It’s time to talk about Tri-W

May 6, 2010

By JULIE TACKER

“Tri-W,” “Mid-Town,” “Sewer Park”, whatever you call it, currently belongs to the wastewater Prohibition Zone of Los Osos, paid for by the 2001 $24 million sewer assessment.  The $3,010,025 purchase was made by the 2003 Los Osos Community Services District Board (LOCSD) from Tri-W Enterprise, Inc., the three Williams brothers of local supermarket chain fame. The Williams Brothers purchased the property from Morro Shores, attempting to monopolize the grocery industry in Los Osos.

Centrally located downtown, the 11-acre former sewer site has become the most notorious property in the community. Complicated by 365 acres of watershed runoff that enters the site, percolates underground, and filters through the soil before entering the bay through seeps, any development of the site will be challenged by the drainage patterns that crisscross the property.

Originally zoned for shops and offices, the site, proposed for a sewer plant disguised as a park, received a zoning overlay of Public Facilities in 2002 to allow the LOCSD to build a sewer park in the center of the community. In the fall of 2005, the LOCSD fenced the property and proceeded with mass excavation of the site on September 15th in spite of the recall election that would unseat the majority board just days later on September 27th. Some would suggest the commencement of construction sealed the fate of that Board. One long time resident said, “If they had just waited for the election they might have kept their seats.”

Fast forward to today. With plenty of blame to go around, the site is unstable, the fence has fallen over, drainage fishers have eroded the sandy soils, invasive plants have taken root and Morro shoulderband snails have re-inhabited the site.  Regulatory agencies, including the California Coastal Commission, are looking for a “global solution” and resolution to the mess left by the defunct sewer project.

County Park’s attempt at $5 million of Proposition 84 grant monies to purchase the site for desperately needed parkland was called off soon after the Coastal Commission found Substantial Issue with the wastewater project in January.  County Public Works has offered in a recent proposal to the Coastal Commission to “stabilize” by re-grading the site into the series of retention basins approved in the defunct sewer project and “revegetate” the site with native plant material.

The 2007 special legislation (AB2701), handing over the wastewater project responsibility from the LOCSD to the County, has provisions for all wastewater assets needed for the project to be transferred to the County. If Tri-W is no longer needed for the wastewater project (two small pieces are going to be carved off for pump station purposes), it is understood that the property would be sold off as surplus and proceeds from a sale would be divided among the multiple creditors lined up in the LOCSD’s bankruptcy.

The under-the-radar efforts to acquire and/or repair the Tri-W site are admirable, but they raise questions as to what really should happen with the property and how the public can participate.  As the wastewater project nears its permit approval and the County positions itself to officially take the project, it would be prudent to have a community conversation about the property.

Recognizing that the Public Facility zoning disappears when the property changes hands and the site no longer has the value it once had due to the decline in real estate values.  Moreover, like all other vacant lots within the prohibition zone, it is stripped of its ability to be developed in the near term due to the 20+ year sewer moratorium and defacto moratoriums on water and habitat issues.

It’s time to call for the question.  It would be prudent to have the LOCSD and their attorneys, Los Osos Community Advisory Council (LOCAC) County Public Works, County Parks, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Fish & Game and the California Coastal Commission at the table to discuss options and complexities of the property.

While the community may want a park in that location, where is the evidence to that effect?  What kind of park?  Passive, active or something in between?  Are we ready to tax ourselves to purchase, permit, mitigate, build and maintain a park that has no water, sewer, or habitat mitigation (resulting in millions of dollars to an already economically challenged community)? What is the highest and best use for the property?  What alternatives are available?

Ask your public officials to set a townhall meeting; Invite the community to attend and hash out the details before the LOCSD bankruptcy makes the decision for us.

Julie Tacker is a 29-year resident of Los Osos and a former member of the Los Osos Community Services District.


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asthecrowphlies

therazar people like you and Alon_Perlman seem to have moved beyond the negative actions that

julie has done , i have not . i hope there are more people like you two looking toward a future with the

tri-w site that will really benefit los osos .


Mythbuster

asthecrowphlies,

Be careful of TheRazor – who sounds so reasonable here. Touch the wrong topic and see the slashing begin.


