Los Osos directors want a planning commission
April 6, 2017
By KAREN VELIE
Several Los Osos Community Services District board members want the district to create and operate its own planning commission. At Thursdays 7 p.m. meeting, the board will hear a Government Services Committee report written by directors Jon-Erik Storm and Vicki Miledge on why the district should expand its powers.
In order to create a planning commission, the district would need the approval of the San Luis County Board of Supervisors and the Local Agency Formation Commission.
Since 1988, there has been a building moratorium in Los Osos. However, with the sewer online and several management plans in the pipeline, the floodgates for new development could be opened, according to the report.
In order for new development to occur, the county’s general plan amendment that include a sustainable water supply and habitat conservation plan still need to be approved by the California Coastal Commission and the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Services.
Storm and Miledge want the district board to be involved in the approval process for any future developments.
Generally, only cities and counties have their own planning departments and commissions. The SLO County Planning Commission currently reviews and approves proposed developments in Los Osos.
Another option would be for Los Osos to apply to become a city.
However, with the district’s historic bankruptcy, suspended bond rating and recent $500,000 deficit, it is unlikely Los Osos would prevail in a bid to become a city, according to the report.
Meanwhile, Los Osos is struggling to sustain itself as a special district.
District officials are looking at raising water rates to its 2,700 customers by a total of $500,000 a year to meet current obligations.
The committee also wants to expand parks and recreation powers and to bring back its garbage franchise. The district sold its garbage franchise to the county as part of its bankruptcy settlement.
In the committee’s report, it looks to take funding for a planning commission from the 1 percent property tax the district receives. Those funds are currently allocated to the water department to offset expenses.