County rebuffs California Coastal Commission

November 11, 2013
CAPSLO trucks at Roandoak of God on an earlier occasion.

CAPSLO trucks at Roandoak of God on an earlier occasion.


County planners have snubbed California Coastal Commission (CCC) investigators in an ongoing dispute over permit requirements for a controversial Morro Bay commune.

Acting Planning Director Kami Griffin, responding to a formal complaint from the state agency, stated flatly in a Nov. 1 letter that Roandoak of God’s “present use… is consistent with applicable land use regulations.”

That opinion contrasts starkly with that of state officials.

Nancy Cave, supervisor for the CCC’s Statewide Enforcement Program, said recently that county officials have largely ignored building codes and coastal requirements for the Roandoak of God structure, asserting she has received “various allegations of non-permitted development” on the property. Cave said the non-permitted changes have been taking place since 1990.

Nevertheless, Roandoak of God’s owner has been able to rally county officials to support his efforts, and planners as well as County Supervisor Bruce Gibson now maintain there are no problems with the property. Shortly after an earlier CalCoastNews article on Roandoak was posted, a clutch of maintenance trucks from Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO) arrived at the site and disgorged a small army of workers to cleanup the property.

Griffin insisted in a letter to Cave that all requirements have been met by the county.

“In the meantime,” Griffen wrote, “we are continuing to work with this particular property owner as building permits are applied for assure compliance…with county requirements. If at any point in the future, the Roandoak property owner submits a proposal for a new use other than a single family residence, we will evaluate that.”

Cave struck a more conciliatory tone.

“There is dialogue regarding some issues to be resolved,” Cave told CalCoastNews. “Once such issue has to do with proper noticing of proposed building changes.”

The CCC is reviewing the county’s response to its Oct. 5 letter  “and discussing what to do next,” Cave said.

The Roandoak facility was destined to be demolished, and that was what prospective buyers were told when considering the purchase of adjoining properties.

But the building not only survived several demolition orders, but has expanded to the point where it can now host as many as 30 residents at a time.

Joseph Goodwin

Joseph Goodwin

The property’s owner,  Joseph Goodwin, calls himself “The Apostle” and claims that his establishment is “a religious organization.”

Goodwin has hired Morro Bay attorney Susan McElhinney.

“Mr. Goodwin has been faithfully complying with all county codes and requirements since he became the Presiding Apostle of the Roandoak of God,” the attorney wrote in a letter to the CCC. “He has removed, at considerable expense, literally tons of scrap material, and has been continually upgrading and improving the property, all in conjunction with county approvals and permit.”

Neighbors Mike and Carrie Burton purchased their adjacent property and now run a small ranch. The Burtons have been in a running battle with Goodwin regarding the property’s use, and have produced evidence that well water in the Chorro Creek basin is being contaminated by Roandoak residents.

Carrie Burton has methodically gathered documented evidence demonstrating that Roandoak of God is not in compliance with existing law.

“Roandoak is an admittedly illegal, non-permitted land use with decades of expired permits and non-met conditions,” Burton said. “The county’s own building code says Roandoak should be deemed a new project, with today’s codes, standards and permits.”

Goodwin’s attorney, McElhinney, disputed Burton’s voluminous body of evidence.

“Your informant in this matter has willfully misinformed you as to the nature and use of the property known as the Roandoak of God,” McElhinney wrote to Cave.

“Facts are facts,” Burton replied.

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Neither Roandoak nor Sunny Acres have ever had a problem with bedbugs. Yet somehow THEY are the greater threat to our community’s health and safety?

And finally we get to the heart of the matter:

“The Roandoak facility was destined to be demolished, and that was what prospective buyers were told when considering the purchase of adjoining properties.”

Who told them that, the County or a realtor? Did the seemingly relentless Ms. Burton do her homework as well before as she seems to now? I would guess not. I would further guess that a realtor told her that the house was going.

