Enough already! Dalidio entertaining offer

August 4, 2008


Ernie Dalidio is abandoning a contentious, 16-year effort to develop his property along Highway 101 south of San Luis Obispo, and is negotiating an extended option agreement with a group of local investors.

Dalidio declined comment Monday afternoon, but sources told UncoveredSLO.com, “Dalidio has had enough and just wants to get on with his life.”

A local company, Promenade-Two, has made an unspecified offer to Dalidio, according to reliable sources.

C.M. Florence of Oasis Planning is representing three longtime local prospective partners, identified as John Wilson, Rudy Bachman and Tom Morrell. The trio owns Promenade Shopping Center, adjacent to the Dalidio parcel.

If successful with the purchase, the men have indicated they want to proceed with development of a smaller project than that previously planned by Dalidio, one located within the city limits of San Luis Obispo. Dalidio wanted to develop a 131-acre project incorporating residential, recreational, restaurants, retail, and a hotel.

Opponents have railed against Dalidio’s development plans for nearly 16 years. The project’s eventual jurisdiction has ping-ponged between the county and the city of San Luis Obispo.

Last March, Judge Roger Picquet overturned a 2006 San Luis Obispo County ballot initiative approved by voters by a 65-35 percent margin. The measure would have allowed Dalidio to incorporate business, retail, and residential on his land adjacent to Highway 101 and Madonna Road. Dalidio’s attorney, Michael Morris, has appealed Picquet’s decision.

Regardless of the outcome of the appeal, the trio plans to annex the property into the city. However, the group is leaving all options on the table.

“Our goal is to work with the city and annex the property,” Florence said.

The Downtown Association, one of Dalidio’s fiercest critics, was named along with Responsible County Development LLC in a civil suit alleging conspiracy and unlawful business practices by opponents of the Dalidio project. Negotiation plans will not impact the lawsuit which currently wends its way through the federal court system alleging five RICO counts.

Oasis’ Florence confirmed the ongoing negotiations, adding, “There is so much history, and water under the bridge. We plan to start from today and move forward.” Florence said the Centervest group’s principals are “long time community investors. They own the Promenade, and this made sense to them.”

She said the potential new developers are not yet certain about an eventual project’s size and scope.

“We are taking our cues from the San Luis Obispo city General Plan. It won’t be just 10 acres, [but we are] not sure of the size yet. We’ve only scratched the surface.”

If negotiations proceed as planned, the current option holders, Los Angeles resident Bill Bird and Texas native Scott Dabney, plan to hand the reins to the Promenade-Two trio. They will determine size, shape, and scope of the eventual project.

“We are bringing in a partner,” Dabney said. “We are still involved. We are bringing someone in to control it and get it done.”

Tags:, Dalidio, ernie dalidio, San Luis Obispo, scott dabney

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Member Opinions:

By: Anonymous on 8/28/08

You make my point so clearly. Who wants to eb downtown with a bunch pf drunks.

Downtown belongs to Cal Poly kids and that can'r be reversed. No parking, high priced chain stores, and way to many bars. We have lost our precious downtown. I'm sad

By: Anonymous on 8/27/08

SLO Resident evidently does not live near or in downtown, where the locals party nightly. He's probably in Santa Maria with his sales tax dollars with other self-absorbed shoppers looking for the cheap plastic accessories that will complement his polyester wardrobe. I have found not one indication in all the comments made by others that they had any idea what the law was that led to the judge's decision. Instead there are just a bunch of whiners complaining that there are not enough retail outlets pushing the same crap, and pathetic innuendo to the affect that reluctance to join in the Gadarene rush of consumer-driven paving over of the entire county, is some sort of left-wing, liberal plot. Losers, losers, losers, unable to read and with only high school diplomas, at least the more advanced of them.

By: Anonymous on 8/25/08

Downtown SLO is dead and has been for years. It's just a place for the Poly Dollys to spend their Daddy's bucks. Locals don't go there.

It is and will always be a place to visit like a museum and then run off to Monterey or satna Barbara, or Hurst castle.

What a shame.

