Supervisors battle over roads, safety, housing and parks

June 13, 2017


The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors sped through budget hearings Monday agreeing on most expenditures while having heated discussions over several proposals including Nipomo parks, road maintenance, housing and law enforcement.

For more than eight months, the board has discussed and voted on funding priorities. Then, in a Tribune opinion piece on Thursday, supervisors Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson announced plans to divert $5 million from road maintenance, ground water maintenance and work force housing to nonprofit builders, such as People’s Self-Help Housing or Habitat for Humanity.

Hill and Gibson argued that their plans for low-cost housing were superior to a collaborative effort by a group of organizations including the board of supervisors, the builders association, the chamber of commerce and the Economic Vitality Corporation. Gibson also asserted that there is no demand in the county for farm-worker housing.

Supervisor Lynn Compton disagreed saying there is a demand for farm worker housing and that she did not want to scrap long-standing plans for work-force housing for a last-minute proposal first written about in a Tribune opinion piece.

“Good governance does not start with a Tribune opinion piece at the eleventh hour,” Compton said. “Now to say you want to take $5 million from things we have already voted on, to me that is crazy.”

Hill said he was appealing to Supervisor John Peschong, who Hill asserted has control over the two female board members. Hill then went on to say that people and businesses will leave the area if they do not adopt his and Gibson’s plan for low-cost housing.

“I have never seen any opinion pieces or news reports that say people are going to leave this area because the roads aren’t 70 percent,” Hill said. “But every year in this community, everybody talks about how absolutely difficult it is in this community to make it because of the cost of housing.”

Peschong said that Hill and Gibson’s proposal did not sound bad, but there was not sufficient time to vet the plans.

Supervisors Peschong, Compton and Debbie Arnold then rejected Hill and Gibson’s plan by a 3-2 vote.

In addition to the controversy over discretionary monies, Gibson and Peschong spared over funding for two additional sheriff deputies to serve the North County.

Noting both a resent shooting in San Miguel and a stabbing in Paso Robles, Peschong requested the county fund two new deputies to work in the North County where response times can run more than 45 minutes. Sheriff Ian Parkinson agreed saying he also has concerns with gang activity in the North County.

Gibson argued against the expenditure because it was not listed high on Parkinson’s priority list. The board then voted 3-2 to approve the hiring of two new deputies with Hill and Gibson dissenting.

In January, Compton said that more than $10 million in public facility fees generated in Nipomo had been spent in areas Gibson and Hill represent. Since then, Compton has battled with Hill and Gibson over requirements to spend public facility fees in the area where the funds were generated.

Developers in San Luis Obispo County are required to pay public facility fees before they are able to receive development permits. These fees are dedicated for public facilities and parks that support the residence in the area of the development, according to county records.

On Monday, Compton proposed spending $1.2 million in public facility fees on projects  in Nipomo because the area is lacking in both public parks and sports fields.

Gibson then accused Compton of using parks as a political ploy.

“This is pure pork headed to Nipomo to bolster supervisor Compton’s bid in 2018,” Gibson said.

Gibson also claimed that Nipomo has more sports fields than any other community in the county.

In reality, Nipomo has only one public park with sports fields, Nipomo Community Park. In comparison, San Luis Obispo has a total of 19 public parks with 10 of those including sports fields or courts.

The board then voted 3-2, with Hill and Gibson dissenting, to approve a $1.2 million expenditure of public facility fees to be used for development or maintenance of the Dana Adobe, a proposed Jack’s Helping Hands playground, pickleball courts, basketball courts, a skate park and an equestrian trail and staging area in Nipomo. Projects with high water usage were put on the back burner because of legal constraints.

The budget hearings will continue on Wednesday.


Sorry, but in reality does the Dana Adobe do much good for the community as a whole? Not really. Money would be spent better elsewhere.


The Dana Adobe could do as much for Nipomo as the Mission does for San Luis Obispo. These are historical monuments.


Low cost, work force, farm labor housing or hell, just housing!!!

Try to get a permit for any of those things, not easy or in many cases, almost impossible:(

Hill and Gibson are the biggest proponents of nimbyism, unless they are greased properly!!!

Peoples Self Help Housing is a great ideal, but I see future problems with their style of low cost housing interfering with the natural progression of future gentrification:(

If I was promoted to king of low cost housing, didn’t have to pay exorbitant fee’s, and the only rule I had to follow was, make it safe, there would no longer be a problem!!!

If you did a census of existing affordable housing units in this county, you would find that most would not be allowed under current standards.

I’m not promoting run away growth by any, means, but to supply housing for the working poor, the back bone of our community, should be promoted, not through subsidy’s to crony non profits;)


I do have to say in response to farm workers housing vs peoples self help; they are both good. In that, they both support families who are not economically well off, and give them a chance to have a chance of living here given the sudden increase of cost of housing here. I feel though, that peoples self help is a much better option, with less strict stipulations on income rationally, yet requiring applicants whom are accepted to be good, local upstanding citizens economically. They also participate in building a “neighborhood together”, giving them a break in mortgage, taxes, cost of house and property etc. After two years, they then own the house, can sell it at a profit, and move up in the economy. Its a huge “Local” job growth creator generating communities. There are too many perks to state, and i know quite a few good families and people whom have been accepted in this.


Not to mention learning how to build a house, invaluable.


Hill’s misogyny betrays him yet again – two female supervisors need to be managed by a male supervisor? Scary attitude from one who claims to be a “progressive”.