To TheRazor,

Julie was a public official who botched her job badly. Her behavior is open to criticism. Not quite the same thing as asking asthecrowphlies – a citizen not in public office — to list his/her character flaws. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. This applies to you as well as to Julie.


asthecrowphlies is entitled to his/her opinion.


asthecrowphlies

so therazar is it time to talk about julie’s handling of CSD funds , bankruptcy , hiding papers , giving papers to non-officials , paying lawyers , tree chipping , etc. is it time to talk about her bankruptcy

plan …. oh yeah she didn’t write one . i guess we could talk about that toilet flushing thing !

what i’m saying is julie is very artful in adding one or two little bits of truth to a argument then take the knife and turn it in your back . for example los osos is a wonderful community and the people there love

America and puppy dogs are so cute so los osos you deserve to give the tri-w site to jeff and you don’t have to worry about money jeff and i will make lots of it for ourselves . you don’t have to worry about a community plan or talking to other developers …. therazar , i may not be as informed as you are ( ? )

but i know i do not trust a word that comes out of her mouth .


TheRazor

Everyone has some sort of an agenda, but to second guess what someone’s agenda might be will only get us to second guess ourselves. In other words, if you think that it’s time to talk about all the things you mentioned about Julie, maybe it’s also time to talk about your character flaws. I don’t know you so I can’t say or guess what they are, but everyone has them, including the guy underneath me who illegally publishes medical records of people he doesn’t like and threatens people’s lives.


It’s true. Los Osos is a wonderful community, which is why we need to make it a top priority to focus on turning liabilities into assets. Simply put, Tri W is one giant mess and we need to preserve our unique, environmental high standards by having a conversation about the future of that property. I’m just saying that now is probably not the right time because we have all these things we have to deal with first. My head is still spinning from the last LOWWP project update. There’s just so much ground to cover.


asthecrowphlies

wow i had no idea thanks for the heads up !!


Alon_Perlman

Julie is completely correct with regards to her description of the T-W-Midtown site’s drainage problems

I will go one step further and say that until the Area is SOLVED as a retention basin, that plot will be a liability to whoever purchases it. And also add that the “Over the surface flows” which cris-cross the sub-surface flows should not be left out.

I have predicted three Plus years ago that once the Palisades project will be completed, waters will enter the site with great force and they have. I predicted that the Ravena flow will continue to take out the fence and that there were and will continue to be transport of soils off the property and it did. Overall the site is more unstable and has greater than historic flows off it. That is a big (Regulatory) No-No. AND Julie does know the regs.


I am not in agreement though that anything can be done. Not until the retention basins are rebuilt.

The only way to approach this that would work, is with the CSD working in cooperation with the county and the county fixing the Ravena side and increasing the amount of Rip-Rap at the point of the public portion (County Right Of Way) onto T-W (Like I asked early and on multiple occasions). Any vehicular entry to any part of the adjacent properties would have to be limited by fences and enforcement. (County). The CSD should dust off the blue prints that George Milanes had which included Hay bolsters. Preferably the ones he redrew at my suggestion because I told him that if he stacks the bolsters too close to the entry point the waters will force them onto each other (but yall know about that). Then at least three ponds. And we haven’t touched on the problems with the extremely intact aged Chaparral ESHA Beneath, Vested map, private property etc…


The entire 50 acres plus is a Jewel. And the economic future of Los Osos.


But until that repair is made and established- I am very concerned that with the continued deterioration of the public process, into me too special interests, the outcome will be talk followed by more talk. Look at what the “Hot” topics are today and how they are handled.

I see where Mythbuster is coming from. Trust me, I’ve had to listen to a lot of stuff that was not going anywhere. CSD Drainage is not in LOCAC’s Purview.


Currently Celebrate Los Osos has moved on to a large project initiated by the Back Bay Inn Owner and with the Cooperation of Most of the big and small businesses in Baywood. I had a little part in that inception and on May 22nd the extension of the walkway south of the Baywood pier project will commence with music and rejoicing, And I hope to attend and help out as a member of the public who happens to be a re-elected LOCAC member (Praise be to almighty Jah) or happens to not be a re-elected LOCAC member (Praise be to almighty Jah).

Back Bay Music Festival – Saturday May 22nd 12 noon to 8p All food and beverage proceeds will be donated to pay for the landscaping on the Los Osos Valley Road median strip at South Bay Boulevard AND to create a walking path from the Baywood Pier into Sweet Springs Nature Preserve.


asthecrowphlies

this is not an editorial this is a infomercial for an other of julie and jeff conniving plans . for me it is

ruining the credibility of CCN to give julie such a platform .


julie wrote ” What is the highest and best use for the property? ” . the answer is anything NOT

related to julie or jeff .


thanks Mythbuster !! there are not many comments yet but it’s still worth repeating

” Somehow, I know a discussion of the sort she suggests will only work around to being a platform for Jeff to expound on how he needs to build there anyway – once he is done with destroying the Oceano airport – so count me out again. ”


TheRazor

As I see it, the problem is that people like Mythbuster and “Crow” are not knowledgeable of the situation to assess it properly so the quick and easy alternative is to ready, aim, fire and reload.


