Public speaks on water issue, despite Gibson’s objection

July 31, 2015
Supervisor Bruce Gibson Photo by Daniel Blackburn

Supervisor Bruce Gibson
Photo by Daniel Blackburn

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.

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So it’s ok to dam the river and send the water over the hill to SLO but it’s not ok for the river’s downstream users to have their water rights. WAKE UP! Bring the City of SLO to the table and then let Gibson speak.

Can’t Bruce simply ask dep County Counsel Debra Berriger to write a letter to the public demanding they desist this public comment?

Gibson, you could see this issue coming for twenty years and those here forty years ago were concerned then. You must have had blinders on all these years. Now, all you are doing is grandstanding and accomplishing nothing.

Why is SLO county still developing when we have no water are raising fees on current residents?

Good question, Nick Tompkins is again going in front of the Arroyo Grande planning commission next Tuesday to try and get past his plan for the lot at Courtland and Grand.

From the city:

The Planning Commission will consider an advisory recommendation to the City Council regarding an ordinance approving a Development Agreement and a resolution approving an amendment to the General Plan Land Use Element and to the Berry Gardens Specific Plan. On Tuesday August 4th at 6pm

Mr. Tompkins this time if offering up 3 commercial building of approximately 15,600 sqft and 4 two story mixed use condos above 1 commercial building and 38 detached “small lot” single family residences. At the same time, we the current residents are being threatened with large fines for not conserving enough water.

Lets see who the planning commission and eventually the city council is really representing the residents who voted the council into office or the developers. No new building should be granted and take place until the residents are no longer being threatened with big fines for not conserving enough water.

Plus I believe the Berry Gardens Specific Plan calls for a much larger % of commercial on that property and little if any residential, but we know Mr. Tompkins stand to make much more money from selling houses than he does from businesses and the city will receive much less tax money with the very little commercial proposed.

These newly proposed ordinances can be very dangerous if implemented. I think everyone agrees that we are CURRENTLY in a drought situation. Does something need to be done? Yes, but what? Having to get a permit to fix a private residential well is idiotic let alone having to put a meter on it. Just another layer of government to impede the lives of the little guy. How about these vineyards? You really don’t have to be much of an intellectual, thank you Bruce, Adam and Jan, to see who is pumping all of the water. If any moratorium is put into place it should be directed towards this non essential agriculture activity. Non essential? Yes, the population will survive without wine. The problem though is that the wine industry is big money and they usually will out spend and outlast the little guy. And at the same time they will fund the politicians.

So if we curtail people from building their homes, impose undue financial hardships on them because they require a well, that will save the wine industry and future developments from any hardships.

Once these ordinances, which are nothing more than no growth policies, it will be nearly impossible to remove them after El Nino comes next year and we start recovering and get back to a normal situation.

I think I’m beginning to see it, I hope everyone else does too.