Nipomo neighbors in uproar over migrant housing

April 1, 2016

Halsel home

By KAREN VELIE

A large strawberry grower in South County is seeking to move 112 or more foreign nationals into seven homes on Mad Place in Nipomo. A plan some neighbors are rallying against.

Under the federal H-2A program, employers file petitions for foreign nationals to temporarily enter the United State to perform work that citizens will not perform. The employer is then required to provide housing and transportation for the workers.

In this case, the workers for Mar Vista Berry will predominantly be men from Mexico and Central America. The current plan is to place 16 men in each home for approximately nine months out of the year.

Strawberry farmAfter learning of the grower’s plan to house farm workers in this residential neighborhood off of Tefft Avenue, near Highway 101 and the Dana Adobe, Supervisor Lynn Compton met with County Counsel Rita Neal to determine if this was permissible under current regulations, or if the county could enact an ordinance to limit the number of people living in a home, Compton said.

However, after researching the issue, Neal said that several court cases, including the City of Santa Barbara v. Adamson, have determined that those types of restrictions are unconstitutional, discriminatory and unlikely to withstand legal challenges, Compton said.

“When you live in a residential subdivision, your expectations are that there will be other families living there,” Compton said. “And not that you will be living next to a dorm, even if it is legal.”

In January, after meeting with county counsel, Compton and Jim Bergman, the director of building and planning, requested a meeting with representatives of Mar Vista Berry and Halsell Builders to voice their concerns about the proposal.

More than a year ago, Halsell Builders constructed three of the homes, but was unable to sell them.

Mad farms 2

“A happy, little cul-de-sac of six semi-custom and one custom home on an acre,” the builder’s website says.

“This is a neighborhood based on childhood memories, cutoff shorts and the ice cream truck” Halsell Builders’ Mad Farm’s website says. “Homes that reflect the spirit of family.”

Halsell currently has three homes built, three under construction and plans to build one more to finish out the subdivision.

On Feb. 10, Bergman informed the grower that his original plan to place 26 men in each home violated the California Building Code requirement of no more than 16 persons in a single-family residence. Bergman also noted his and Compton’s concerns about the impact a cluster of migrant housing units would have on the community.

“At the meeting, Supervisor Compton and I expressed to you that although your proposed course of action may be lawful (assuming no more than 16 residents per home), it most likely will become publicly controversial,” Bergman said in his letter. “In my career, I have witnessed four similar situations and all resulted in the community placing substantial pressure on the property owners which caused each to reconsider their actions.”

On Monday, at a South County Advisory Council meeting, a group of about 45 Nipomo residents voiced their concerns about crime, noise levels and their property values if seven neighborhood homes are used for migrant housing.

Last week, the grower moved bunk beds into three of the homes with plans to move the farm workers in on May 1.

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Josey Wales

Folks,


This scheme is being perpetrated by Greg and Donna France, who want to use the homes to house their labor supply. Funny how the farmers expect the rest of us to chip in to assist them, but don’t feel the need to help the rest of us.


This is all part of ‘Sanctuary City’ politics and the politicians being bought and sold by their ‘Big Ag’ masters. In Northern Santa Barbara County, the 5th District Supervisor, Steve Lavignino is heavily associated with Sanctuary City politics, as was his father, the former Mayor of Santa Maria. The Mayor of Santa Maria, has worked to keep ICE out, and she takes donations from Big Ag. Also. SB County 4th District Supervisor Peter Adam, just had the Adam Family Farm raided by ICE and found to be using 300 plus illegal workers.


Guess what? Greg France was appointed by Steve Lavignino to serve on the SB County Ag Advisory Committee.


All of this corruption is BAD NEWS for taxpayers.


Just saying,


Mr. Josey Wales, Ph.D


unlisted

“Donald Trump used Romanian H-2B visa workers at his resorts.”


It’s also the way he finds all of his wives.


65buick

It’s like everybody voted and said ‘yes, I must have those strawberries, or I will perish’.


It’s just not that simple.


obispan

Ah, but it is. Yes, I must have those strawberries.


Nip15518

I used to live in that area a few years back the was bad then if was already going to bad with that many more living in that area of South Oak Glen and Souza Dr. Its going to be imposable to find any parking, and they really need to look at all the added car traffic it going to cause.


mkaney

You can’t make people happy on this issue. You can follow the law, providing the BEST opportunity available in terms of ability to identify and track migrant workers, provide quality housing, pay decent wages, and try to be a responsible company and STILL they won’t be happy. Why? Because all of their reasons are either B.S. or just part of their twisted perceptions. Because the real reason is that it’s racism, plain and simple. Oh of course you’re not racist because you have no problem with people of that same race that are in the same socioeconomic class as you. Think about that for a minute.


These would probably be the BEST neighbors anyone ever had. Try being friendly with them, getting to know them. You CERTAINLY will not have to worry about your children getting into trouble in that neighborhood because if you’re friendly, these are the kind of people who will keep you informed of anything you should know about. And considering that they are at least attempting to do this legally, when it’s so easy not to, you’re probably not looking at a substantial criminal element..


