Stop the Los Osos sewer

February 20, 2012


Electronic civil disobedience is being used to try to get the attention of decision makers for the financial plight of the almost 5,000 households in Los Osos/Baywood Park who face significant impact from the proposed $300 monthly sewer expense. An online “Stop The Los Osos Sewer” petition has been created on, the same web site that recently was the vehicle that caused Bank of America to change their mind to charge a $5.00 a month debit card fee.

Sewer dissonance in Los Osos has been painted to be only by “Sewer Nuts”; extremists, whiners, a pain in the county butt small group of antagonists that won’t go away. However, parents wanting to do something to assure they can provide financial stability for their family, or retirees wanting to stay in their homes are not sewer extremists.

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors have chosen to be political parents who don’t want to hear anymore about it, they have made up their mind to build this $190 million sewer and that’s it. Other than a few questions to Bruce Gibson from Frank Mecham what Gibson and the rest have lost sight of is that $200 to $300 a month makes a big difference to a lot of households, this redirection of funds will have economic consequences for San Luis Obispo County that the Board of Supervisors refuses to have the foresight to acknowledge.

To meet this new monthly sewer expense many of the 5,000 households will cut spending to be able to pay the new $300 monthly obligation. Don’t go out to dinner, don’t shop as much, reduce entertainment. It is conservatively estimated an annual $10,000,000 will be lost to the San Luis Obispo County economy due to these dollars being redirected from spending to paying the monthly tax assessment. The inevitable economic ripple consequences of this lost spending include a loss of businesses, loss of jobs, job stability and job creation and reduced tax revenues to schools and public services in San Luis Obispo County. And it’s for the next 30 to 40 years!

The worst enemy to this effort is apathy. That’s a very expensive option for San Luis Obispo County residents to take, the “I’ve heard enough” mentality, it’s what Bruce Gibson, Public Works Director Paavo Ogren, Water Quality Control Board local head Roger Briggs and others are relying on, to wear opposition down so everyone gives up and they stick it to 5000 household’s and the economy of San Luis Obispo county. But they win, that seems to be the most important thing to these decision makers, not the county economic difficulties the Los Osos sewer will still cause long after they have retired.

The loss of spending requires everyone who owns or works in a business, is a teacher or public employee, who has a stake in the San Luis Obispo county economy to sign this online petition. Signing is not just showing compassion and concern, it’s protecting your own livelihood.

The “Stop The Los Osos Sewer” petition is for economic stability, it’s for the home environment kids have when financially strapped parents have difficulty meeting expenses, it’s for retirees being able to stay in their homes, it’s not for a small group the county is tired of hearing from.

Every signed petition is emailed to sixteen officials from various agencies who can stop the current borrowing and spending for the Los Osos Sewer until an alternate is developed that will keep families and retirees in their home and not lose jobs and businesses in San Luis Obispo County.

Go to or to and put “Los Osos sewer” in the search bar. Signatures will be accepted until late April, please leverage your signature by emailing friends or posting on your Facebook page to encourage others to sign, and please do so soon, this is truly urgent!

Sign the online petition….for the sake of people, not statistics.



  1. Maxfusion says:

    Once again, as I’ve stated numerous times on this site, and as a former resident and home owner in Los Osos. There will never be a sewer system in Los Osos. It’s a green weenie, end justifies the means, environmental scam. You bought into it like sheep led to the slaughter, and now it’s time to give up the fleece. All for something you didn’t need in the first place. P.T. Barnum strikes again. Think how much fun it will be trying to sell your home, in this market, with a HUGE sewer bill and no sewer. But hey, think
    of the bright side, since you can’t afford to send the kids to college, they can live at home and get a job pumping septic tanks.

    (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down
  2. wolfhound says:

    Thank you Gary for your concern about Los Osos.

    As a business owner in Los Osos, what scares the hell out me, is that the ‘huge’ vacuum of dollars each month that leaves the community can’t help but have a’ huge’ effect on the discretionary spending of the entire community in general.

