Will the Paso Robles Council impose a water moratorium?

January 21, 2014

water2The Paso Robles City Council will consider imposing a temporary moratorium on private water well drilling on Tuesday.

Because of low rainfall and increased demands, the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin water levels have been dropping. About 1,000 acres in the city are irrigated from private non-regulated wells, the city staff report says.

If passed, the ordinance would prohibit the city from accepting, processing or approving any new well permits for 45 days. The moratorium is slated to go into effect on Feb. 4.

After 45 days, the council can vote to extend the ordinance for up to 22 months and five days.


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We are having a drought not converting to communism, let the property owners deal with it. New entitlements like housing projects are what should be put on hold as they are affected by public approvals.

This is confusing. Already, the city requires homeowners to hook up to the water/sewer system in town instead of drilling a deeper or new well. They agreed to let the Ayres Hotel build a vineyard in town and use well water from a neighbor’s well. They are telling the three hotel/residential and vineyard developer that he can use his existing wells for his vineyard.

So, did they have someone they don’t like apply for a well permit for a vineyard inside the city limits?

Does anyone know the story on this action?

Too little; Too late.

How can they put a moratorium in place while at the same talk about planning for the development of hundreds of new homes? Am I missing something?

They put providing water for new homes ahead of other uses for water.

Yes, we are all missing something. No one I talk to wants these new developments because all the traffic will go on existing streets, and no one wants to desert scape their lawn so that water will be available for new people, not even here yet.

The question is who is behind this push to add this population during a drought and with no regard to traffic, and why. Even Jim App does not support the latest new development added to the list–River Oaks II.

I know that the city is the co-developer for Chandler Ranch, Beechwood, and Olsen developments and that the city has loaned big money (taxpayer money) to these developers.

I also know that the city planned to pay for Nacimiento with water/sewer hook up fees from these developments along with raising water rates. I also heard that the city spent money saved for the Nacimiento Project on the revamping of the 46 Target shopping center/101 intersection.

But who are the people spearheading this colossal development overreach? The City Council recently reaffirmed the 44,000 build out population limit, but the city planning department and planning commission are now talking about raising the build out to 57,000. Who is behind this?

One reason there is condensed-housing development in Paso Robles is PR is one of the two areas in SLO Co which still has zoning (and room) for more high-density residential housing.

The County is required to have a certain amount of high-density housing. So there is considerable pressure from the County.

Nipomo is currently out of the question because of the huge drop in the level of groundwater in their aquifer. However, once the pipeline is completed there will be lots of extra water. Something the Nipomo CSD failed to mention in their press releases is that there will be hundreds of acre-feet extra which is stipulated to be for NCSD’s future development.

I don’t know how far along the new housing projects are in the permitting process, but if they already have their water meters set, then it may be difficult to stop turning on the spigots at the development.

Does anyone know what happened at the meeting?