Letters to the Editor

Pro & Con: Measure H-14 takes away local control of land

The issue: Measure H-14 in Pismo Beach

Click here to read an argument in favor of Measure H-14

Measure H-14 represents a crucial moment in Pismo Beach’s future.

Absolute control by the city of Pismo Beach over almost 1,200 acres in Price Canyon is at stake.

Proponents argue that H-14 “saves” the canyon.

A vote for H-14 creates 57 pages of complex overlapping amendments to the General Plan, lowering development densities to less than half the county’s present standards, with no guarantee that property owners would pursue city instead of county development.

Here are the real facts behind Measure H-14:

Measure H-14 does nothing to protect Pismo Beach drinking water.

The primary claim of H-14 is that it is essential to the protection of “drinking water assets.”

This is based on the false presumption that water runoff in Pismo Creek recharges the Arroyo Grande groundwater basin, where up to 25 percent of Pismo’s drinking water supplies are derived.

The proponents have (finally) admitted that state and county studies show a negligible amount of water from Pismo Creek makes it into groundwater supplies shared by Pismo, Arroyo, Grover and Oceano.

H-14 does nothing to protect, much less enhance, Pismo’s water supplies .

Measure H-14 creates more stringent development standards than the county.

Measure H-14 would establish 40-acre minimum lot sizes over 1,176 privately owned acres. This represents up to 29 lots.

County standards currently allow up to 80 homes on these same acres, before state-mandated affordable housing density bonuses up to 50 percent.

What H-14 really does is set restrictive requirements that will effectively block any reasonable project from being considered by the city.

Measure H-14 does not protect open space or control traffic problems.

H-14 does not require any minimum acres for public open space in Price Canyon.

H-14 does not require any public recreational access, parks or trails in Price Canyon.

Since the proponents encourage building in the county, Pismo has no say in the outcome of open space preservation.

If giving up control over open space isn’t enough, Measure H-14 reduces options for traffic improvements by eliminating regional and local street connections that could otherwise relieve traffic congestion.

H-14 says nothing about improving Price Canyon Road to handle morning and afternoon commuters traveling to and from their jobs.

Who are supporters?

Leading supporter Sheila Blake has stated publicly she is trying to stop city development in Price Canyon. She encourages city voters to turn their backs on control of Price Canyon in favor of letting the county plan Pismo’s future for 30 years.

This comes at a time when SLO County is actively seeking land near city services that can be rezoned for high-density affordable housing. Under H-14, that could be the new Price Canyon.

Two-thirds of the donations and money raised for H-14 has come from donors and businesses that do not reside in Pismo Beach. It is not surprising that these donors come from the county areas immediately adjoining Price Canyon, as they are opposed to Pismo Beach control of Price Canyon, and, like Blake, they favor county control.

This is not a “grassroots” Pismo effort, and seems less and less like local control.

Those in favor prefer to ignore facts and public discussion. They turned down the opportunity to address the public’s many concerns with this law by refusing to appear at an unbiased forum sponsored by the California League of Cities and moderated by the League of Women Voters.

Why won’t they answer your questions or defend their initiative?

Preserve Price Canyon for the citizens of Pismo Beach and generations to come.

Pismo control requires a “no" vote on Measure H-14.