    We are doing all this because of he ‘nitrate’ scare problem, promoted by whomever, for whatever reason, but the end result of it ail today is that …….Is this REALLY the time to start squeezing people who are already on the brink of foreclosure? Barely hanging on in this economy?

    (4) 14 Total Votes - 9 up - 5 down
  3. obispan says:

    So Sally did paid for her sewer. Either by the developer putting it in or paying the service provider a fee for the house connection, in addition to monthly fees for operations and required upgrades (I forget what SLO paid recently, upwards of $60 million and that IS reflected on my bill I assure you). Many sewers in existing developed areas were paid for largely by the federal government in the form of grants decades ago. Opinions on growth aside, pro or con, Los Osos turned down the sewer when first proposed for the express purpose of growth control, was threatened by the state with a building moratorium eventually imposed in 1975 (“yeah, go ahead that’s what we want!”) and turned it down again, turned down the County’s implementation by forming the CSD (that’s 3), and is trying for 4. The County offered a buy-in to the sewer for $10,000, which many paid by tacking on to their mortgages as mortgage holders recognized this as a fully collateralized property improvement. The County refunded everybody about $16,500 (the 10 + earned interest) when the CSD was formed. Let Los Osos battle the State and Feds, but no County subsidy. The rich people you wanted to keep out will be glad to buy your properties and put in the sewer.

    (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
    • seniorcit says:

      Actually, the building moratoriam was imposed in 1988. How many other “facts” do you have wrong? I don’t think that $10,000 figure is accurate either. Refunded $16,500? Can you provide any documentation of this? It’s statements like yours that give the wrong story for Los Osos.

      (0) 8 Total Votes - 4 up - 4 down
      • obispan says:

        Got the $10,000/16,500 figure from a guy who paid and received that. Did mess up the dates. 1975 sticks in my mind as either the date of a proposal or threat. So, what’s the “right story”? It was not contained in the piece. From an economic standpoint now is the time. It has to be done, it will stimulate the economy now, prices will be competitive (if you don’t abruptly cancel the project putting you on the hook for damages by contractors who didn’t bid for other work during the time frame of the project – whoops!), and will be financed over time at record low rates. A lot of people outside Los Osos, including many not too wild about guv’ment regulation, but must and do comply. can’t figure it out. And they sure don’t want to have to pay for it in addition to their own obligations. The fact that it was used as a tool to deny property rights to entitled lots by refusing to obey State environmental regulations don’t much sit well elsewheres.

        (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
        • seniorcit says:

          I’ll admit that anyone that is not one of the 5,000 property owners in the Prohibition Zone may not be able to understand what this all means. I have been a property owner here throughout the entire process and I can tell you that we have been let down by every agency, every professional group, everyone having anything to do with imposing this sewer. Improper testing right from the very start. Allowing 1100+ new homes with septic tanks after 8313 was began in 1983. In 1988 they finally imposed the building moratoriam. How can adding 1100+ septic tanks help a problem that allegedly exist? No fees of any sort were collected from contractors to allow for the incoming sewer. Why not? Originally, it was deemed that we will pay for this sewer entirely by ourselves. There might have been some other financing at the genisis of this monster, but that was never advanced publicly so that property owners could have made a choice. This is in fact the most expensive sewer per capita in the U.S. Had the social media existed in the early days as it does now, we would have been more informed of what was going on and made better choices. Maybe not. Another poster asked, ‘why do I have to fish in the Bay where your urine seeps to?’ On the face of it, it sounds terrible. When you look at the actual amount that has been proven to take place, it is miniscule.

          (-2) 8 Total Votes - 3 up - 5 down
          • obispan says:

            The fees the builders pay are connection fees. Connection fees are for system infrastructure improvements. Nobody gets to jump in and just start paying the monthly bill for maintenance and operations (which has gone up a lot along with tightening State regulation). No infrastructure exists, hence infrastructure “improvements” will be a little more pricey. Those 1,100 houses will pay when everybody else does. Were not the developers the ones clamoring for a sewer system? The sewer has been derailed by suspect motives, but I should read the about the grand conspiracy on the website. I’ve just read the local fish wrap 40 years. And figured everything would end up being settled in court. I don’t whine about my sewer bill and neither should you. It is what it is. It’s the one bill from the gov’ment that doesn’t support wars, corporations, despots, and paying stupid people to breed.

