Morro Bay considering building moratorium, or is it?

April 13, 2015
Jamie Irons

Mayor Jamie Irons

The Morro Bay City Council is set to discuss an emergency citywide ban on new construction, even though no council member supports the proposal, a report prepared by Mayor Jamie Irons states.

Following a public meeting and an email campaign by a citizen group that advocates stricter building codes, Irons placed an item on Tuesday’s agenda that asks the council to consider a request to adopt an urgency ordinance enacting a 45-day building moratorium. If adopted, the ordinance would bar the city from issuing building permits during that span.

Irons’ report on the issue states that, upon receiving the citizen request, no council member asked the mayor to place the moratorium proposal on a council agenda. Irons concluded the report by recommending that the council reject the proposal.

“I do not believe there is a level of urgency to warrant a building moratorium,” Irons wrote.

Rather than approving an urgency ordinance, Irons recommends that the council adopt a resolution committing the city to updating its general plan and local coastal plan in the next three years. The general plan and local coastal plan regulate future growth in Morro Bay.

Irons also suggested the council remain committed to developing neighborhood design guidelines. His report states that, for now, the city should not focus on developing new rules for commercial design or view protection.

On March 25, Irons attended a meeting held by the Neighborhood Compatibility Coalition (NECCO). At the end of the meeting, the approximately 80 people in attendance gave overwhelming support for a building moratorium that would last until new design guidelines take effect, according to Irons’ report.

The potential of new construction blocking existing views is of particular concern to NECCO members. Others argue that Morro Bay needs a building moratorium because of its water shortage and faulty sewer system.

Irons’ report states that, if the city were to adopt the moratorium, it would risk losing development impact and permit fees, as well as sales tax due to reduced or no building.

In order for the city to enact a building moratorium, four of five council members must vote in favor of the proposal. If the 45-day ban is enacted, the council could extend the temporary prohibition to last a total of two years.

The council is schedule to meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Morro Bay Veterans’ Hall.



  1. racket says:

    First nail in Makowetski’s political coffin. His YES vote shows that he’s willing to play patsy to NIMBY special interests.

    Good on the other four for using common sense and judgement, especially in the face of their campaign contributors, who are the bulk of the “grassroots” group.

    (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
    • racket says:

      NECCO grassroots group’s motto is “You hillbillies were too stupid to protect what you’ve got til we got here to do it for you.”

      (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  2. mbactivist1 says:

    A large majority re-elected him to a second term – after he made it clear, in his first term, that he wanted the plant moved off the beach. That’s a pretty clear vote of confidence for Irons regarding his views on the WWTP.

    (-10) 20 Total Votes - 5 up - 15 down
    • LameCommenter says:

      B.S. as often from you, mbcatastrophist. He campaigned on the usual glad-handing, mention a few issues, Prom King sort of thing. Worked for Obama also. An actual representation of the numbers, costs and consequences of the move would never have passed the smell test of any intelligent voter. A public vote on the expense/misjudgements would have failed probably 45/55.

      At least one hopes the voters would think it through. We’ll all hopefully live long pleasant lives, to see the eventual numbers, and Irons will be an old fool talking like Cesena “I did the RIGHT thing, I DID, I KNOW I did.” Millions will have been spent that did not have to be spent. It’s reality, son.

      (4) 12 Total Votes - 8 up - 4 down
      • mbactivist1 says:

        The voters here in Morro Bay are way smarter than you give them credit for. Moving the plant was the only intelligent decision and the majority of the voters know that.

        (-9) 17 Total Votes - 4 up - 13 down
        • Myself says:

          Linda why are you so fixed on moving the plant,that is so dumb, all the infrstructure is there,leave it,the cost overruns will be horrible if the plant is moved,the city is circling the drain as it is and Irons and his ilk are doing noting to help it,pretty soon it is going to have to relent and fall back into the countys hands and Gibson has been wanting that for quite some time now, if you think things are dumb now wait till the county gets a hold of it.

          (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  3. kkeene88 says:

    Sad to see the City becoming a shell of what is was, not enough interested people to apply for advisory boards, not enough interested people to keep the July 4th Fireworks and now the Harbor Festival – an iconic event is reduced to one day. The business owners almost all up in arms about the business license debacle and the realtors looking at legal action. Employees begin treated unfairly and with no regard. Sad state of affairs.

    (8) 16 Total Votes - 12 up - 4 down
  4. LameCommenter says:

    Nice, geeky photo of the WWTP wrecker.

    Hard to imagine that such a geeky fellow can do such profound damage to a town’s financial and organizational picture, without asking his citizens for a vote on eight-figure damage to their future.

    (8) 20 Total Votes - 14 up - 6 down

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