Personally, I don’t think it’s the right time to talk about Tri W because we have higher priority topics that need to be thoroughly analyzed and addressed — such as the 1,000+ County response to the Coastal Commission, the upcoming due diligence review, the second Prop. 218 vote on undeveloped lots, the rates and fees ordinance, USDA financing; grant/loan advantages and disadvantages etc. There are so many elements that come into play, but I also believe that Tri W is something that should be talked about at a later time.


I don’t know what Tri W should be used for. I think we should leave it up to the constituents of the district to decide what is best for that site. The most aggressive step toward community unity is to have something on that property that demonstrates community pride — and a sewer wouldn’t exactly show that.


Julie

Crow, if you have ideas for the property, then let’s hear them. Same for Mythbuster or anyone else. The real test will be to see if the LOCSD, LOCAC, or the County pulls off a meeting for a discussion. My guess is it will never happen. I tried over and over to get my Board to take it to the public, but hey, I was just one vote (many times I was ignored and later proven to have been right, oh well).


For the record, Jeff would like to see a town center for Los Osos, as well as for Oceano, a place where people can gather, take in a movie, or dinner, do a little shopping. Currently, Los Osos is without a place to congregate. My ideas are different than his. When I supported his attempt to purchase the property in 2006 I did so simply to remove the zoning overlay for a sewer. The point of the meeting I suggest is to have your input, there are 14,500 people who all have a different idea for what should happen on the property.


What people need to realize is that a park IS development in the eyes of the permitting autorities. A lawn is just as non-native as concrete or asphalt. So mitigation would be the same as if it was a shopping center. A passive park like the Elfin Forest would be the least expensive, but is that what the community wants?


Did you know that Coastal staff tried to get the remainder of Tri-W returned to ESHA around the proposed sewer plant? This would have reduced the mitigation necessary for that project. The LOCSD at that time refused, costing the project millions more.


We all know what Pandora had planned for Tri-W; she’s working on it over at the SLO Botanical Gardens. Gibson had County Parks working on a grant to purchase Tri-W up until January, some 100 hours of staff time for a pipe dream, he pulled that plug when the Coastal Commission found SI…not the slam dunk that he thought.


Did you know that the drinking fountain at the former Tri-W park was going to cost $7,000? There were $60,000 worth of decorative boulders going to be tossed into the bottom of the retention basin near the dog park and the park benches were going to cost $1,500 a piece, idealistically carved from the Eucalptus trees that were bulldosed from the site, oops they ended up in a ditch on a farm in east SLO triggering a RWQCB fine for the contractor.


The Tri-W story is a long, sad, mess. Again as I said in my opinion piece, plenty of blame to go around. Now’s the time to come together for a solution, before it’s too late, and it’s sold in bankruptcy.


Mythbuster

Julie says, “as I said in my opinion piece, plenty of blame to go around.” The question is, do you blame yourself for any of this Julie?


“bulldosed” is spelled “bulldozed.”


All in all, we’d have gotten that park in the sewer project had Tri-W gone through, and still paid less for the project than we are now —with NO PARK.


“A passive park like the Elfin Forest would be the least expensive, but is that what the community wants?” Your asking that question tells us that is NOT what you want!


The economic REALITY of NOW is, what the PEOPLE want, no, NEED —is to NOT PAY any more than they have to. There are water infrastructure improvements that MUST be done. The sewer MUST be paid for. The Bankruptcy MUST be paid for. So to ask what people want is almost cruel as there is no answer we can pay for separately and it makes you Julie, look look like the handmaiden to Jeff’s desire of “a town center for Los Osos, as well as for Oceano, a place where people can gather, take in a movie, or dinner, do a little shopping.” One might opine that water privileges, SHOULD THERE BE ANY or ENOUGH if there are any, must FIRST go to the holders of undeveloped properties, not to a shopping center — especially as there are currently so many vacant storefronts.


Will “town meetings” (that you have dissed in the past, but are suggesting now) really arrive at an answer for that property? Is going to the mic at the BOS, LOCAC or a CSD meeting going to answer it? No, it would take a District-wide survey to answer that question — one that no doubt you will declare tainted if it doesn’t come up with your preferred answer. Now who would PAY for that survey????


