County supervisors have waived more than $20,000 in fees to allow Dan De Vaul to build a new residence on his Sunny Acres property, a move that should help the rancher settle his many code enforcement problems with the county.
After a brief hearing, supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to waive fees that amounted to $20,775. De Vaul plans to build an 8,000-square-foot home to be used as a nonprofit sober living residence serving very low-income residents with substance abuse problems.
Senior Planner John Busselle told supervisors that the waiver is justified because the people for whom the facility is designed represent a segment of the population that is difficult to serve.
Because many of the people who use the facility on Los Osos Valley Road on the outskirts of San Luis Obispo also live and work there, it will not generate the same need for public services that other residential units would, Busselle said.
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De Vaul did not attend Tuesday’s hearing, but his attorney John Belsher encouraged the board to approve the waiver.
Supervisors originally heard De Vaul’s request in August but took no action because they wanted proof from him that he is actually performing the services he claims. The county has struggled for years to get De Vaul to bring his 72-acre ranch into compliance with county housing and building ordinances.
In a letter to the county, Belsher said 21 people live on the property. All earn $26,500 or less a year. They pay De Vaul from $200 to $400 per month with some working onsite to eliminate the cost.
De Vaul must resolve all of his code violations before he can get the fee waivers from the county. The fees would be enforced if he does not live up to the conditions of the agreement, Busselle said.
De Vaul’s case is scheduled to have a court hearing today regarding a request by the county to appoint a receiver to oversee De Vaul’s compliance with county health and safety rules. De Vaul has removed some illegal structures in an effort to come into compliance, Belsher said.