Supervisors to let Paso groundwater ordinance expire

February 4, 2015
Bruce Gibson

Bruce Gibson

On a 3-2 vote with supervisors Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill in the minority, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors chose Tuesday to abandon an ordinance that restricts water use in the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin.

In 2013, the board approved and then extended an emergency ordinance that prohibits new residential or agricultural development in the Paso Robles basin unless developers or ranchers conserve an equal amount of water in the area through other efforts. Following Tuesday’s vote against extending the ordinance, the regulation is now set to expire in August.

Supervisor Frank Mecham supported the ordinance in 2013, but he joined supervisors Debbie Arnold and Lynn Compton in voting against it Tuesday. Later in the day, Mecham relinquished his position as chair of the board and nominated Arnold to fill the role.

By the same 3-2 vote, Arnold became chair and Compton replaced Hill as vice chair. The change in board alignment signaled a shift in power away from Gibson and Hill, who have been part of a board majority for much of the last six years.

The supervisors’ vote on the Paso Robles basin ordinance came amid a larger discussion of water issues in the county. In turning down a proposed extension of the ordinance, the board also rejected a plan to apply the regulation to a groundwater basin in Los Osos and on the Nipomo Mesa, both of which county staff consider to be in overdraft.

Though the board rejected the ordinance extension, the supervisors are still working on a plan to create a water district that will regulate the Paso Robles basin. Last week, the board voted to send an application for creating the district to the San Luis Obispo County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), which will decide the makeup and powers of the new agency.

Sate law now requires the formation of a water regulatory agency in the Paso Robles basin. Last year, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that calls for a hybrid district that is governed by a combination of landowners and district residents.



  1. Rich in MB says:

    Hill Who…..
    Gibson Who…..

    Are they Still Relevant? Na….they are just for entrainment now, just where two clowns deserve to be.

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. jacksprat says:

    We now have an indelible image of how the Board of Supervisors deals with groundwater issues in the Paso Basin. This is what you get if they continue to wear their dual hats as sitting members of the Flood Control District and make decisions for us. The State law known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA and also referred to as Pavley-Dickinson) gives us three choices as to who manages our basin; the Supervisors through the FCD or a water district made up of nine people who must be landowners and live in the basin. If we continue the clown show and food fights over what to do, the State by the Act comes in as the third option and tells us what to do. They don’t need our permission and they don’t need our consent to assess all property owners as much as the want to balance the basin.

    So do you want Gibson, Hill and Compton (or Ray or whoever in the years ahead get elected) to tell us what to do when they don’t represent us or do you want to elect your neighbors to manage the basin? Do you really want the State to come in here? And no, adjudication is no longer a management option as this basin will be subject to SGMA regardless. And that’s a fact Jack.

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

      BOS = too much democracy and uncertainty, could be 3-2 the other way later one. Basin management is to be permanently privatized with our 3-2 right now before the state moves in.

      (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  3. sezlittle1 says:

    Listening to KVEC. This Supervisor thing is getting really weird and petty. There is less drama with my high school kids. They also would be able to deal with this better.
    I wonder who is next on the war path of the lynch mob. I hope the mob can continue to do their house cleaning without making SLO County the laughing stock of the state. Up to this point with people in charge this county is one of the most successful in the state. The biggest problem is water. The new first order of business for the new dynamic trio proves they are going to serve the big dollar donors and giant companies behind them. If will be really interesting when the large wineries in North County fire up their pumps without any restrictions. One of the wineries in Paso also owns a company that sells bottled water. He is a known water banker.

    Quiet little SLO County is going to get really loud.

    (15) 55 Total Votes - 35 up - 20 down
    • 3 putt says:

      Spot on. This is the beginning of the end.

      (6) 44 Total Votes - 25 up - 19 down
    • kayaknut says:

      “this county is one of the most successful in the state” I guess you measure success with millions and millions of unfunded pension liability, one doesn’t need to wonder why you don’t think this is a problem, created by the former people in charge.

      I’m sure you don’t think Ms. Ray would have “paid back” her friend who donated to her election who is developing the Dalidio property had she won. Having blinders on changes things I guess.

      (6) 36 Total Votes - 21 up - 15 down
    • LameCommenter says:

      Come on, sezlittle. You are not getting the facts right.