I hope this happens.


jhagstro

My thoughts exactly! Thank you!! The builder and the employer are working within the law – so, if you don’t like the law, change it. The legislators who put laws into place work for you – remember??!!


Kaiser Bill

“Because the real reason is that it’s racism, plain and simple.”


Here it is. Don’t want live next to 100 poor immigrant MEN from a different culture? Racism.

Tried and true straw man of the left.


“These would probably be the BEST neighbors anyone ever had.”


I doubt that. How is being an immigration haven working out for Santa Maria? Lots of drugs, crime, and even rape has been brought to that town. But turn SLO County into Santa Maria with its violence, highest hit and run accident rate in the state, and terrible schools. It will be worth it so we can have cheap strawberries.


mej

What kind of lunatic are you.


Making an assumption that hundreds of single men will be the best neighbors. Probability says their will be a mix of pedophiles, alcoholics, and criminals among them. Logically, when you take 7 houses and put seven families there, you have 7 men and their families. More than a hundred men….. like I said, the statistics would give you pedophiles, mentally ill, and alcoholics roaming the neighborhood.


In your dreamworld, workers from other countries are not like the rest of the population. The point of legal immigration is to weed out the undesirables.


kettle

You call someone a lunatic and then say “the statistics would give you pedophiles, mentally ill, and alcoholics roaming the neighborhood”


Show your statistics or go back to your dreamworld of immigration hate, plenty of white middle aged pedophiles, mentally ill, and alcoholics in your neighborhood already, statistics and probability.


What kind of ________ are you?


mej

Hey, think about it. It mirrors society. About 1/2 of us are all effed up. You must know that.


Putting 112 men into 7 houses is going to produce 50-60 problem men who are alcoholics, child molesters, criminals, or mentally ill. Take your pick.


http://www.newsweek.com/nearly-1-5-americans-suffer-mental-illness-each-year-230608


http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/men-more-violent.htm


• Dr. Gene Abel estimates that between 1% and 5% of our population molest children

-CNN Specials Transcript #454-Thieves of Childhood.http://www.yellodyno.com/html/child_molester_stats.html


Prevalence of Binge Drinking and Heavy Drinking: In 2013, 24.6 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month; 6.8 percent reported that they engaged in heavy drinking in the past month.2


unlisted

“The point of legal immigration is to weed out the undesirables.”


I don’t understand your point because these men will be legal “guest workers” and not immigrants or illegal/undocumented foreigners. They will need to pass some level of screening before they are allowed into the country. They will have limited rights and will be forced to return to their countries when they finish their contracts.


re829g

Awww the race card…


mkaney

Awww a meaningless statement to try to deflect the truth. Maybe consider forming sentences with individual words rather that cheap marketed slogans and hackneyed phrases.


junkag

‘Because the real reason is that it’s racism, plain and simple.’


Before scrolling down to read the comments, I already just knew that some San Luis liberal was gonna spout off with this tripe.


hijinks

Am I a racist if I don’t want to live next to a house that contains 16 randy young white men? Maybe you’re missing the actual issue here, Matt.


indigo1955

The audacity of human beings who provide the very food that keeps you and your family alive—expecting to live among you.


horse_soldier

No, the audacity of shoehorning 26 men in a single family residence is the issue.


Mythbuster

10 to 1 they are better behaved than the crammed-in Poly students in SLO houses!


unlisted

Agreed, they will have much more to lose if they don’t behave.


If they screw up, they lose their job AND get sent back to a third world country.


No matter what Poly students do, mommy and daddy will always bail them out.


obispan

What’s the problem? An employer obeying the law? While H-1 visa abuse slashes wages for white collar jobs less than 2% of illegals work in the fields. Ya want California grown strawberries or not? The obvious solution is buy all strawberries from Mexico and develop housing on the former fields with all construction done by illegals to maximize profits. Just as government fees allegedly make housing “less affordable” so do labor costs. Actually neither has any effect on sales prices, only profits.


shudacuda

Just looking over some of the key phrases in the article such as:

112 or more….(begs the question of how many more)

predominantly men….(will there be women as well, and what provisions will be made?)

Temporarily 9 months ( not so temporary)

and I wonder how many illegals are building the remaining houses?

Already moved the bunk beds in…Isn’t there an approval process prior to this moving forward?

They will be bused to work…will any of them have their own cars, if they do you can only imagine how parking will be and if they don’t how do they get by for 9mos.?

Just saying….lots to consider.


kayaknut

“what provisions will be made?” simple answer, for ever child they have, immediate citizenship with all the free stuff they want, paid for by the taxpayers.


obispan

All concrete, framing, plastering, drywall, tile and flooring, and of course landscaping, will be done by illegals. Plumbing, electrical and mechanical are still being done mostly by legal workers but they make one-third of what they made 10 years ago so it won’t be long…


obispan

I forgot roofing, also illegals. This illegal labor is important because we need “more affordable housing” for workers displaced by the illegals who no longer make head-of-household wages.


HWTED

At $15 an hour, aren’t these jobs American will want to do?


Mythbuster

Sadly, most Americans are not physically fit enough to do these jobs.


unlisted

Jobs that Americans want??? ROTFLMFAO!


Translation: Rolling on the floor laughing my f*in’ ass off!