By: Anonymous on 8/24/08

Quite frankly, we don't care what happens to the city, county, state, country, or world in which we live, as long as our precious downtown remains unsullied. GAP, Abercrombie&, Bannana Republic, etc. should not have to compete with stores that normal people shop in, like Old Navy. After all, we wouldn't want visitors to our fair city thinking we have become a bunch of plebians, now, would we?

The great unwashed can take their sales tax money to Santa Maria, and spend it there, for all we care. We'll just sit here in our ivory tower and talk smugly about our "quality of life".

Ernie Dalidio should have known better than to oppose us. Let this be a warning to anyone foolish enough to try in the future.

By: Anonymous on 8/24/08

We will never come to SLO…Way too many eco-marxists that want to spend thir days saving the crickets and frogs. A Remmington 7mm mag hunting rifle doesn't accessorize well with tie die and Birkenstock sandles.

Best of luck with killing your local economy and raising elctric prices by suing PGE, and putting in marijuana shops.

pssssst? Hint…the 60's are over!

By: Anonymous on 8/23/08

Nah. What we need is another "medical" grass shack, since the one in MB got shut down.

By: Anonymous on 8/23/08

Bass Pro, then? Please…?

By: Anonymous on 8/23/08

SLO? Cabela's? When Cabela's builds a store they draw customers from 3-4 states surrounding that store.

Their newest store in Arizona has more visitors a year than Heast Castle.

Sorry…we are not getting a Cabela's.

By: Anonymous on 8/22/08

Can we maybe, just once, get a store that appeals to a demographic other than soccer moms and their spoiled children?

By: Anonymous on 8/19/08

The new developer is Bill Bird. Last time Bill Bird was in the picture we almost got ourselves a Macy's. If Bill Bird gets the right retail shops and they follow the general plan, then I'll be for the whole project. Macy's, Lowe's, Pier 1 Imports, Jo-Ann Fabrics, and Rite-Aid seem like popular tenets for Dalidio's location…

By: Anonymous on 8/16/08

I am a lover not a fighter…but if it's a fight you want, fight your inner demons that hold you back from your true potential.

IamJohnGalt…So be it.

By: Anonymous on 8/15/08

John Galt, I will fight you to the ends of the earth, and beyond!

By: Anonymous on 8/15/08

The project will go through and all will be well in SLOTown.

I have spoken…It is so.

By: Anonymous on 8/13/08

Hey I hope Ernie does win! I need a new retail shop and that would be a perfect site.

By: Anonymous on 8/11/08

Howard Roark lives!

By: Anonymous on 8/11/08

Who is "who is 'whoisjohngalt'"?

By: Anonymous on 8/11/08

The names of Ayn Rand's cartoon-character heroes are adopted readily by the same loser elitists who, wishing to blame others for their ongoing failures, are, ironically, the same people Rand despised as collectivists. There is not a single person in the history of science who comes close to her confabulation of individualist scientist. Rand was a Russian immigrant who hated communism. Ironically the only person who came close to what she prattled about the individualist scientist, was J. Robert Oppenheimer, whose career was ruined by anti-communists in the House Unamerican Activity Committee, and who, contra Rand's view of greatness, cared a lot about the little guy.

However we seen Rand-type super heroes in the world of business regularly, often doing the perp walk for white collar crimes. Ivan Boesky was the most famous one. But Alan Greenspan also fits her mold. Greenspan's Chicago School economics were behind the neo-liberalism that turned the US from an industrial power to a consumer and service nation with the off-shoring of American jobs. Greenspan's Randian world view also helped along NAFTA and the other alleged free-market treaties that have widened the gap between rich and poor, eliminated most of the middle class, and spread poverty world wide. He's my hero, ooh, he's such an individual.

Yes, Rand is popular to resentful, elitist failures who know nothing of history, yet who spew dogma about the individual as if it were as convincing to others as it is to them, in their cartoonish ignorance of the fact that Rand also had contempt for them too. Ayn also advocated her 'desert island ethics' in which she advocated that one should make one's decisions, moral and otherwise, as if one were the only person in the world. She was really drifty that way. If Gary Cooper had not lent his celebrity to her incongruity by playing the main character in her book The Fountainhead, she would have been forgotten. The Fountainhead was about an architect who though he had the right to destroy the building he designed because others had changed it. Today he would be called a terrorist, or put in a state mental hospital.