      Stop insulting a legitimate power move by calling it “high school”. It’s fair game, as it was when your blessed Ray/Hill/Gibson club ran things. Leave off the insults.

      Our county won’t be a laughing stock as the public’s desired policies are put in by a legitimate majority that BEAT OUT the Jerry Brown wrong-for-the-district Ray. Despite your somehow well rated posts, and your liberal insult tactics, things are progressing nicely and normally for the public’s chosen new majority, including removing Hill who was installed after a Gibson violation of public law ! Focus, sezlittle, FOCUS.

      In case you are unaware in your post, the Ray/Hill/Gibson troika did NOTHING to restrict pumping, they restricted only DRILLING. Keep your facts straight. The new board majority is moving toward the PROPER process of meeting state law with management district. State law requires it, we’re headed there, knock off your insult based post and use FACTS, please.

      Please, deal in facts AND BOARD VOTES, and stop your CUSTOMARY LIBERAL MUDSLINGING AND CHARACTER INSULTS. You are so transparent. This board deserves better focus and participation, not mud and analogies to high school.

      (-1) 35 Total Votes - 17 up - 18 down
  4. Slowerfaster says:

    Oh GEEE ! The Board of Stupes turns ‘conservative’, and suddenly the Water Fairy shows up and now everything is ‘Camelot’ in NoCo.

    (-3) 37 Total Votes - 17 up - 20 down
    • kayaknut says:

      The sky is falling, the sky is falling, the sky is falling…….. and then reality set in

      (4) 26 Total Votes - 15 up - 11 down
      • Rich in MB says:

        Remember the Progressive Lefts No 1 Rule:
        “Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste”

        In order to get more control…they need a Crisis.

        (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  5. sezlittle1 says:

    Lamecommenter. Does it make sense to wreck a car then fix it? Pour paint on the side walk then clean it up? Arnold was recently on KVEC bragging about how the Paso ground water basin is one of the largest in the US. ???? She has been downplaying the water crisis with every breath.
    This trio just threw out a plan to conserve water. A plan that was designed for you and I. The trio wants to allow their friends in the ag and wine industry to pump what they need to continue making many millions and millions of profits at yours and my expense.
    The lynch mob must be feeling pretty good right now. However-it will be a good idea to contest the trio once in awhile so they dont feel invincible.

    (10) 68 Total Votes - 39 up - 29 down
    • LameCommenter says:

      I’m amazed at your high ratings, Sez. All you do is sling mud at me (wreck a car then fix it)

      Then insult a supervisor’s opinions which the public supports.

      Then you include a mindless liberal populism “designed for you and I.”

      Wine industry making profits at “yours and my expense”? More liberal populism.

      I know it wins thumbs ups, but please drop the liberal playbook and deal in facts, votes, and issues, please. We have state law to follow, and without the clutter of our own rushed and inadequate first moratorium.

      (0) 34 Total Votes - 17 up - 17 down
  6. sezlittle1 says:

    Here we go. With wineries, farmers and campaign contributors behind them the time is here for you and I to suffer. Outside of the wineries and developers-who benefits from the unrestricted pumping of water.
    I can hear it now from the lynch mob. Oh crap. What do do now?. Maybe this power trio of Arnold, Compton and Meachum isn’t such a good idea.

    (11) 75 Total Votes - 43 up - 32 down
    • LameCommenter says:

      Relax, Sezlittle. All they did was remove a needless and risky complication of local staff thought on the overpumping. Long before the August expiration, this county WILL HAVE a board to manage/restrict/handle the issue, in accordance with California law. This was NOT some victory for overpumpers or the wineries. Quit trying to make drama against the lovely new conservative board majority.

      Read the state law; there WILL BE an agency/board/district. The majority made a responsible and good call.

      (-3) 71 Total Votes - 34 up - 37 down
  7. kayaknut says:

    “with supervisors Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill in the minority”, better words could never be spoken………

    (30) 78 Total Votes - 54 up - 24 down
    • justbeware says:

      Yes, love the visual of the two rats on the bow of a sinking ship
      as the lifeboat is rowing safely to shore.

      (8) 46 Total Votes - 27 up - 19 down

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