Can SLO County staff competently construct rural camping ordinance?

January 25, 2022


Thank you for prioritizing this issue and placing on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisor agenda for the Jan. 25 meeting. I have no personal dog in this fight but know of several neighbors who have had their income impacted by aggressive enforcement of these regulations.

I am writing to urge you to expedite this issue as it is causing unnecessary economic hardship and unnecessary bureaucratic red tape on an already over-burdened rural economy, especially for small agricultural and tourism businesses.

It seems absurd that staff who are already very familiar with the issues want to spend nearly $1 million of taxpayer money and take 18 months for an issue such as this.

Our county is already struggling with an overbearing local and state bureaucracy. I urge the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors to instruct the planning department to shorten the timeline for revising the “rural camping ordinance” to six months, and start with the industry-supplied draft.

In the meantime, while the review the ordinance, I also encourage county employees to stop serving ‘cease and desist’ orders on rural businesses who only have one or two camp sites on acreage that is more than adequate for such use. Let’s use common sense, avoid petty enforcement action and let taxpayers make a living so we can pay your salaries.

Born and raised in Nigeria of English heritage, Clive Pinter is married to a Paso Robles native and has lived in California for 15 years, the last five in Templeton. He is a passionate advocate for non-partisan journalism with a blog and podcast at 


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San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors do NOT have the authority to permit campsites. The Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD) is the permitting agency for campsites and campgrounds. So, if SLO County Board of Supervisors moves ahead and allows campsites to be built on private property without HCD involved in the permitting process, the campsites will be ILLEGAL. SLO County Board of Supervisors staff should call HCD and they will verify. HCD can shut down any illegal campsites that are NOT permitted by their agency.