Conserve to build?
I attended the recent evening meeting of the Cambria Community Services District Board of Directors where they discussed Cambria’s water situation.
First, let me state that I appreciate the time that the directors are investing in this important issue. I think that I now understand the purpose for the “less formal format” and the opportunity given, in order to comply with the Brown Act, for the directors to discuss this topic among themselves.
Although a generous three minutes was allowed at the start of the meeting for the public to make a statement, it appeared to me that there would be no further opportunity for anyone to address or correct any statements then made by the directors or, for that matter, to add information that might have assisted in providing a better understanding of Cambria’s unique situation. I was deeply disappointed and, as a result, I decided to leave the meeting after an hour and a half had passed. I have since learned that a certain amount of public input was accepted later in the evening but have been informed that even that was quite limited.
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I do not accept the directors’ push to issue intent-to-serve letters while the moratorium is in place. Although, when the president expressed that one of the reasons was because it was “the ethical thing to do,” it shed at least some light on their reasoning. The moratorium was put in place for a very good reason and I believe the correct solution was established at that time.’
Despite the many earnest attempts, meetings, discussions and copious amounts of money spent to find the solution, the fact is we are no closer to resolving this matter. However, this does not mean the “solution” was not the correct one and, thankfully, the San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors seem to recognize this fact and have declared that Cambria at this time is still ordained as a zero percent growth area.
The drive to resolve the issue by other means, namely by water conservation, while a noble effort, it is, to say the least, folly when the state has already mandated that water savings have to be made obtained no matter what.
Further, when our new conservation provisions have not yet been substantiated or proven a conclusive argument cannot be presented. The fact that Cambria residents have excelled in water conservation is highly commendable and we can and will do better. However, if you ask most residents to conserve water in order to allow more development you will not find the answer in line with the directors.
Certainly, if you then tell residents that no matter what they conserve their rates may have to go up because of a water shortage and, at the same time, then issue new permits to add to the water consumption, you will find any “ethical” reasoning rejected.
If there is to be more development in our town before a new water supply is found, I would like to suggest that, at the very least, the CCSD give no more extensions to any person holding an “intent-to-serve letter” unless they are able to give a definitive build date coupled with a penalty for every month this is not met. The number of permits already sitting out there will have a dramatic effect on our water situation, especially if they come to fruition in the next couple of years.
In addition, I think that the number of vacant homes we have in Cambria has never been fully analyzed. I hazard a guess (and it is a guess much like the conservation figures that are being thrown around) that many of these properties are owned by baby boomers and as such, may these boomers be retiring soon and adding to our population and hence our water consumption?
I am one of those boomers and, having owned my property for over 23 years with minimal water consumption, I was able to retire early and move here permanently, thus increasing my water usage. Since retiring I am now meeting many people in a similar situation — can you do the math?
In what has been confirmed as a drought year, it really surprises me that the directors are even considering a change in course when the correct solution has been identified and they have not been able to get any closer to making it happen!
I thought Art Van Rhyn’s “View From the Beach” on June 27 was his best satire yet.
It is unfortunate that it is true, but we can all hope that justice will prevail and that all the two- and four-legged creatures will once again have the freedom to roam the ranch.
Returning to county
A profound THANK YOU to everyone who’s donated to the fund at Heritage Oaks Bank for the benefit of my husband, Patrick Gannon’s, long-term care. From $10 to $10,000, the gifts continue to pour in. We are now half-way to our goal!
It’s simply amazing to see the love and generosity both friends and strangers are showing. As a result of your gifts, I’m currently getting ready to move Pat back to San Luis Obispo County to be near family, friends and our beloved Pacific Ocean. We’ll be home by July 18, if all goes as planned.
For those of you who didn’t see Pat Riley’s beautiful letter to the editor (June 13; online at thecambrian.com), Patrick suffers from late-stage Alzheimer’s Disease. We’re trying to get him home from New Mexico and into quality long-term care, something that every Alzheimer’s patient deserves and too few get.
The account is still accepting donations. You can drop by Heritage Oaks Bank, 1275 Tamson Drive (across from the Cookie Crock) and donate to the account entitled “Pat Riley For the Benefit of Patrick Gannon,” or else send your gift to Pat Riley FBO Patrick Gannon, P.O. Box 1513, Cambria CA 93428.
See you soon! Many blessings and thanks,
Santa Fe, N.M.