To Gibson: your assertion that “…there is no demand in the county for farm-worker housing…” shows how out of touch you are with reality

To Hill: your comment that Peschong has “…control over the two female board members…” is an obvious indicator that you believe that these two women must be controlled, and that you are jealous that you are not the one doing the control. Otherwise, why make the comment?

Hill then went on to say that “…people and businesses will leave the area if they do not adopt his and Gibson’s plan for low-cost housing…” – what business’s are you referring to, your wife’s latest endeavor?

Kudos to Compton, Arnold and Peschong for standing up to the two morons. Please continue to “check” them in all matters relating to County funds.


Mr. Hill should really do some homework regarding farm worker housing. This is the new buzz word on getting high density projects thru the system. There is currently a 200+ unit project in Atascadero that is identified as farm worker housing. This is how it gets thru the process by being able to bypass many local requirements. And who in the world would vote no for 2 new Sheriff deputies in the North County? Only Hill and Gibson! That in itself shows their true colors. Unfortunately it’s becoming quite the show of who has the best characters representing the people, the politicians in SLO County or our representatives in Washington, D.C. This makes the Turner Classic Movie Channel the best choice over the news channels.


Hill would be for it if Gary Grossman was involved and of course he made another “campaign contribution” to Hill.

Niles Q

Developers of big subdivisions should rightly be made to build community parks for the public too. Instead the County lets them pay an in-lieu fee which goes into a big pot.

The money SHOULD be spent in the community or at least the same Supervisory District whence it was collected, it’s called a “Nexus” and the principle is that monies collected in-lieu MUST be spent where they are collected.

It’s the people of Nipomo whose community has gotten all this growth, so they should by rights get the benefits of these in-lieu fees.

This may not be the official County policy, but it’s the guiding principle for in-lieu fees (same goes with affordable housing and parking in-lieu fees). There’s also supposed to be a time limit on spending in-lieu fees, like within 5 years the money has to be spent or otherwise encumbered, or the person can petition the courts to get their money back.

Of course, with a 4/5ths vote, the Supervisors (or a city council for that matter) can spend any monies however they damn well please, including in-lieu fees, with the exception of course for grant monies from the State or Feds, those nearly always come with binding conditions..

Compton has a good point with all this. Face it, Nipomo and Paso Robles are the main areas of the County with any significant growth over the past 20 years or so (SLO’s growth has been within the city limits).

Both Hill’s and Gibson’s districts are full of no-growth NIMBYs and the growth rate has been near zero in those unincorporated areas.

Think about it, water shortage moratorium in Cambria and sewer and water moratoriums in Los Osos, Cayucos is almost built out and the people there fight every single project that comes up, and San Simeon Village has also had no growth policies (sewer based) for years that they might soon come out of.

So Dist. 2 and 3 haven’t generated much, if any, in-lieu public facilities fees for parks. So if they want to deliver some pork/parks to their constituents Hill and Gibson have had to get it from somewhere (like Dists. 4, 5 and 1).

They are just mad because the gravy train is over, the other supervisors are exerting their domination and Hill and Gibson don’t like it one bit.

And this $5 million towards affordable housing, is woefully inadequate to the point where it almost surely has to be a calculated political strategy to disparage the other three.


For the most part developers are willing to provide parks within their developments. The problem is that the government will not accept them and take the responsibility to maintain them. Consequently the burden is placed on the owners of the affordable homes to maintain the parks. By doing this HOA’s are formed that can increase the monthly costs to the homeowners by hundreds of dollars. At the same time these government entities want these parks, in their neighborhoods that they pay for, opened to the general public. But if completed you can count on all of the politicians being there with hard hats on and gold shovels in hand taking credit for building parks in the community.

That was a simple explanation of passing the buck.

Jorge Estrada

Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson simply are going for the high density vote by sacrificing of the rural dwellers. Although the unincorporated tax stream is high, their pleasure for the “tax benefits” places hardship on rural property owners / dwellers. This is a direct conflict of interest to insure their electability. Sadly their lust for the control of others is with disregard for objectivity in tax payer rights. They have the mindset that rural dwellers should pave their own county roads, make repairs to public infrastructure damaged by nature and so on. They even go further, feather bedding, as in recruiting new votes by luring the less fortunate to our county, not just homeless but the recruiting outsiders to farm pot where there is no water. Ironically yesterday they were championing severe control over those who pay greatly for land that has ample water. THIS IS MUCH MORE THAN A BUDGET HEARING, it is nothing less than a political money grab for votes with complete disregard of who pays. Supervisors, Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson, in my opinion, do not understand efficient governance and both loudly squealed when the decision to utilize our existing County Flood Control District to meet the State mandated ground water management requirement was passed. Their contradictions are pathetic and from talented people who selfishly just represent an agenda. Likely, we can all agree that people who are unjust will eventually be unjust with you.


The four lanes of West Tefft in Nipomo between Mary Ave (Von’s) and Orchard Rd (Nipomo Library) are an embarrassment to those thinking of buying homes at Trilogy at Monarch Dunes or Black Lake golf communities. Not to mention visiting golfers from out of the area.

Until this section of West Tefft recently had its potholes filled, you had to dodge them by moving from lane-to-lane. Surely all this new County property tax money could be spent for some fresh asphalt?


Board just approved an overlay on Tefft Street including medians. HWY 101 to Orchard.


Hill is such a little troll. Of course Compton is bringing back the pork for her district, because 1) they voted her in to do that, and 2) the pork came from there, hence the bringing BACK. Anyone who lives in Nipomo knows this quite clearly, and I suspect even with hill’s micromind, he probably knows it, too.