By: Anonymous on 8/11/08

Congalton still has a blog? I heard it got recalled for non-performance…Am I wrong?

By: Anonymous on 8/11/08

A fictional character. He also spews his crap on Congalton's blog but nobody responds to him so he comes here.

This guy gives a new meaning to the word narcissist.

Just turn the page and he will disappear.

By: Anonymous on 8/11/08

"…Randian porcine bleats…"? whoisjohngalt has it wrong. Gregorio Kelly isn't Jim Taggart, he's Balph Eubank. Nobody ever cared about what he wrote, either.

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

I have yet to see any evidence from the property rights people whose Randian porcine bleats about Ernie Dalidio's misfortunes are truly pathetic, that they have any idea of the law involved in the court's decision. This is not surprising. The world they advocate is one driven by the whims of the landed oligarchy in which shadow and innuendo take the place of substance and regulation, in which money and the obsessions of the elite take precedence over social order. I recommend you examine the film "There will be blood" to see the pathetic excuse for humanity that these types hold up as the driving spring of industry. Science and industry have changed since the late 1800s, something Ayn Rand never caught on to with her stereotypical superheroes that were not just improbable, but were comic book in their humanity.

Why don't you kids get back to this thread when you've read the law? Otherwise you're just blowing smoke.

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

Gregorio Kelly,are you an idiot or what?

By: Anonymous on 8/10/08

Are you sure your name's really "Gregorio Kelley"?

I could've sworn it was Jim Taggart.

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

65% of the country residents voted in favor of the Dalidio project. So what? Picquet's ruling was not made on a whim. The voting was illegal and not able to decide the issue because it was an administrative matter, and not, therefore, one to be decided by the voter. Read the decision of the judge, folks. Are people in SLO able to vote in favor of sewers for Los Osos? No way. The same holds for the Dalidio excess. Ernie's plan violated all sorts of limitations including building in the path of the main instrument approach to the airport, where a plane crashed back in the 1990s on approach. And you think the voters have the right to overrule the FAA? The country board of supervisors where even advised by county legal council that if challenged, the vote would be tossed out, yet they went ahead anyway because of the pig-headed, money-grubbing cronyism that characterizes people like John Galt, a pseudonym from Ayn Rand, sociopathic novelist and methamphetamine use who apotheosized The Virtue of Selfishness. Get a life, John Galt, you miserable Randian piece of…

By: Anonymous on 8/9/08

Congratulations Dan and Karen on the new advertisers you're picking up.

But I miss that cigar in a bottle!

By: Anonymous on 8/8/08

Ernie and SLO county will win…the eco-marxists will lose.

Thats the way it always is…

By: Anonymous on 8/8/08

To John Galt:

You should help instead of criticizing. Drop Dan or Karen a quiet e-mail with some info on this. I have. And when you contact them, you should add to your list the name of Suzanne Fryer.

By: Anonymous on 8/7/08

Gee, the Tribune says that Target will probably come to Los Osos valley Rd.

Lets be real is their any doubt who has put up the money against Dalidio.

If Ernie had partnered with the Madona's and or The Copeland's years ago there would be a finished project there now.

What do you want to bet the Madona's will not have to fix the Los Osos Valley rd overpass, I mean how much trafic does the Target center, the Home Depot center and the Costco center bring.

I guess they may have to provide another part of the bike path to offset the traffic. Bicycle traffic can be heavy on Los Osos Valley rd.

By: Anonymous on 8/6/08

I find the comments interesting and the praise of Dan & Karen laughable. If they were the great investigaors as they are said to be they would have found the link between Piquet, copeland, Pearce and the Downtown Association. Anybody who has been in this county long enough knows about the link.

By: Anonymous on 8/6/08

Word for today kids:


By: Anonymous on 8/6/08

they have now!

By: Anonymous on 8/6/08

Has someone pointed out to Dan and Karen that Ernie's last name is misspelled in the headline? Dalido???

By: Anonymous on 8/6/08

Lets build the Los Osos sewer plant at Ernie's place and pipe the poop in.

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

In another property rights case, in 2006, Picquet ruled a homeowner had to restrict the size of his home tp provide boaters an unencumbered view.

