Los Osos directors want a planning commission

April 6, 2017

Jon-Erik Storm and Vicki Miledge


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.

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This is simply another Quixotic plot to justify their existence and sustain a special district that has long ago proven, beyond a shadow of doubt, to be a costly unnecessary entity in the town of Los Osos.

Seemingly, these quixotic ideas just keep coming, like the recent “viable” suggestion to reduce the size of our ‘people’ recreation park by one acre and use it to exercise our dogs in a risky ‘location’ adjacent to residential homes, a church, a water well and a tennis court.

Most all available information available on the internet suggest that “location” is the most crucial

first step in guidelines for site selection (Recommendations and Guidelines for Dog park Site Selection). There are numerous sites on design & all provide a “Buffer from Residential” ranging fro 50 yards to 200 feet. There are also buffer zones for dog parks from water wells.churches and play grounds and necessary parking areas.

A rectangle acre is 206′ X 206′. So, what’s left for the dog park?

Many dog parks built too close to residential neighborhoods across America have had to either shut down, or limit usage etc. Read the Pacifica Tribune, Bay Area News Group articles ” November 6, 2012

“Neighbors growling act out dog park location” and April 29,2014 “Neighbors say still no peace at dog park”.

LOCAC looked at doing this back in the ’90s as an advisory council and the County wasn’t interested. The moratorium trumped most all development anyway. With the sewer, the question becomes when will the moratorium be officially lifted by the RWQCB and how soon after that will the County start processing permits and throw open the floodgates? Rest assured, there will be pressure applied for development.

Hey Niles Q,

The Water Board has lifted their moratorium. A defacto moratorium lies over the prohibition zone by the CCC permit requiring the Community Plan (LCP update) that includes Habitat Conservation and Groundwater Basin plan’s blessed by all parties. New development, in the form of expansions or bedrooms and bathroom remodels, is taking place all over the PZ.

The areas outside the PZ are struggling to find their way through the snail and water limitation quagmire.