County supervisors Tuesday set the annual growth cap at 2.3 percent, the same as last year, with three exceptions: Cambria, areas served by the Los Osos groundwater basin and areas on the Nipomo Mesa served by the Santa Maria groundwater basin.
The Nipomo Mesa growth cap is at 1.8 percent and Cambria is at 0 percent. Los Osos is included in the countywide growth cap, but a building moratorium takes precedence for that basin.
Established in 1990, the growth management ordinance sets an annual cap on growth that is consistent with the ability of county resources, like water, to carry it forward.
It controls the size of a community by allocating the number of residential construction permits allowed each fiscal year.
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Jerry Bunin, government affairs director for the Homebuilders Association of the Central Coast, called it “ironic” that the county is setting growth limits at a time when houses are scarcely being built. He said only 50 homes were built throughout the county in the first four months of this year.