Cayucos votes to pull sewer permit application

January 8, 2013

morro bayCayucus Sanitary District Board voted 4-1 on Monday to withdraw its application with the Coastal Commission to build a new sewer plant at the site of the current plant in Morro Bay.

In 2003, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board informed Cayucos and Morro Bay that they would have to upgrade their plant by March 2014 or face penalties. In a Dec. 21 letter, the water board agrees to allow Morro Bay and Cayucos more time to consider moving the plant.

Last year, the Coastal Commission said it wanted the city to move the plant a mile from the coastline. Proponents of keeping the plant near the beach in Morro Bay noted the cost of moving the plant inland.

Several board members said it was important to cooperate with their neighbors in Morro Bay who do not want a sewer plant at the gateway to their community.

Board member Dan Lloyd, a land use practitioner elected in November, said that withdrawing the permit instead of asking that the Coastal Commission deny it as Morro Bay did was preferable because it protects the property’s value. Conditions put on the property by the commission could carry over to any new use making the property less desirable.

The board then voted to send Morro Bay a letter asking its council to agree to withdraw the permit also. The Morro Bay City Council is slated to vote Wednesday night on adding the withdrawal change as an emergency item to its agenda.

The board also voted 5-0 to suspend the three consultants. Morro Bay and Cayucos Sanitary District had entered into agreements with Dennis Delzeit for project management services for a total of $253,000,with Dudek for alternative analysis reports is for a total of $455,642 and with McCabe to seek favor with the Coastal Commission for a total of $155,000.


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Congratulations citizens off Cayucos and Morro Bay (or, I should say…Citizens from outside Morro Bay and Cayucos). You have just killed a project for a new plant with a recycled water component that the CSD agreed to add to the project.

The only real requirement is to meet the new discharge permit. Prepare yourself for the CSD to simply fix the existing plant, rather than build a new one with recycled water capabilities……no Coastal Development Permit needed for that.

The good news is, it will be much cheaper!

Morpheus dreams.

I would think that recycle capabilities could be set up on the rebuild process not a big deal for the city to permit itself to put recycle lines under its own streets to a couple of the parks, by far much cleaner than a complete rebuild a mile up the road with only a 10 ft difference in elevation.

Myself, sadly, the current trickling filter process is not compatible with production of reclaimed water. The new plant was a totally different treatment process. So, it is a big deal.

And the demand at a couple of parks is tiny compared to the amount of wastewater treated….and that is only for the summer months. There is even less demand for irrigation in winter. Regulations do not allow ponding or puddling of reclaimed water, so there is essentially zero irrigation demand in winter.

And in yet another slap in the face to Cayucos the Morro Bay City Council voted 3 to 2 to not add the emergency withdrawal request of Cayucos on their agenda last night and refused Robert Enns, from the Cayucos CSD, the time to make a presentation to them before the Coastal Commission meeting on Thursday. That’s real transparency.

As bad as the economy is and many problems that we are faced with today this whole thing about moving the sewer plant a mile up the road in the gate way to Morro bay flat out, everyone will see it on hwy 41 what makes this so different than it being on hwy one, the costs associated with this is astronomical, the overages while under construction will go out of sight, the people of MB and Cay will pay dearly for something that is not needed, do these people think that moving the plant is going to save the earth for some reason, the whole idea here at this time frame was to make this plant a teritiary treatment plant, not to move it.

The jury is still out on the new people elected to city council last year, but loading the deck with environmentalists is not healthy .

Morro Bay city council and the Cayucos board should be commended for coming to their senses and opposing the location of the WWTP. The power of electing a sensible council is bearing results.

From all I’ve read and heard, I don’t think that Ms McCabe has much influence, pro or con, on the Coastal Commission. Hiring “a lobbyist” in the first place was a foolish decision. But then, it’s been years of poor local decisions that led to the proposed denial.

Clearly, she hasn’t been very effective but then again she was supposed to lobby the commissioners directly and obviously had little effect on the staff.

Instead it was people like Linda Stedjee who lobbied the staff, as indicated by the hundreds of E-mails she sent them that are included in the staff report’s 1,000 pages. It’s not unusual at all for applicants — be they cities, counties or private concerns — to hire someone to lobby the Coastal Commission.

San Diego hired McCabe to represent it, until she was exposed as having said she was spoon-feeding the commissioners and was fired. She is a former Coastal Commissioner herself, you know.

And the actions of the city council to ask for a withdrawal I believe indicate that McCabe may have been more effective than it would seem.

Noah Smukler said he didn’t want to take a chance the project would be approved, which seems ridiculous given the staff report and the lengths the Commission staff went to in order to justify their recommendations.

Guess we’ll never know now just how much of a waste of money McCabe’s services were.

Susan McCabe has removed the part on her website where she claimed to have been a Coastal Commissioner. She was, for a 2 year period, a designated substitute for Charles Warren in the 1980’s. There doesn’t seem to be a record if she even acted in that capacity.

The forthcoming denial from Coastal is the defining answer to her effectiveness, wouldn’t you say?

In the end, Linda Stedjee, a private citizen, would appear to have employed a better skill set. Of course,Truth is an awesome tool.

Quoting the article:

“The board also voted 5-0 to suspend the three consultants. Morro Bay and Cayucos Sanitary District had entered into agreements with Dennis Delzeit for project management services for a total of $253,000,with Dudek for alternative analysis reports is for a total of $455,642 and with McCabe to seek favor with the Coastal Commission>/i> for a total of $155,000.”

Is this the same McCabe who said she had been spoon-feeding a member of the Coastal Commission?

If so, methinks McCabe is a very poor choice for lobbyist to the Coastal Commission. It seems, as long as she is the lobbyist, the Coastal Commission might make Morro-Bay/Cayucos WWT plant decisions that are less favorable to Morro Bay and Cayocos, just to prove that their members really weren’t being “spoon-fed” by a lobbyist.