The homeowner appealed.

The state appeals court ruled unanimously for the property owner striking down Picquet's ruling.

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

Okay, so let's not forget that the problem from the start is not that the D. ranch can't be developed….it's that the development as proposed exceeds what is provided for in the general plan….I can't build a twenty unit apartment complex with no set backs on San Luis Drive….and Ernie's optionee's couldn't get approval of what they wanted to do either…. The judge only said that putting such an issue on the ballot doesn't change things. It's not a matter of politics, it's a matter of good planning….(and good judgment) if you don't think good planning is important, then you've got to just love "downtown" Atascadero. What a well planned community don't you think?

So, maybe bringing someone local into the mix (versus southern California developers, Mr. D) might not be such a bad idea. But then again…I fondly remember that wonderful in-door mall that we used to all enjoy….who was it again that developed that Taj Mahal???? A little bird told me, but I forgot.

It's not a matter of a judge's political bent, it's a matter of property rights, but we don't as a society allow those rights to be exercised without concern for adjoining properties and the community. Maybe that's a shining reflection on civilization. Or, maybe you think that you should be able to park your double wide where ever you want….If Ernie wanted to open up a Kettleman City toxic waste dump at the ranch, would everyone be demanding that he be allowed to exercise his unequivocal ownership rights?

I think not. So stand back and recognize we have a system. It's not perfect, but it's certainly better than nothing.

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

Picquet has a history of loosing the appeal process.

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

I have no reason to believe Picquet is corrupt.

I believe he is misguided. And, as noted previously, I believe (and hope) his poor judgement will be overturned on appeal. Which is a cumbersome and tedious ass-whipping for him, but it is the price we all must pay to further the protection of democracy

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

Why are you thinking about my bowels?

You must be very lonley.

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

Vote Republican says:


We are a reprensentative government…not a Marxist state!

How can there be a Representative (spelled correctly) government if there are only conservatives??? You sir/madam need an enema.

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

Sure it is easy to pick on the bench, a roll of paper to wipe after the pen stroke. The real issue is why do we let money decide who has permission to develope land. Maybe the city can grow vertical and expand the sewer farm to Dalido. Now we are talking taxes. Taxes = Yes

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08


We are a reprensentative government…not a Marxist state!

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

The criticism of Judge Picquet's opinion and the concomitant claims of a "payoff" to the Judge are growing old. How many who have criticized the opinion have actually read it? Of those who've bothered to read it, how many actually understood it? Judge Picquet wrote a well-reasoned decision that was correct and compelled by state law. Judge Picquet's opinion addresses airport safety issues that benefit all SLO residents and visitors. This county is lucky to have a judge of the caliber of Roger Picquet. Anyone who accuses Judge Picquet of corruption based on nothing but wild speculation should be ashamed.

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

no comments on account this story is so old it's growing mold…..that and it is not about the north county

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

Few comments? Possibly due to lack of interest in another 'development' and who it benefits. Drive over LOVR lately?

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

I find it interesting that a major story like this has so few comments. Why is that?

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

If the Madonnas can put in their Costco-Home Depot big box development on Los Osos Valley Road, why can't Ernie do his thing?

I get the impression some times that the Madonnas can do what they want, and their lap dogs in the city and county will just play along. It's a shame that the rest of us have to play by the rules and jump through the hoops….

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

Remember that 65% of the county residents are behind you.

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

What a joke. A 65-35 percent margin in favor and Ernie STILL gets the shaft. Who does this Picquet clown think he is? God? So much for the will of the people and the rights of property owners. I think what was "uncovered" on this story is what snaky, double dealing and predisposed “public service” officials we have in this county. I say let the pig s#@t fly!

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

Congalton too a cheap snipe at USLO on his failing blog this morning. Here is what he said:

"If you want to post silly drivel and personal attacks, I invite you to go on over to Uncoveredslo.com where they'll basically let anyone post anything."

Congalton's blog and show have been suffering for months now since he took his far left tack a year ago.

Now he is jealous of the huge success of this site, and decided to attack the site and it bloggers.

We will not stand for this kind of attack. Help protect USLO from mudslingers that have suffered at the hands of USLO's huge succeess.

At least Dan & Karen appreciate their bloggers.

