The Cambrian

North Coast Advisory Council backs permit for Cambria water plant

The North Coast Advisory Council voted 9-1 to support a permanent permit for Cambria’s Sustainable Water Facility.
The North Coast Advisory Council voted 9-1 to support a permanent permit for Cambria’s Sustainable Water Facility.

North Coast advisers tackled on April 19 topics as diverse as the first phase of hoped-for Main Street sidewalk renovations, the application for a permit that would allow Cambria’s services district to modify and operate at will its Sustainable Water Facility and another request to allow a vacation rental home within close proximity of another one.

Members of the North Coast Advisory Council approved the first item, recommended that the county approve the next one and voted against recommending the third.

The council makes recommendations to county Supervisor Bruce Gibson and other county officials. NCAC’s votes are advisory only.

After lengthy, sometimes spirited discussion, the council voted 9-1 with one abstention, advising the county to approve the Cambria Community Services District’s permit for the Sustainable Water Facility and proposed follow-up development plan.

Among issues addressed by council members, county representatives and CCSD Board President Amanda Rice and district engineer Bob Gresens included: Why the plant was rebranded from the Emergency Water Supply project; violation notices and other actions by the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board; unknown (or unrevealed) costs of modifications to make the plant operable under requirements of the water board and other regulatory agencies; the long delay in getting a final environmental impact report (EIR) for the project; how to store and dispose of the brine residual that results from the water-reclamation process; the district’s competency to run such a plant; how to lower the overly high brine level in the holding pond; and impacts to the San Simeon Creek lagoon.

When the discussion turned to costs and CSD decisions, Chairman Ted Siegler said the council provides advice to the county from the community, not to the CCSD. “Cost is a CCSD matter.”

Rice said, “The only impact the EIR doesn’t include is the economic impact on people.”


With NCAC approval, Beautify Cambria will be able to finalize its plans to improve the sidewalk in front of Soto’s True Earth Market. The upgrade will include gray-shaded, stamped-concrete pavement with a 3-foot-diameter decorative mosaic medallion in the middle.

While some council members felt that medallion was too large, the final vote was 8-3 in favor of the county-grant-funded project as proposed by Claudia Harmon Worthen, Beautify Cambria’s leader.

Vacation rental

The county’s residential vacation-rental regulations for Cambria forbids having too many of the units too close together. Because the applicant’s home at 2701 Windsor Blvd. is next door to one vacation rental, across the street from two others and within 75 feet of a fourth, 10 council members voted not to recommend the project. One council member abstained because her husband’s family owns a vacation rental home in Cambria.


The council also elected its officers for the 2017-18 term that runs until the meeting following the council’s April 2018 election.

This year’s officers will sound familiar, since most of them will keep serving in the same posts.

Ted Siegler remains NCAC’s chairman, Susan McDonald continues as vice chairwoman, and Marj Sewell is the recording secretary again. Mike Lyons is the new treasurer. Laurel Stewart serves as corresponding secretary and returns as chairwoman of the Land Use Committee. Allan Lavelle is the new Transportation Committee chairman, Paul Carlson continues to head up the Website Committee, and Dixie Walker will start leading the Community Outreach Committee.