The 3-2 vote of the Board of Supervisors to halt future subdivision over the Paso Robles groundwater basin, a first step toward saving the basin, may have been this board’s finest hour.
Supervisors Jim Patterson, Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill were steadfast in the face of opposition from the county’s powerful agriculture interests, who dismissed the reality of homeowners seeing their wells run dry and their homes become worthless due to too many straws stuck in the basin.
The reason for that opposition: Cattle or wine grapes are fine when profits are high, but rising real estate values mean the biggest payday will come when landowners subdivide and sell off or become developers themselves (See: Laetitia Ag Cluster).
A halt to future subdivisions kills the second half of that classic California business plan.
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Turning aside calls for delay and legal threats from the county’s biggest special interests in order to do the right thing, Patterson, Gibson and Hill showed us the kind of board we can all be proud of. We hope to see more of this kind of leadership over the next two months.