Right now the answer lies in the economic realities of what the CSD Board NEEDS to do to pay for the bankruptcy. If there is grant money to pay to buy it, fine. But we have to have an accepted project to even apply, but you knew that, right?


Oh, and “community pride?” How about pride in finally cleaning up the mess that we have made so we can stop looking like idiots to the rest of the world?


Julie

I have never dissed a townhall meeting, what are you talking about? To tell the truth, there’s not been one is a very long time that I can think of. So keep posting your lies. It reflects poorly on your support for Marshall. Those undecided votes were going to vote for him in protest of Gibson. Now, maybe not so much, knowing you’re behind all these uneducated (made up information) postings and his webmaster.


Mythbuster

You have no idea who I am or which candidate I support. You accuse ME of making up lies – I’ve LOOKED at Ochylski’s website a few times, just as I’ve LOOKED at Gibson’s a few times — but somehow I’m now Ochylski’s webmaster — WRONG! – So who is making up lies now?


TheRazor

You are.


Only Lynette has posted comments at 12:54 in the morning to obsess over Julie Tacker’s physical appearance. Creepy.


Julie

If I’m incorrect, please forgive me. I never intended to disiminate misinformation or make gramatical/spelling errors.


Why don’t you clue us in? Who will you vote for for District 2 Supervisor?


asthecrowphlies

julie wrote ” What is the highest and best use for the property? ” . the answer is anything NOT related

to julie or jeff .


thanks Mythbuster !! there are not many comments yet but it’s still worth repeating


” Somehow, I know a discussion of the sort she suggests will only work around to being a platform for Jeff to expound on how he needs to build there anyway – once he is done with destroying the Oceano airport – so count me out again. ”


Julie

Mythbuster, I am a 39 year resident of Los Osos, I was six in 1970 when my family moved to a vacant lot on 7th St., lived in a 35 foot trailer, before my Dad built our first home in LO on 14th St. where we lived until I was 12. Dad was a builder (just retired last year in WA); some would label him as a “Developer”. While he had a hand in building several hundred homes in LO (specializing in concrete work, he poured mostly foundations, retaining walls, and driveways). I have to laugh when people label Jeff Edwards as a “Developer” (he’s a Land Use Consultant and/or Real Estate Broker) who has built a mere 10 homes. Most of his work has been acquiring permits for other owner/builder/developers that were unfamiliar with the regulatory process and needed his help.

As for the photo CCN has posted was taken 10 years ago, agreed I have aged and gained some weight, so what? I wear every wrinkle and gray hair with a badge of honor. The extra pounds, well, I’m working on those. To say the least, my appearance is none of your business.

You are correct, I misspelled fissures; one shouldn’t depend on spell check, so what?

I did campaign for Measure B, so what? The property in question was commercial property, 3x, the cost of Giacomazzi, the LOCSD before me should never have tried to force fit a sewer in that location to begin with. I will not take blame for siting a sewer in the middle of town. I will take credit for fighting long and hard to prevent it.

While you “hunker down” to try to pay for the County’s overpriced sewer you support. I’ll continue to try to lessen its impacts on the community and the environment (read my CCC appeal).

I am not suggesting a platform for Jeff’s ideas for the property anymore than I’m suggesting a platform for Pandora’s ideas for the property. I’m suggesting the community had better air their ideas before it’s sold in bankruptcy (filed by my Board for expenses the previous Board incurred).

You were not here in the mid-1990’s when the community rallied around the purchase of the Elfin Forest, had you been, you would know how if this community wants something, they go out and get it. If the community wants Tri-W for a park, then NOW is the time to step up and do what it takes to get it. This would be a magnificent effort for Celebrate Los Osos, just as soon as they pay back the loan to replant the Ralphs median and put the fence back up and re-landscape at the red barn.

You don’t know what you’re talking about when you try to draw parallels with the Oceano Airport.


Mythbuster

The photo above doesn’t look like the Julie we see on TV. 29-year resident? She was a 38-year resident in 2009 — unless she is trying to shave years off from her age?


The word “fishers” should be fissures.


This new, younger Julie might have mentioned that the other, older Julie campaigned for the recall and Measure B which brings us now to the absurd proposal of paying twice for that property which we supposedly already “own.”


No thanks, I think I’ll hunker down to pay for this new, more expensive sewer and the additional costs of the bankruptcy that the Board she was on created.


Somehow, I know a discussion of the sort she suggests will only work around to being a platform for Jeff to expound on how he needs to build there anyway – once he is done with destroying the Oceano airport – so count me out again.


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