Muster the guts

San Luis ObispoNovember 21, 2012 

The “not in my backyard” syndrome is the major factor in solving our homeless issue. City and county land-use and building codes could be modified or relaxed for a temporary permit at a given property, for the purpose of sheltering people without homes, as long as environmental health standards were met.

Hope’s Village, a new local nonprofit organization, is looking for a two- to five-acre parcel where it can establish a temporary housing project with small cabins and RV parking. The project has a great deal of public and government support, but nobody wants it in their backyard, despite the fact that it will eliminate unsanitary and unsightly conditions around town.

The recent new parking study and implementation cost could have provided for a portable outhouse; trash container; and security for a temporary, six-month camp on an under-utilized city or county property. The consulting cost alone for the parking ordinance was $25,000, according to what I heard at a public meeting, and implementation would bring it to $50,000! Now add the lawsuit at $130,000, and we have wasted $180,000 for the sake of N.I.M.B.Y.

It is a shame that we have been designated “the happiest town in America,” with a lot more financial resources than Placerville, yet cannot muster the guts to do the right thing!

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