San Luis Obispo County needs a building moratorium

December 10, 2018


Is it just me, or are things starting to look too “city” around here? At this time, I am beginning to lose the idea that it is just me because I hear the same complaints everywhere I go. These factors that have lowered our quality of life can be reduced or even removed. It’s just now time to figure out if that’s what ‘we’ want to do.

It is not too late to close the door on all the development that is causing the traffic and crowding. All this time that San Luis Obispo County residents have spent bragging up our natural beauty, that’s been kind of off the mark in my opinion. Not that we don’t have it, but so does everywhere else in coastal California. It’s just harder to see in the built out spots like Long Beach or Huntington Beach.

Not long ago, (in this lifetime) those places looked like Pismo Beach. As children in Southern California, we all had lemon, orange and avocado fights on the way to school through the ubiquitous orchards. In the span of a generation, that was gone. Most of us wouldn’t give you a vacant lot in Oceano for all of San Gabriel Valley now. We currently have people here who are marketing the area heavily; houses have become the products for sale on most billboards.

Those houses are not filled by the county’s homeless. Ever. Instead, they are sold to people who live in formerly-awesome-but-now-blighted-by-crowding dumps like the Bay Area.

I saw a solid line of headlights last night that stretched all the way from Arroyo Grande to Orcutt. I was coming home from LA (the city) but I had gotten home to LA traffic and not a small number of that city’s former inhabitants.

The perfect Petri dish for this experiment has been Nipomo. There are literally thousands of houses there that were not there fairly recently and seemingly no end to the building in sight. Nipomo isn’t a city, has still nowhere near the resource or infrastructure for this influx of new residents. What the hay, let ‘em shop and buy gas in Arroyo Grande, right?

Wrong! Everybody here has stuff to do and it doesn’t include waiting in line for a pump or a cashier or anything else. We had the last greatest place because it was beautiful and un-crowded.

This is a massive elephant-in-the-room type issue. I am leaving out the obvious-you all know we either don’t have the water or will be asked to live with less of it.

Personally, I’d like a building moratorium. I already have enough money and business; I won’t be able to create more time to do more work. It seems ultra stupid to introduce tens of thousands of more job seekers, students, health care consumers and terrible drivers.

Let’s discuss and consider a ban on building so we can at least have this one spot that doesn’t suck.


Please, in EVERY instance where a building moratorium went into place, housing costs increased. You, my friend, are completely ignorant of basic economics, just like the do-gooders pushing for government sponsored low-income housing. The proven model is to set growth boundaries and let the market and infrastructure develop within them. Input should come from citizens that actually own property and pay taxes.


I dont recall reading about economic worries in the op’s post. Although you call him ignorant I believe you may you be ignorant one with respect to quality of life which is why folks live in slo co or on the coast. You want cheap mass stacked housing go somewhere else cause slo co aint the place, never was and never will be. Growth boundaries are set every few years and then new politicians change them. You suggest Input from citizens? he is a citizen giving his input, and he says stop the growth, capiche?


You may want to look in the mirror and read your lips. “You want cheap mass stacked housing go somewhere else.” What do you think all of the politicians are talking about when they preach AFFORDABLE (cheap) housing with density bonuses?


I moved here in 1989 from Orange County and thought I had found Heaven. Now I can’t wait to retire and move away. If you want a good idea what the powers that be intend for us take a look at “The Academy at Choro”. Might be someones idea of perfect, not mine.


OMG wouldn’t that be just the most I mean like right?


I would gladly and immediately give a lot in Oceano for all of San Gabriel Valley.


Good article. All we ever hear is not enough housing. I think the issue should be too many people. Depending on the day of the week and who you want to believe and what they may be pushing we have enough water and then we don’t have enough water. They have already ruined SLO County and all that we can hope for is that what is here now is saved. It’s all about the money that a very small percentage of the people in this county are making. And if you think I’m wrong then why is it that no locals can afford a home? It’s time to slow down and regroup. Unfortunately the last election put that on hold for at least another 2 years.


Communities growth is inevitable and this county has permitted requirements to inadequately sustain the present population. Very poor planning in all areas of the infrastructure including public safety, fire protection, education, utilities, roads, etc. are presently below acceptable standards. The county government officials have prioritized increased revenues and budgets over the residents requirements to maintain their households. I didn’t mention needs, I mentioned requirements. This county must restrict the growth, develop a budget that realistically performs to the current requirements, and cease their continual increases for items on the budget until it’s feasible. When was the last time you were asked in a survey from your local government official how your family is impacted by these issues. Issues like how a student with many students within one classroom is attempting to receive an adequate education, water well going dry every year about the same time the grape harvest begins, front end damage to personal car due to condition of road, the safety and training of our local fire and police , etc. I can go on and on. Obviously the officials you elect aren’t thinking about you when they approve their budget. They will have an appropriate response to mute these issues each time. But the problems remain without resolution. Something to think about.


Cant quite tell if the picture is 101 or hwy 1 which now looks typical at quitting time anymore. Either way the picture says it all IMO. The once quaint little county of slo has become LA north or SF south, take your pic. Damn shame but that’s progressiveness for you.Cant leave well enough alone.

Jorge Estrada

IT WILL TAKE A LEGAL ACTION before there is a balance between development and infrastructure. I remember bad mouthing Mexico for their shenanigans like when there is no water and the developer commits to expanding the available water and never did. They get around that shortfall with the rotation of when water as to when it will be available to your property, better take your shower now or you’ll have to wait until another time because there will be no flow in ten minutes. And for the traffic, government does not pay you to wait in line but you certainly pay for the wasted time and fuel. Remember, they overspent your taxes on themselves and need the new taxes and fees that development yields. All that said, the highest price paid are the lost lives because of dangerous roads that are not maintained and the so called “traffic system” which in many cases are known to be flawed yet not corrected because the cash for death is currently cheaper than the needed corrections. Welcome to reality, a great place if you are not the unlucky one.



You are 1000% on target with this article. The political ruling class in the county and especially in SLO seem hell bent on allowing unrestricted development at any cost. I grew up in SoCal and watched it go from fairly open and beautiful to a disgusting, over crowded, miserable mess. No open space, lines for everything, thousands of people crowding all venues….it’s a hell hole of the worst kind and we’re driving to the same situation here… with wild abandon, apparently no thought of repercussions….

Get ready for your quality of life to continue to degrade and to pay more taxes for the privilege


When the developers can buy the people in charge, building will prevail, sadly.