Proposed oak tree ordinance moving forward
June 22, 2016
The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisor agreed Tuesday to place the discussion of an oak tree ordinance and new rules for reservoirs on an upcoming agenda.
Two decades ago, local farmers argued against implementing an oak tree ordinance because they thought it would be onerous and expensive. However, after Justin Vineyards, a company owned by Stewart and Lynda Resnick, cut thousands of oak trees with plans to create a 20-acre-foot agricultural reservoir that would drain millions of gallons of water out of the ground during a time of drought, farmers have joined environmentalist in seeking legal restrictions.
In the past, Supervisors Bruce Gibson, Adam Hill and Frank Mecham supported Resnick’s plans to promote a proposed Paso Robles basin water district that was rejected earlier this year by 77 percent of voters. However, following the Resnick’s third clear-cutting and reservoir installation since 2013, the supervisors unanimously agreed to consider an oak tree ordinance.
On July 15, the board of supervisors will consider an emergency ordinance, which would be in place for at least 45 days, while they work on a more permanent solution.