We gor your back ULSO.

Rock on!

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

Who is investigating C. Mulholland? That is a tash yhat needs doing. Is the FBI on this?

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

The Copelands did not need to pay off judge Piquet for a favorable ruling. Piquet does not believe in property rights. The judicial system is slow, but I have every reason to believe that his cockamamie decision will be overruled.

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

SLO County is one of the most corrupt counties in California. Get em Ernie.

By: Anonymous on 8/5/08

I really feel for Ernie. Talk about a raw deal. I think Copeland and his cronnies paid off the judge. What ever happend to the will of the people?

By: Anonymous on 8/4/08

I believe Ernie has received interest / inquiries on his property fairly recently from at least one other developer – a top ten national retail REIT.

A sale would not be particularly surprising.

By: Anonymous on 8/4/08

Wow, finally something that makes sense…..? No way!

By: Anonymous on 8/4/08

I've always been on Ernie's side because of the way that SLO has left him as an ISLAND OF AG LAND within a sea of commercial, residential, etc.

To everyone who wants it to remain Prime AG Land forever, rally the entire state of California, ALL environmental groups and locals, and make him an offer.

By: Anonymous on 8/4/08

I hope the new developers put in a super mall, and a pig farm.

By: Anonymous on 8/4/08

Whoisjohngalt mentioned something in passing (the threat of a pig farm) that brings back a memory from long ago. This is a story about the Klowin Pig Farm in Cumberland R.I. There was a lovely tree lined road that everyone drove to reach the local shopping plaza. Each time my parents approached the Klowin property I would hold my nose, it smelled terrible for a mile in both directions. One day my parents told me that 5 years earlier Mrs. Klowin had wanted to build an ice cream parlor but the town refused to grant her a permit because her land was zoned for agriculture and farming. The neighbors all complained that motor cycles would go to the ice cream parlor and they didn’t want any hangouts in the neighborhood. Mrs. Klowin told them to make a choice, an ice cream parlor or a pig farm. She meant it, she did it and they all lived miserably ever after . Well at least for the next 11 years until she died and they immediately rezoned her property to retail.

By: Anonymous on 8/4/08

Here is what amazes me. UncoSLO has two reporters. Two. The Tribune must have 20.

But which source has been breaking all the big local stories of 2008?

Why do we need the Tribune if they can't beat out two local up and comers?

By: Anonymous on 8/4/08

Gearhart required NO special exceptions from the city General Plan and NO taxpayer subsidy. Dalidio wanted 3 exceptions and a subsidy that was worth around $20M. If Dalidio had simply played by the rules and paid his own costs we'd be shopping in Target today.

By: Anonymous on 8/4/08

So much for property rights. All Ernie Dalidio wanted to do was develop his own property. In the process, he would have created jobs, increased tax revenues, and created alternative shopping for "just plain folks".

What's fascinating is that our old friend Kelly Gearhart appears in this story as well; he donated money to the group that fought the Dalidio project the first time (I think it was Save San Luis). At the same time he made the donation, he was also planning to build a car lot on land directly adjoining Dalidio's property. Here's where it really gets interesting: Save San Luis LEFT GEARHART ALONE, although the property he wanted to develop was IN EXACTLY THE SAME AREA as Dalidio's. Apparently the payoff worked.

I'm sick of the sleazy deals that these people are pulling.

I also hope Dalidio wins his suit against the elitist sophisticates in the Downtown Association. They seem to feel that nothing in SLO matters except their precious downtown. As far as the Responsible County Development LLC is concerned, I hope they lose as well. The last I heard, they still hadn't revealed who their donors were. If they thought they were doing such a great thing by denying the Dalidio family the right to develop their property, wouldn't they want their names to be made public?

If Ernie would have just threatened to put in a pig farm, or changed his last name to Madonna, he probably could have gotten his project through. It's a shame that things have come to such a pass in this county.

By: Anonymous on 8/4/08

How about Erine has new local parteners. He isn't giving anything up – he still trying to develop his property with new players. Now it becomes local political game.

By: Anonymous on 8/4/08

Thanks for putting this story up so fast. The heat on the last story needs to cool down.

By: Anonymous on 8/4/08

Finally, something south of the grade!