Not a long-term fix
A long time ago, the county of San Luis Obispo was responsible for all water service in Cambria. Back then, the county was working on a plan to build a pipeline from Lake Nacimiento to Cambria to meet Cambria’s water needs. But a group of people in Cambria decided to change that.
They started a campaign to create a local agency to manage Cambria’s water supply, and this ultimately lead to the formation of Cambria Community Services District. It is clear to me that the motivation behind this action was not to supply water to Cambria, but to limit how much water would be supplied to Cambria.
This is clear because in the decades following CCSD’s formation, it made a series of choices to decline plentiful water sources, including the previously planned Nacimiento pipeline, a State Water Project connection and a desalination plant that was all permitted and ready to go.
The strategy of all this was simple — control undesired growth by controlling the water supply. This was a strategy designed to balance the cost of reducing the build out potential of Cambria on the backs of the lot owners. Today Cambria has to deal with residents and lot owners fighting over a finite supply of water, stagnation of the local economy, and CCSD struggling to find the funds to maintain its system.
This predicament is a direct result of the strategy of restricting water to control growth. This strategy can’t work in the long run, and has never worked anywhere it has been tried.
More recent CCSD boards have struggled to deal with this situation, as building a water project becomes increasingly challenging with environmental regulations and cost escalation, and lot owners have become increasingly impatient. The most recent actions — adopting a new more aggressive water conservation plan and giving out water meters after 12 years of moratorium, are a reasonable short term solution.
But they are just that — short term. The long-term solution can be simply stated: More water, fewer lots. There must be a permanent, reliable supplemental source of water, and there must be a viable and legitimate means of retiring lots.
The long-term supply of water must be enough to serve whatever number of lots are not retired. Until those solutions are found and adopted and funded by ALL Cambrians, this battle will continue to be fought.
Project, site don’t fit
In November the North Coast Advisory Council voted to approve the Kingston Bay Assisted Living project, proposed for the open space on the corner of Ardath and Highway One. It specified conditions for approval which the developer from Fresno has not agreed to meet.
This is a hard lesson for the NCAC and our community. Never approve a project with conditions. All the developer hears is, “The NCAC approved the project.”
As a longtime Cambria resident and former chairperson of NCAC, I am shocked that the Minor Use Permit hearing officer approved this project.
There are numerous problems:• Kingston Bay sounds more like a project on the Florida coast.
• The project is adjacent to a residential neighborhood.
• It will raise a variety of traffic and safety related issues.
• The 41-room project with a patient-serving restaurant is likely to be highly polluting, with noise, exhaust, odors of food waste and carbon particles.
• The water and sewer used for a project of this magnitude is the same as that for 41 dwelling units.
• The heavy water runoff, with all the asphalt and concrete, is likely to run onto adjacent properties.
• An informal survey conducted by the owners of Cherish House Residential Care indicates that the project may take years to fill, partly because of the out-of-the-way location for friends and family.
These tenants will most likely come from out of town, adding to our population problems.
The viability of a project is not a county consideration, but it is of concern to the residents of Cambria who will forever see a large commercial building as the gateway to our beautiful town.• The provisions of the scenic highway designation do not allow for large commercial buildings with signage on the view corridor.
This project has been appealed to the board of supervisors and is set to be heard May 14.
Cambrians, please consider writing a letter or attending the meetings. We don’t have to accept bad projects in the wrong location.
Claudia Harmon Worthen
How depressing to learn of the possible expulsion of Michael Limacher and his assistant, Stephanie, from the Cambria Farmers Market. These two people are two extremely personable and hardworking representatives of the market and as such deserve to be treated in a fair manner.
I recall that just prior to Christmas 2009, participating farmers had the choice of opening or not opening their stalls to the public. The only two stalls that I recall that were open were Mr. Limacher’s and a fish stall. So kindly do not try to portray Mr. Limacher in such a negative light.
As the saying goes, “A little power is a dangerous thing.” The Lions Club of Cambria might remember these words when next trying to intimidate and take away a local farmer’s livelihood.
Who, might I ask, is representing the farmers in this dispute?
Rita and Stephen Burton
Perhaps you have heard about the Honor Flight program already. If not, I have something exciting to tell you.
Honor Flight is a national program fully funded by donations. The mission is to take World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the World War II Memorial at no cost to the veteran.
If you participate, there is no charge for the flight, hotel or meals. All you need to do is get to the airport and it will be an airport close to you. The program is only for you and does not include spouses or caretakers.
There will be Honor Flight Guardians along to help veterans. Guardians pay their own way for the trip.
The hub for the Honor Flight program in our area is in Kern County but veterans from our area are eligible. When your turn comes, arrangements will be made for you that will be close to home.
There are procedures in place for veterans who need to use wheelchairs or oxygen. There is a list of frequently asked questions about the program at this website: http://www.honorflight.org/faq/. Hopefully you can use a computer or have a friend or family member who can help with that.
If all else fails, one of us from Cambria Legion Post No. 432 will get you answers to your questions.Please feel free to call Commander Terry Farrell (924-1814) or Vice Commander Brian Griffin (924-1085). If you provide us with an email address or street address, we will mail you an application.
We have an Honor Flight speaker coming to the Post meeting at 7 p.m. April 3. Keep in mind that this is not an American Legion program but we are supporting it and hope that some of our WW II veterans will be able to participate. You don't have to belong to the American Legion to come or apply for this program but we certainly invite you to join our Band of Brothers.
This is a first-come, first-serve program and there are several flights planned. When your application is received you will be put on the waiting list and contacted in plenty of time to prepare for the trip.