LAFCO denies Pismo Beach project

March 15, 2012

Bruce Gibson

The San Luis Obispo Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) denied a request to annex a 182-acre proposed development, known as Los Robles Del Mar, into Pismo Beach on Thursday primary because of an alleged lack of water to support the project.

San Luis Obispo County Supervisor and LAFCO Chairman Bruce Gibson led the charge against the future development of 300 homes saying that state water is unreliable while also promoting the controversial idea that seawater intrusion has put the groundwater supply at  risk.

Following a 2009 report of seawater intrusion contaminating the unincorporated community of Oceano’s groundwater supply, numerous local agencies have used the information to promote or stop projects based on the idea that sea water intrusion has made ground water throughout the basin, which includes Pismo Beach, unreliable.

However, for more than a year, Oceano Community Services District board members have been saying reports of seawater intrusion are nothing but propaganda and that they have studies to back their claim.

Paso Robles Mayor Duane Picanco refused to vote against the project reminding the other commission members about an earlier meeting where they had denied the project and asked the developer to secure state water and bring the proposed annexation back to LAFCO.

The developer had secured water rights from a neighboring property owner before coming for a second time in front of the commission.

In a vote of 5-2, commissioners again voted against the project.

The development of Los Robles Del Mar has divided many in the South County beach community, primarily those for or against developing Price Canyon.

San Luis Obispo County 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill is currently up for reelection. Hill’s campaign has received considerable support from Gibson, the current chair of LAFCO and the most vocal opponent of the annexation.

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Unfortunately, this is a very poorly-crated story on an important issue. On its face it reads like a hit piece on Gibson & Hill, and an attempt at further justification by repetition for the suspect claim of Oceano seawater intrusion in an earlier CCN article.

Further, there is little context given for the final LAFCO vote, no historical context for the project review, too little detail from the hearing, as well as relying on hearsay (Gibson’s quote) rather than testimony regarding water supply. Inserting the Adam Hill reference was irresponsible – might as well have added some tidbit about his challenger, Waage.

C’mon, CCN, let’s have another article citing testing results of the seawater intrusion, rather than further repetition of he-said-she-said hearsay. Plus an article devoted to Hill & Waage’s views on development & water supplies in District 3.

It doesn’t read as a “hit piece” against anybody. It simply states the outcome of the LAFCO vote, and describes some of the supporters and some of the opponents.

It is not unreasonable for a publication to assume that if someone wants more information, they will research it, looking for the particular type of info they want.

CCN has provided to you a link to a previous article about the Oceano “saltwater intrusion” claim being unfounded, and, in fact, reversed. It is one of the links directly under the LAFCO-vote article.

Do you want Velie to sit you on her lap and hand-feed you the information you need, or what?

What does this article have to do with A. Hill?

Why is Gibson’s picture on the top?

“and describes some of the supporters and some of the opponents.”

Who are the supporters of this project?

Is it okay to write that Gibson has been the most vocal opponent of this annexation when that simply isn’t true? Keep in mind that there are several people that are very knowledgeable and have something to do with this annexation issue that will be reading your answer.

“Do you want Velie to sit you on her lap and hand-feed you the information you need, or what?”

I have to choose my works very carefully here. When people read a news publication they expect to get accurate information regarding the topic. If I read an article in the LA Times, I don’t expect that I will need to also read the Orange Co. Register to fill in the blanks. The information in this article is not accurate and it doesn’t tell the whole story. Are you saying that we need to also need read the New Times to get an accurate story and to fill in the blanks? Aren’t news publicans supposed to inform the public?

It is reasonable to expect a person to read a link provided at the end of the article.

I don’t know how often you read the LATimes, but I read it every day. I often have to look up information on a person or issue mentioned in the LATimes.

There is a certain amount of reader-informed-status assumed when writing an article. While it might not meet your needs, I’ve never perceived a sinister plot to confuse the reader.

Just my opinion, your paranoia may vary.

Oh, for heaven’s sake.

“What does the article have to do with A. Hill?”


It is election season. There is interest in the backers of all politicians running for reelection because often the bakcers indicate to whom the candidate politician will be beholding to, if elected.

Gibson took a stand against a developer here because, apparently, he did not believe the water source provided was secure.

IMO, this is a very brave and responsible stance to take. Not everybody agrees with me.

People have a right to know who is contributing to politicians’ run for office. Sometimes it is the only way we can discern their subrosa plans for what they will do after they are elected.