Coastal Commission approves Los Osos sewer system

June 12, 2010

The California Coastal Commission gave unanimous approval Friday to the Los Osos sewer project, clearing a last hurdle and bringing construction a major step closer. [Tribune]

Thirteen Los Osos residents attempted a rhetorical Hail Mary at the Friday afternoon meeting in Marina del Rey, trying to convince the commission that there was a cheaper, more efficient, alternative.

In the end, the commission ignored those pleas. Now the focus shifts back to money as county officials attempt to secure more than $80 million in federal stimulus funds. They will also seek state and federal funding to help low-income homeowners afford the additional $200 a month that many residents of Los Osos will soon be paying.

The total cost of the sewer project is estimated to cost $181.6 million, with $166 million coming through various state and federal funding sources. The remaining $15.6 million comes from individual homeowners paying for sewer hookups.

Financing must be in place, before the county can solicit construction bids.

Opponents have not ruled out possible lawsuits to continue their challenge.

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“Thirteen Los Osos residents attempted a rhetorical Hail Mary at the Friday afternoon meeting in Marina del Rey, trying to convince the commission that there was a cheaper, more efficient, alternative” ?

Not this Free Agent.


Delay of Game-Too many players on the field.

Guess I’ll have to look into the actual replay tapes. Then again, I think some Cheerleaders may had joined the scrimmage.

I was there to make sure that the Commissioners would not “Go Coastal” on Los Osos.

The Play Clock had ran out on STEP a long time ago. Some of the attempts to bring it back, could have (Would have, and did) resulted in the project costing more, without getting STEP back in.

The County had a clear gravity bias.

STEP/STEG could had worked with a different set of circumstances and promoters. It’s flaws were not addressed for political and other reasons, so they weren’t worked out in time and that didn’t help.

Past the Planning Commission there was simply no air in that ball.

The earlier actions that caused the Coastal Commission to interact with the County at the level of understanding that Los Osos is in Water shortage Severity Level III, and that the waters of the project have to return to the basin were Great. Some of the comments submitted, even on Friday, may help the CCC and County actually avoid potential problems down the road.

HOWEVER; Due to the many objections, the project was about to be overburdened with a bunch of meaningless environmental mitigations that may had pleased some, but would have had no actual Environmental or BASIN RECHARGE benefit. With Salt water entering into the Well area further delays would simply kill the Aquifer. Many of the issues raised in the last few months, would had gone by the rule of UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES. UN-AFFORDABILITY ENHANCERS.


Claims that 400 Acre feet a year would be lost due to the project in the location of Willow Creek, were just pseudo-scientific, pseudo environmental Jibber Jabber.

Willow Creek does;

1. Not recharge the aquifer.

2. Not receive even 10 percent of the Septic Field/pits output of the Prohibition zone.

So…. If the CCC had been talked into shoving 300AFY of unnecessary mitigation down that creek it would had washed away the Paddle.

Whose brainchild was Willow Creek?

Keith Weimer’s Basin Plan.

90% of the materials submitted were from the LOSG (And from their subsidieries), 90% of that were Ideas floating around for at least 8 years.

The specific reason the CCC thought there was a critical issue

was the presentation of a value of 400 AFY as “Loss to the Habitat of Willow creek” in context of the 33 AFY the project was already placing back into the existing bayridge estates leachfield. The County responded beautifully and that is in the Supplamental materials to the Staff report.

they gave a high value of 150 AFY (Engineers allways Err on the side of Caution) There will be an overall loss of water entering the purched aquifer which is good – Even more distance to groundwater from outside of PZ septics. And there will be some leaks eventually from gravity pipes so having Lower groundwater IS GOOD. Less Flooding in rainy season.

Thank you Alon_Perlman for the information.

I was amazed at the amount of time and attention given to non-professionals and salesmen at the Planning Commission. Looks like that leaked over to the Coastal Commission, too. Those delays were no friend to our getting the financing for this secured, or even more importantly, the dollars at the highest possible amount.

You are right – high groundwater is no help during rainy season.

No surprise. The whole appeal process and subsequent vote by the Coastal Commission to require changes was a sham to please a very vocal, very small minority of those who continued to be opposed to the plan. It was a no brainer that the coastal commission would approve the project because the stimulus money would have been lost. There were no significant changes!

“…have not ruled out…?” I heard one lawsuit used as a threat to put step/steg back on the table! And that didn’t happen! So where’s the money coming from this time? These “broke” people who can’t afford to pay for a sewer yet can pay the costs of a lawsuit?