Public speaks on water issue, despite Gibson’s objection
July 31, 2015
A week after County Supervisor Bruce Gibson said the public had already spoken on the issue of Paso Robles groundwater basin restrictions, the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission held a seven-hour meeting, largely dealing with that controversy.
Gibson is currently seeking an extension of an ordinance that prohibits residential or agricultural development in the Paso Robles basin unless developers or ranchers create conservation projects elsewhere in the area that preserve an equal amount of water. The ordinance is set to expire on Aug 27.
Last week, the issue appeared on the board of supervisors agenda, even though it had yet to be heard by the county planning commission, as required. Supervisor Lynn Compton said at the meeting that the board should not vote on an extension of the ordinance because the public was not given its say on the issue, and the item was improperly agendized.
Gibson said members of the public had already had a chance to talk about the issue, and the board needed to go ahead and pass an extension of the ordinance. Gibson argued that developers and growers could take advantage of the period after which the ordinance expires and before it is extended.
On Thursday, the planning commission held a meeting on countywide plans to reduce groundwater use. An extension of the Paso Robles basin ordinance is part of the overall plan.
Over the course of the seven-hour meeting, about 20 public speakers voiced concerns about groundwater regulations. Ultimately, the commission had to continue the discussion and postpone its vote on the issue. [Tribune]
The groundwater regulatory proposals will then go to the board of supervisors for final approval.