San Simeon board approves first new construction in 30 years

May 12, 2022


Ending a contentious legal battle, the San Simeon Community Services District Board of Directors voted on Tuesday to provide 15 water hook ups, no connection fees and $50,000 to a plaintiff who accused the district of depriving him of the right to the free use of his property.

Robert Hather is now planning to build a 15 unit housing development on a 1.1-acre parcel he owns in San Simeon. Three of the units will be designated low-cost housing.

“On behalf of Bob Hather, we are pleased the district approved his request for a will-serve letter to build the first construction on the North Coast in 30 years,” said Jeffrey Stulberg, Hather’s attorney. “His only regret is that the will-serve green light was not given to everyone on the wait list, a shame.”

Amid concerns over water quality and quantity, the district enacted a water moratorium 35 years ago, which the district has continued even though studies show the area has a more than adequate water supply.

Twenty years ago, studies showed underground water available at 200 feet below ground. Then in 2016, the district installed a water purification facility, but still did not remove or modify the moratorium.

Then in Nov. 2020, Hather filed for a hardship exemption to allow his development, which is allowed under the district’s moratorium ordinance. Rather than vote on the hardship exemption, the district board voted to table the request, leading to the lawsuit.

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Congrats to Mr. Hather. The battle has just begun I can see the appeals now get your wallet out to fight this uphill battle Mr. Hather. All the San Simeon District did was pass the buck.

Mr. Hather’s project seemingly gets a green light from the SSCSD, but his biggest roadblocks will be the SLO County Planning Dept and the California Coastal Commission. His approval for 15 water hook ups may be nothing more than a pyrrhic victory.

But perhaps they are noticing Mr. Hather won’t be bullied and isn’t afraid to sue if these other power hungry bloated government entities dont play fair.