Arroyo Grande City Council rejects building moratorium

August 31, 2016
Arroyo Grande City Council

Arroyo Grande City Council

Arroyo Grande City Council voted 3-2 last week to reject a proposed building and annexation moratorium while the city is under drought water restrictions.

Mayor Jim Hill and Councilman Tim Brown supported the moratorium saying that the water its citizens save should not be used for new construction until the water shortage emergency has ended. While rate payers have cut usage, their water rates have risen.

Since the state mandated the city cut its water usage by 28 percent, city residents cut water consumption by 37 percent. Nevertheless, on months where rate payers use more water than their allotment, they are fined up to $200 a month.

Nevertheless, Council Members Jim Guthrie, Barbara Harmon and Kristen Barneich voted against new building restrictions during the drought because there was not a “public health crisis sufficient to justify a moratorium.”

In addition, Harmon unsuccessfully argued for a top-tier water fine of $500.

Following the vote, members of the public voiced their concerns and Harmon and Guthrie agreed to bring the topic back at a future date.


Otis, you forgot to mention that the sweetheart developer of Arroyo Grande is planning on putting in 60 home lots on Cherry Avenue! Will they be limited to water usage while building? Will these homes be following the same water restrictions that we are? Do we have enough water for 60 more homes?


Doesn’t it figure?

The city asks us to conserve, and residents respond.

But when the residents ask for something it falls on council 3-2 deaf ears.

Is anyone surprised at how the vote went down? Not me!


No worries. Lopez stands at 25% full. That should last.. a year.


Hhmmm…so now we have Ms. Harmon, Mr. Guthrie and Ms. Barneich to thank for getting a lower quality Food 4 Less market instead of Spencer’s full service market, AND we can thank them in the near future when we will be limited to shower every other day, never wash cars and let our lawns and trees all die! That will be a huge struggle for Ms. Barneich who already received a warning about too much water use at her personal residence!

Can’t people realize that we are in a serious drought? Drive out to Lake Lopez, or by Lake Cachuma. It’s a scary shock treatment!


AG citizens,

Watch the council meeting replay. Listen as Kristen Barneich states her own dear father is bathing once every FOUR days so he can use water for his trees.

Residents are resorting to drastic measures to conserve. They hope to return to a more normal lifestyle at SOME POINT. They are not expecting to have the city force these measures upon them as a new way of life so that developers can profit off the conservation efforts of ratepayers.

Harmon’s desire to levy a $500 fine further illustrates she is out of touch. Now she and Guthrie want a do-over?


Councilwoman Harmon actually voiced that residents were intentionally no reducing their water usage.

She wanted to fine residents $500.

Wow! Let’s talk vindictive because she lives in a very small home on a small lot!


You Know It’s Funny The LA & SF people move to the coast & as Soon as they get there they do every thing in their power to stop things , You Bet ya You got a water Problem, the Solution is not to shut off the taps..

For Guys Like Tim Brown it is, its all about more control, Stop this Stop that .. Oh By the way As soon as The SF/LA People get into town they want to run every thing , Step aside You Hill Billies.. Let US Big City boys show you how its Done..

A Vote For Caren Ray is a Vote to move Back wards , You Do not have enough Stupid People Running your City?

If you have a problem fix it,

Ole Slo Bird ,your not making enough Money sell the Coast off one Piece at a time??? My Buddy Calls people . “Hipo Crotch” LOL


There is no better example of why Mayor Jim Hill and Councilmember Tim Brown have consistently been frustrated in doing the right things for the City of Arroyo Grande than the defeat of the moratorium on development during the present water crisis.

The council majority – the Council Troika that opposes the Mayor, Council members Barneich, Harmon and Guthrie, appear to exercise their Ferrara hangover sulks in blatantly opposing the Mayor.

Harmon and Guthrie give post fact assurances to the citizens the issue will be revisited – blatantly suggesting they have the power to decide the issue while citizens thirst for something more sensible in this political season.

Residence property owners are faced with dire financial consequences by the imposition of administrative fines, while being encouraged to turn their lawn browns, while being faced with water rate increases to compensate the City for water revenue declines.

Despite this the Council Troika – that is unambiguously pro development – with probable large political donations by developers – have ignored the political revulsion by property owners.

Neither developers – nor the city itself by the action of the Council Troika — are biting the same bullets as the citizens during this water crisis.


people need to write letters to the editor and make opinion known if its important .

Jim and I are on an Island.


whine whine…what about affordable housing?


i was being sarcastic. all you see in the news is drought and we don’t have enough housing. you can bet that whatever is developed will not be affordable. my brother was smart and moved to southern Illinois years ago and has a cabin in Wyoming as well.

the push for affordable housing is disturbing and will bite in the _ _ _ _. sorry but out of state my be the solution. HP has created a campus in Idaho where someone can have a decent life and raise a family. look at southern Utah.


The developer’s three amigos continue to support construction regardless of the impact to the community and its citizens. Time to vote the last of the good ole boy/girl network, left over from the Steve Adam and Tony Ferraro days, out of office. Make this change in November or continue to allow corruption in the City and paying the price. DO NOT VOTE FOR CAREN RAY either, more of the corrupt gang!

Francesca Bolognini

We are faced with the same thinking in Cambria, where our CCSD is loaded with those who favor developers and real estate opportunists over the citizens of the existing community and rational thinking. We are in the position to change the balance of our board during this election cycle and I sincerely hope we succeed !


Ray, Harmon and Barneich will vote for a developer to make decisions they cannot make – like what Arroyo Grande should stand for!

Vote for Mack!

He knows his stuff and he has proved no on one is going to tear him down!


Mack? I don’t believe he submitted papers to run. Too bad, he’d be a valuable addition.