Coastal Commission votes for another hearing on Los Osos sewer project

By a 7-to-5 vote, the California Coastal Commission on Thursday voted that multiple appeals of the Los Osos sewer project raised enough substantive questions to justify a further hearing at a later date.

The vote is a setback to the county, which hopes to get commission approval in time to apply for $80 million in federal stimulus money. Public works officials say they need to apply for the money by the end of February or begin to risk losing it to other projects.

Commissioners said they wanted to limit the hearing to specific issues of concern rather than a rehearing of the entire project. No specific date was set for the hearing, but commission staff was told to make it happen “as soon as possible.”

Paavo Ogren, county public works director, said the concerns the commission has are relatively minor and do not require a complete reworking of the project.

“It’s sort of understandable on a project of this nature that they would want some additional details,” he said. “We’re going to get right on it.”

For more on this story, check out Friday's edition of The Tribune.