Steve Martin approves development, receives a large donation

October 1, 2016
Paso Robles Councilman Steve Martin

Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin

The Paso Robles City Council voted unanimously last month to approve zoning changes for a project owned by Stewart and Lynda Resnick and Tom and Gwen Erskine. A month later, Gwen Erskine donated $1,000 dollars to Mayor Steve Martin’s campaign for supervisor.

On Aug. 2, the developers asked the council for approval to subdivide and rezone three parcels on the east side of Paso Robles into 14 separate lots.

Because the property was zoned parks and open space, development on the land was limited to recreational uses such as hotels, resorts and wineries. The council’s approval permits the Resnicks and the Erskines to rezone a portion of the 212 acre property from open space to industrial.

In an area dominated by wineries and hotels, the developers plan to build an industrial park with 440,000 square feet of planned industrial space and 183,000 square feet of light industrial, according to the project application.

Generally, zoning changes from parks and open space to industrial are uncommon, said Darren Nash, Paso Robles associate planner.

Before the Aug. 2 Paso Robles City Council meeting, as part of the project’s conditions for approval, the developers were required to provide a 40 foot easement for a hiking trail.

However, on Aug. 2, the council also voted to approve the developer’s request to reduce the width of a trail easement from 40 feet to 20 feet.

On Sept. 24, Gwen Erskine donated $1,000 to Martin’s campaign for a seat on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors.

Martin said he had no knowledge about the donation before the Aug. 2 vote.

“The donation did not come up before the issue,” Martin said. “It was a total surprise.”

Gwen Erskine did not respond to requests for comment.



  1. phoenix.rising says:

    Steve Martin wants to tax you again for ROADS

    Vote for John Peschong who says NO to Measure J

    government overreach in all areas

    “Pay To Play” Prime Example Measure J

    Wow! Look at the 460 summary sheet that a campaign is required to submit to our local and state government to show you and I who and how much money they give to sell us a position. Click on this page to easily see the summary sheet.

    To see all 18 pages click on this link.•-measure-j-•-460s/

    Ron DeCarli is an over $200,000 paid a year employee of SLOCOG who is pushing this down our throats donated $500 to the proponents of measure J and going all over this county to push YES on our tax dollars (his pay check) which is wrong!

    Wallace Group • San Luis Obispo, CA donated $11,740 as of 9-29-16. What do you know about the Wallace Group? They are involved in heated issues with the South Sanitation District of Oceano and Arroyo Grande. They are involved in the Los Osos sewer financial nightmare. The Wallace Group has a financial stranglehold on our county choking out other businesses. Look up all the articles and meetings held because of the Wallace Group concerns and proof by citizen groups and city council records.

    I estimate that by the election there will be over $200,000 collected to run a campaign to talk you all into voting YES on Measure J-16.

    Go to website and learn why I am voting NO on Measure J-16 and there you can read all the pages (18) of the 460’s and all the individual donor’s names and amount.

    Why do they need big money to jam this down our throats? It is because the ballot measure requires a ⅔ majority vote to succeed! That is why you and I want to protect proposition 13 that require a ⅔ majority vote to TAX us. This is our only protection.

    So tell your neighbors and friends and enemies to vote NO on Measure J-16.

    It is a SCAM . View the video linked here that Supervisor Lynn Compton and Supervisor Debbie Arnold give their reasons why it is a SCAM.

    Supervisor Debbie Arnold

    Supervisor Lynn Compton

    fight back

    VOTE NO on Measure J-16 and vote for John Peschong for 1st District Supervisor

    (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
  2. northcountyresident says:

    Political donations do not constitute bribes. Donations are an exercise of our free speech. They let us “put our money where our mouth is.” Donations help the candidates print post cards and run ads so they may distribute their messages. Donations do not line the pockets of a candidate. They are transparent to the public.

    If we think that donations are the same as bribes, then Martin’s opponent is beholden to out-the-area interests.