            (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
  4. shelworth says:

    Hey Sally, who paid for your sewer? Just askin’.

    (-9) 9 Total Votes - 0 up - 9 down
    • Sally says:

      I pay a bill every month that covers the sewer that was built many years ago and when I bought my home I also paid for our developments lifting station to connect to the rest of the cities system that was about $15,000 per home in the cost of the house.

      (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
  5. unlisted says:

    Remember, if a sewer had been built when the need was first identified, it would be paid for by now.

    (15) 19 Total Votes - 17 up - 2 down
  6. seniorcit says:

    There is at least on Company that has guaranteed they could bring a project in for 50 million less than the one proposed. It didn’t even get a look. There are many different ways this sewer could be handled cheaper than what is coming, however the most expensive possible one is what we’re getting.

    (-4) 20 Total Votes - 8 up - 12 down
  7. Sally says:

    The radicles in Los Osos that keep putting off the sewer are costing the rest of the citizens more each time they put things off. Now it is $300 per month next time it will be $500.
    Finally the county is involved and are acting like adults in a room full of children.
    I feel sorry for the average person in Los Osos they are paying for the kooks who will never be happy.
    As a person living in the county I do not want to pay for the mess they started.

    (7) 21 Total Votes - 14 up - 7 down
    • seniorcit says:

      Uh, you obviously have forgotten that the County had the project from 1983 until 1998. Then when it was just about ready to go, the County and Water Board allowed the project to be taken away by a group whose own project had already been determined not to be acceptable. And this County you speak of acting like adults, that call someone on the phone pretending to be a rival.

      (-7) 23 Total Votes - 8 up - 15 down
      • Sally says:

        You are correct and the county made a big mistake letting the kids in L.O. take over look where they are today

        (3) 9 Total Votes - 6 up - 3 down
        • seniorcit says:

          So was that an adult like decision? The Water Board allowed it as well, knowing that it would not come to fruition. That information was withheld from the community by the group that formed and became the CSD. Had we known, we would have never gone down that road.

          (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down
      • seniorcit says:

        Seriously, 7 dislikes for stating a simple fact?

        (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down
        • TheFacts says:

          Don’t mind the downvotes. Those downvotes consist of people who don’t have the courage to stand by their convictions.

          (-9) 13 Total Votes - 2 up - 11 down
  8. oceanone says:

    Why is there no discussion about Briggs and the regional water board exceeding authority? Hopefully Cal Coast News will do an investigated report on how the water board goes after individuals and small companies and leaves the oil companies and major polluters alone, or with minimum fines.

    (-2) 20 Total Votes - 9 up - 11 down
  9. bobfromsanluis says:

    Does anyone, anywhere actually know what the true situation in Los Osos really is, regarding the potential situation of the septic tanks causing any problems with the drinking water in the area? I’m talking about nonpartisan, scientific research that wasn’t paid for by anyone with anything to gain financially in the whole sewer mess in Los Osos. What about the issue of seawater intrusion; is the data currently available truly impartial, or did the firm who did that have any connections to any possible work that could be done in Los Osos? If the data clearly indicates that a sewer is truly needed, even if it is for only a small portion of Los Osos/Baywood, certainly the whole area would need to participate in a sewer project with every single household equally sharing the whole costs. If the design that works best is as costly as is being projected costing each household upwards of $300 a month, then there needs to be some relief for everyone, either a state or federal program that could either replace a large percentage of the total amount or allow a very long amortization of the costs that would allow the amount to be much more manageable for those on fixed or low incomes. This isn’t rocket science, the wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented, there just needs to be a “true” assessment as to if a sewer is really called for and if so, what the “best” remedy could be without regard as to what the current contractors can supply, put the thing out to a truly competitive bid and find a company that isn’t corrupt that can do the job without getting in bed with any county supervisor/ county manager to make a cozy deal.

    (-3) 11 Total Votes - 4 up - 7 down

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