Los Osos board looking into incorporation, creating a new city

November 27, 2022


The Los Osos Community Services District Board of Directors plans to discuss turning the bedroom community into a city, and the processes required to move forward, according to its Dec. 1 board meeting agenda.

The Committee to Incorporate Los Osos, which was formed by former director Jon-Erik Storm and resident Kristin Horowitz, is asking the board to apply for incorporation. The committee members are concerned that during redistricting, which occurs every 10 years, Los Osos residents were delayed two years in their ability to vote for a San Luis Obispo County supervisor, the committee said in its request.

However, even if Los Osos had been a city during the redistricting process, it would not have had any further influence in the redistricting process.

In addition, the committee wants a representative from Los Osos on the boards of multiple local agencies, including the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments, the Regional Transit Authority and the Air Pollution Control Board, agencies that are currently headed by five representatives of the county and one from each city.

“A new town would face many challenges, but it would also create many opportunities – most importantly, it would give us a powerful voice in critical questions about our home, over questions of land use and development, the environment, and law enforcement, and strengthen our voice in the vital matter of our water supply,” the committee wrote in its request.

Los Osos district staff is providing two options for the board to take: receive and file a report on the request or direct staff to move forward. In its report, staff questioned if Los Osos, a bedroom community with few retail outlets, has a sufficient tax base.

The state requires a proposed city to have “revenues sufficient to provide public services and facilities and a reasonable reserve during the three fiscal years following incorporation.” Based on current tax and fee revenues, Los Osos would need to generate an estimated $1.7 million per year, or $118 per resident, in new taxes to provide needed revenue to be a city.

In addition, staff determined that preparing and applying for incorporation would cost approximately $200,000.

Even though the Los Osos district may not have sufficient resources to pursue incorporation at this time, the committee members could raise the funds or apply for a loan to fund the incorporation application, according to the staff report.

The Los Osos CSD Board of Directors is scheduled to discuss the option of moving forward with plans to become a city at its Dec. 1 meeting.

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It’s either become a city, or continue to be the whipping boy of the county. I doubt that any of the people on the Board of Supervisors even know where Los Osos is. Bruce Gibson only seem to make appearances here when he wanted votes or to jack the rates on his sewer.

Los Osos needs to become a city, our county needs more bureaucracy along with many more $150,000 salaries and $250,000+ compensation packages. Where the money will come from to pay them we will worry about later.

Los Osos is already bigger than many of the incorporated cities in the County – it seems like the logical next step forward in the community’s development. Los Osos can’t be a dusty commuter suburb for SLO City forever. Incorporatration could mean a little new taxes for a lot more services and a potential transformation into a beautiful city along the coast – new commercial districts denser housing, better infrastructure, representative government, greater population, more tourism, more business; the place could really turn itself around. Of course I share the concern that in the end this could be a waste of time for the LOCSD who is likely to keep the town pegged in the past to cater to present special interests, rather than future residents. Too bad!

Wow. Clearly you’ve never been to Los Osos. No need to “transform” into a “beautiful city” as its already incredibly beautiful and perfectly functional as it is. The entire town is in walking distance, no need for “improved transportation “. Peoples homes have yards and views, not neighbors 2 ft away in dense housing. Businesses know their customers. You want to take all that away? In favor of tourists who come and go without caring at all about the town? Apparently $$$ is all that matters? Not here bud.

A long time ago they wanted to put a Kiosk at the entrance to Montana de Oro. They were going to charge 3-5 dollars per car. I asked why so much? I was told so they could pay the person manning the Kiosk. Moral to the story: “You’re better off with less government rather than more”.

Montana de Oro is a State Park. If they wanted to charge for entrance it would be a lot more than “3-5 dollars per car.”

It costs $10 to hike at either Cerro Alto or Lopez Lake. Luckily, both Montana and Cerro Cabrillo remain free. Nonetheless, they are both highly patrolled by state park rangers.

For these areas, less government would mean more idiots with fireworks, guns, drugs, etc. I like that government controls these priceless areas. My tax dollars at work.

Highly patrolled? Is that a joke? Every single time I’m out there i see things the rangers should be addressing but are not. Rare to even see one of their trucks… and good luck trying to get in touch!

All these years later I sincerely regret voting against that proposal. Would have likely deterred a lot of visitors and saved the park from the tourists who are constantly destroying it. One of the most mismanaged, if managed at all, parks in the state :/

This is about trying to control development, which is already being stifled. Though i couldn’t care less if they do tbh, the recent population influx is absolutely raping the town; and I DO NOT choose that word lightly.

yes Incorporate keep the money in Los Osos.

So we need a new Incorporated City within the Incorporated County of San Luis Obispo, Within the State of California, of the United States of America? Almost sounds like a new Amway Distributorship pyramid.

I was asked “what are the pros and cons of this?”

My answer: I don’t see this in “Pros or Cons.” I see it being an unrealistic waste of time. The last city to incorporate in CA was Jurupa Valley, in 2011. Jurupa Valley has over 100,000 people spending money and their tax base is driven by big box stores and car sales lots (large ticket items bring more sales tax) — none of which we want or need in Los Osos. Los Osos just doesn’t have the commercial uses that generate much sales tax. We have about 100 hotel/motel rooms combined from 3 hotels — none of which are high-end or very expensive. We have only about 30 vacation rentals in use and very few restaurants and shopping. I’m particularly not interested in the LOCSD spending any of their administrative time/funds (which are derived from rates, we pay, for the services they provide) on pursuing this.

A complete waste of time. Not going to happen.

Los Osos is a bedroom community with zero economic base. You can’t become a city without that economic engine driving things.