    (-9) 29 Total Votes - 10 up - 19 down
    • TaxMeAgain says:

      Rubbish. This is a democracy and a representative government that, simply, is for SALE. Our union and a working set of checks and balances has become an auction.

      (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
  3. Marsh says:

    Guess who just lost the election to County Sup….

    (11) 17 Total Votes - 14 up - 3 down
  4. Black_Copter_Pilot says:

    A guy with integrity would turn the donations down citing conflict of interest. What say you Steve Martin?

    (16) 18 Total Votes - 17 up - 1 down
    • kayaknut says:

      I think all that needs to be said has been said by Steve Martin’s actions, it is now up to the voters as to if they want that shady type of pay to play government.

      (15) 17 Total Votes - 16 up - 1 down
    • Ricky2 says:

      Only problem with that is practically all large contributions come from people who want something in return, so poor politicians would have no funds left for their fancy ads and glossy mailers. The voters of SLO still think Dan Rivoire is some sort of greenie saint because he likes bikes, but his campaign was financed by developers who want stuff, which he gives them week after week. (He’s actually not a greenie saint, by the way, but a greenwashed developer type. Now the developers are trying the same trick with Aaron Gomez, candidate for council. Worked once, maybe it will work twice. Voters too dumb to notice.)

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  5. fhill123 says:

    Would you say this pay to lay foundations?

    (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
  6. SLOBIRD says:

    OK, so before the election is held we know where Mr. Martin’s loyalty lays for the citizens of this County and North County particularly. He will now become the Frank Mecham that we are all disgusted with as our supervisor. Remember how nice Frank was until in got into the lion’s den with Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson? Remember the water issue of this past year and the mistrust, anger and deceit not to speak of the thousands of dollars and legal issues raised by Resnick and his cronies. Are we really going to elect someone and go back into that corrupt evil den. Really? We need change and I for one don’t think the Resnicks are here to help our community and they still want our water. Steve Martin just showed where he stands for a cheap $1000. Go John Peschong!

    (36) 44 Total Votes - 40 up - 4 down
  7. mej says:

    It’s time to ask the FBI to become involved with what is happening in North County. Here’s a little snippet of what happened to a similar rezone cartel.

    LA Times: The developer who built much of Fresno and Madera counties over the last half-century, whose power has been felt by successive generations of local and state politicians, was indicted Friday on wide-ranging charges that he attempted to corruptly influence public officials to secure approval for housing tracts.

    John Bonadelle, 80, was charged along with two former Fresno councilmen, one of whom served as Bonadelle’s personal lobbyist for the past two decades.

    The 13-count indictment announced in Sacramento caps a four-year FBI and IRS investigation of municipal corruption in Fresno and adjacent Clovis. Federal agents say they have uncovered a decades-long practice of developers subverting local zoning and environmental laws by buying off politicians in this fast-growing farming region.

    As part of the ongoing investigation dubbed Operation Rezone, nine politicians, lobbyists and developers have pleaded guilty or been sent to prison. Their crimes range from wire fraud to obstruction of justice–all related to key City Council votes on rezoning and housing development.

    (25) 31 Total Votes - 28 up - 3 down
  8. mej says:

    Steve Martin needs to go to prison. Others have. Operation Rezone. 1998 . Same behavior.

    (21) 31 Total Votes - 26 up - 5 down
    • Ricky2 says:

      Go to prison? For what? You’d have a hard time making a case that a campaign contribution made 6 weeks after a vote was a bribe. So what’s the scoop? My brain can’t understand your leap into the stratosphere of righteousness.

      Seems like there’s a lot of partisan free-floating anger here. Peshong’s more of a crook than this guy. So should he go to prison too? Oh no!

      (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
  9. City of Paso Robles just showed leadership becoming the first to pilot and then adopt mandatory e-verify for all new City hires. Why would they turn around and make such a profound mistake with the Resnicks after this winning play?

    Vote John Peschong District 1 Supervisor so the Resnicks of Beverly Hills answer to local residents, and NOT pay2play/ New Age Democrats with their billions.

    (37) 47 Total Votes - 42 up - 5 down

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