SLOBIRD is correct. It seems that the Burton moved next to an “airport” and now want it gone. Oh…and are you seriously calling any one of those properties on Chorro Creek Road a ranch? What are they ranching, a few chickens and a tomato garden?

Furthermore, didn’t a RWQCB control board report come out a few years ago stating that ALL the ground water in the Chorro Valley had high nitrates and attributed it to the decades of agriculture and the very large State facility just upstream with thousands of full time residents?

Dan – while I appreciate your taking a stab at a follow-up article. This is a drive-by at best. At worst it is extremely biased. Using words like “host” residents instead of “house” residents is subtle but biased. I host a party at my house, but I house my family and tenants. Also, did the County snub the CCC? Seems like they responded in disagreement to their position. Snubbing would be to ignore.

Finally, anyone can collect and collate a body of evidence. It’s what the evidence then points to that is important. One can also collect a body of evidence and remove an important piece that colors completely what may be the truth. I would be more comfortable with the conclusions of the CCC if Dan had reported that they had collected a body of evidence rather than a person who has a dog in the fight.

Maybe the Burtons should try suing their real estate agent for not really knowing what was going on with Roandoak, What evidence made that statement of “destined to be demolished” true? Facts according to WHO??

The county has been sending people out here for years! (Just like Sunny Acres!) They don’t want is demolished! Seems the Burtons were given bad info from the beginning and they are suing the wrong people.

Shame on them! Love they Neighbor!

It always amazes me that people will move in next to a airport, cow pasture, open park, etc. and then want to complain about the noise, smell, people near their yard, etc. Anyone who has been around that area for years know about this facility and the help they have given to hundreds of people. I sincerely hope that CAPSLO is not looking to take this over as that would be very said. I myself have taken people out there that needed a place to stay and a good meal. The Burton’s are on a ranch, maybe they could employ some of the folks for the required work. You can’t move in and expect the world to change for your personal needs because someone told you something that may or may not have been true. Peace to all of you!

As long as it’s not happening in Christine Mulholland’s view-shed, it’s amazing how much the county decides it really doesn’t care,

Correct, plus it sounds as if many of the residents, if not for Roandoak, would end up needing to be served by CAPSLO which likely would highlight their failures even more and a few of our county supervisors and other elected officials can not have that.

I am a witness of Roanoak for 30 years. The sheriff’s used to drop off homeless hungry people their for years. They feed the homeless, or they used too? I used to visit there may times, had many friends who came out of Roanaok and many became successful citizens.

Caleb Asher used to own the property, he fought the county all the time with code violations. At least their beds were bugless!! LOL Who takes care of the poor? Do you? Does the county inspector allow homeless people to sleep at their homes? Where do they go? Who has compassion on these poor desitude people? Jesus does and Joseph and helpers do this work well. Please leave them alone, unless you will help the homeless. Today the middle class are ending up at Roanoak. Are you next victum? Who will take care you? when luck runs out on you? While we are still the USA, lets help if we can.

Let Roanoak be a place of peace and were the gospel of Christ is allowed!

Happy Veteren’s Day, Thank you Vets for laying down your lives on the altar of freedom!

“Happy Veteren’s Day, Thank you Vets for laying down your lives on the altar of freedom!”

Your quote above is meaningless to Jehovah Witnesses. One can only wonder in how the Jehovah Witness will spend their Veteran’s Day since they don’t fight for the freedom of their countries of origin, but let everybody else fight for them, and then subsequently reap the harvest for the ones that shed their blood for them. Case in point, World War 2.

“There is a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.” ( Ecclesiastes 3:8)

On the other hand, you’re correct in that Christians better start following their bibles relative to the teachings of their leader, Jesus the Christ! The Socialist Jesus stated: “Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21)

The Coastal Commission has NO business in this issue. Their tentacles stretch too far as it is.

The stretching of tentacles is not limited to the Coastal Commission, most cities and counties stretch theirs too far too, it just seems at this time the Coastal Commission and the county got their tentacles twisted up in each other’s.

The old “too many chiefs and not enough Indians” eh?