnold abstaining, to extend the ordinance two years. The ordinance prohibits new development in the Paso Robles basin that uses more water than it saves.
Ray, whom Governor Jerry Brown appointed last week to fill the vacant fourth district seat, cast the deciding vote in her first day on the job. The board needed 80 percent approval to extend the ordinance.
A week ago, the board did not extend the ordinance, which was set to expire, because Arnold did not support the extension and the fourth district seat remained vacant.
Arnold said she abstained Tuesday because the ordinance did not clearly address whether or not farmers who committed to planting additional crops prior to the adoption of the ordinance may no longer do so. The issues, known as vested rights, will return to the board on November 26 for clarification.
The urgency ordinance will remain in place until August 2015.