Cambrian Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor July 11

cambrian@thetribunenews.comJuly 11, 2013 

Hello? Climate change?

The Cambria Community Services District will again issue water permits, up to 20 residential intent-to-serve letters per year. We residents will conserve to obtain the water needed.

However, I would like to remind all of us of the two sides of any water program, the water use side and the water supply side: If we decrease the water use side (by conservation), and the water supply does not change, there will be water available for new construction.

What if the water supply side does decrease?  If our two creeks produce less water in the future, residents will have to use less, and there will be no water for new construction.  So how reliable is our water supply?  How stable is our climate?  This is a proper question for projects anywhere.

The question becomes how climate change will affect our communities.  A recent newspaper headline states, “Western USA staggers under massive heat wave.”

In addition, we all know our rainfall this year is but a fraction of the usual amount. The predicted global warming/climate change in store for our earth could have caused this.

Cambria directors must not place residents at risk. They say up to 20 intent-to-serve letters issued annually is conservative. They will decide the number.

I believe most Cambria residents would say that, because of serious unanswered questions about our water supply, no intent-to-serve letters should be issued until we have more answers.
In light of climate change, before issuing any intent-to-serve letters the CCSD owes our citizens more research and discussion on the reliability of our water supply.

Bob McDonnell


Shell game continues

I understand you, the Cambria Community Services District board, wish to hand out intent-to-serve letters for new water connections. I also understand actual new water connections are probably way off in the distant future but I believe you may be just adding fuel to the fire by suggesting bait to the folks who have bought, own or will buy property in Cambria with high hopes that someday they will be able to get water and a building permit to proceed.

We moved to Cambria in 1995 and bought a home we still live in today. Over the years I have seen for sale signs on property that is said to be on the water permit list. Many, many buyers have bought some of these properties with the high hopes of moving up the list and building their dream home. It hasn’t happened. I feel very, very sorry for these buyers. We all know who may have profited from these property sales. I wish someone would tell me how these intent-to-serve letters aren’t just a new twist.

I am 80 years old and will probably not be around when global warming turns our earth into a desert planet. Recently the California newspapers contain story after story of towns and counties that are running out of a source of water.  Well after well is running dry and deeper wells are drilled. Lakes are drying up. I have friends in this county who have had their wells go dry, drilled new ones only to have them dry up and now have their property up for sale, are trucking in water, but there are no buyers out there.

What good is an intent-to-serve letter and how different is it from the early editions of the “on the water permit list” when the no-growth initiative was first put in place. Bait to sell property has created a great big problem and I think has run its course.

What if you, the board, was to do absolutely NOTHING and when and if a source of water comes from out of the sky or off the beach, you can then look to properties that still have owners waiting or are long gone.

I have bought stock that later became worthless.  There are not many out there who have never made a bad financial purchase but to continue to dangle a dream does not win friends or build a constituency base. Until you can actually see the water flowing down the gutter, be honest and don’t make any intent-to-serve promise that only God or a lot of money can deliver.

I have conserved water for years, kept our usage as low as is physically possible and now you tell me that isn’t enough but you are going to try and find a better way to put the fire out.

Bruce Stuart


Permission = immunity

Many of us enjoy walking the numerous trails throughout our wonderful wooded town. Recently there have been letters and commentary about the 200 acres off of Bridge Street that is part of a larger conservation easement on the entire Covell Ranch. A fire fuel break was done and a six-strand barbed wire fence erected surrounding the property in recent months.

The conservation easement has definitely benefited us all and Mr. Covell should be commended. The easement does not allow any building on the 200 acres and allows very limited use.

The Nature Conservancy is the owner of the easement. The Nature Conservancy may allow hiking on a conservation easement, if the owner of the property agrees.

Cerro Mountain in San Luis Obispo, the one with the big “M” (for Mission College Prep) on it, is mostly private land but allows recreational use of hikers and bikers.

California Civil Code Section 846 makes the owner of the property immune from any liability to anyone using the property for recreational purposes such as hiking or any vehicular riding. This section states “... an owner does not ... assume responsibility for or incur liability for any injury to person or property caused by any act of such person to whom permission has been granted ....”

Some people have felt the area was closed due to potential liability, however this recreational immunity section of the California Civil Code makes the owner immune from potential liability to users who have permission to recreate, i.e. hike and bike the land.

Potential liability of the owner to permissive recreational users is practically impossible. The question remains whether the community ever had permission to use the property. If the community had permission there would be little exposure to liability of the owner per this statute.

Jude Basile


Letters must be signed (no pseudonyms), with the writer’s address and phone number for verification. Shorter letters (under 250 words) on local topics by local authors are published sooner. E-mail letters to, mail to The Cambrian, 2442 Main Street, Cambria, CA 93428; or fax to 927-4708. Letters should be received at The Cambrian by noon Friday to be considered for publication the following Thursday. All submissions become the property of The Cambrian.

The Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service