Possible deal between county and De Vaul?

January 15, 2010

Steps were taken behind closed doors on Thursday in an attempt to resolve the long-simmering standoff between controversial rancher Dan De Vaul and San Luis Obispo County.

De Vaul and his advisers met for several hours with county officials. Sunny Acres spokesperson Becky Jorgeson confirms that the meeting took place and expects to issue a formal statement later today.

In a brief phone interview Thursday night, De Vaul declined to go into details, but described the county’s attitude towards him in the meeting as, “a complete turnaround.”

Unconfirmed reports hint that De Vaul will be allowed to build a new kitchen and multiple bedrooms for his Sunny Acres clean and sober living facility on Los Osos Valley Road.

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This is great news. The harassment of De Vaul has been such a contrast to the way the County has been coddling a so-called homeless facility near Morro Bay – a place with far worse violations of County codes. Fair and equal treatment for everyone is what is needed. Thank goodness newspapers and TV stations all over the country picked up on this story, and brought pressure on the County to finally do what is right with regard to Sunny Acres.

Funny, Cindy, I heard quite the opposite from folks back east who read the Times.

Living on the east coast, one is subject to far more restrictions on property use than we have here in California. What Dan De Vaul was able to get away with would never happen… say in New York, for example.

I am sure you read the same NY Times article I did and they seemed a bit short on sympathy for Mr. De Vaul and included a video of his ‘facilities.’ All those I talked to who watched it were amazed at the county’s tolerance.

One needs to remember that Dan De Vaul is a very wealthy man and if it was his real intention to build a first rate facility, he no doubt probably has the resources to do so — I am sure — with his petty cash. I think his resentment with the county goes back to his youth, where he –allegedly — spent time in a local reform school entitled “Sunny Acres”. Sound Familiar? Dan DeVaul is a loose canon.

In walking around downtown San Luis Obispo and environs, San Luis Obispo County’s largest import in 2009 appeared to be homeless people. Allowing Dan De Vaul to skate the rule of law will only encourage him to be increasingly antisocial. Where is the environmental impact report on this proposed new project? If the county wants to control ‘events’ like weddings on private property, they need to get their house in order by seeing that ‘special folks’ like Dan DeVaul play by the same rules.

San Luis Obispo looks so silly when the nation see us and not for reasons you think, Cindy. Makes me almost want to pull the straw out of Dan’s ears.

Roger Freberg

I wish Dan DeVaul well on his efforts. It continues to shock and to sadden me when I see opposition to his efforts. Too many folks on the Central Coast have their nose in the sky and ignor human misery and other afflications. To them, I say “shame”.

It may have just been a spelling error, Roger, but the phrase is ‘a loose cannon’, not a ‘loose canon.’ A loose cannon was a cannon not properly lashed on the gundeck that would roll with the ship’s bouncing and stove in the sides of the ship while crushing those who tried to restrain it. A ‘loose canon’, on the other hand, is a pun, and might be considered a principle or belief that is either destructive, or in conflict and/or contradiction with the other beliefs in a code of principles.

If what you meant is the latter definition, than you are right.

I’m not surprised. In all honesty I’ve got to say that an east coast business associate just spent a couple of days here in Atascadero. During a conversation about how beautiful the west end of HWY 46 is, he turned to me and said, “hey I was reading in the NY Times about this guy Dan somebody with a homeless shelter, whats up”? I said, oh yes it’s been a rather big deal around here. He said, “obviously its a big deal, it’s gone national, sounds like the locals are divided and its a contentious problem with what is right vs the NIMBY’s and the politicians they have in their pockets. Is that right?”

I’m not embellishing here, this is exactly what he said to me, I was actually surprised that he even knew about it.