Motion to do a partisan study on the map fails to pass vote

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 9 a.m.

Supervisor Bruce Gibson moved to approve consent agenda, and Supervisor Debbie Arnold requested to pull for discussion 4 and 24. Item 4 was the state legislative agenda which comes before the Board every year, but this year seemed to have considerable changes, which Arnold hoped could be put on the agenda to discuss the changes. The more specific this could be made, the easier it would be for lobbyists to make changes that the county actually wants.

Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg highlighted the budget item in the consent agenda and pointed out the $4m deficit in the sheriff’s department, and reminded the Board that the last three cannabis projects that were within their legal parameters and came before the Board and were denied would have likely been more than enough to make up that deficit.

Getting through this together, Atascadero

After hearing discussion, Supervisor Bruce again made a motion to approve the consent agenda minus 4, 24, 39, as amended, which was seconded by Supervisor John Peschong. The agenda was approved 5-0.

After the consent agenda, the Board moved to item 39, an added consent item: the introduction of an ordinance amending chapter 2.60 of the county code to change supervisorial district boundaries. There was much discussion over the late addition of this item to the agenda, even though it was within the 72-hour window necessary to satisfy the Brown Act requirements. County staff explained that the reason for the late addition was because it was necessary to wait until the Board picked their map to add it to the agenda.

Public comment lasted over an hour, with those in support of the new map and those who felt that the new division of districts was done with political views in mind. Chairperson Compton, during her comment, entered into the public record a few letters from previous redistricting meetings that highlighted some of the same issues of divisions of counties and communities of interest to highlight that these issues the Board is currently facing are not new.

Disruption from the audience caused a ten-minute break after Chairperson Compton reminded the public that they could only speak in turn with a comment slip. 

Supervisor Peschong made a motion to amend the language to update a section of the language of the ordinance. This was approved 5-0, and then he made a motion to introduce the ordinance, which was approved 3-2.

Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg made a request to have staff do a partisan analysis, which was seconded by Supervisor Gibson but failed to pass with a 2-3 vote.

The Board then moved on to item 34, a request to adopt a Charter County. On Oct. 5, the County of San Luis Obispo (County) Board of Supervisors (Board) directed staff to prepare a report on the process for the County to adopt a charter and to discuss how future appointments can be handled for County elected offices through a voter-approved charter. Supervisor Peschong made a motion to move forward with a charter by board majority vote, initially starting with just operation of elections and appointment off elections versus appointments for county-wide positions and the county board of supervisors with the target of the June election. County Staff recommended targeting the November election due to staffing constraints, but Peschong requested that June remain the target and for staff to come back with a report on why it wasn’t met if they aren’t able to reach it. The motion was approved 3-2.

After a lunch break, the Board had no reportable action on closed session and began on item 35 to determine the allocation of state and federal funding for affordable housing, homelessness, and community development activities. Staff recommendations were that the Board: 1. Hold a public hearing to discuss affordable housing, homelessness, and community development needs to be addressed with local, State, and Federal funding sources; 2. Adopt a resolution amending the 2019 Action Plan by reallocating the Program Year 2020 CDBG-CV3 CARES Act and Program Year 2020 ESG-CV2 funds; and 3. Adopt a resolution amending the Position Allocation List (PAL) for Fund Center (FC) 142 – Department of Planning and Building by adding the following position: 1.00 FTE Program Manager I/II; and deleting the following position: 1.00 FTE Planner I/II/III. The motion passed 5-0.

The next item was a hearing to consider a resolution adopting the San Luis Obispo Valley Groundwater Sustainability Plan (Clerk’s File) for the San Luis Obispo Valley Groundwater Basin, authorizing the Groundwater Sustainability Director, or designee, to serve as Plan Manager. Staff recommended that the Board, acting as the San Luis Obispo Valley Basin – County of San Luis Obispo Groundwater Sustainability Agency (County GSA), adopt a resolution: 1. Adopting the San Luis Obispo Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) (Clerk’s File) for the San Luis Obispo Valley Groundwater Basin (SLO Basin); and 2. Authorizing the Groundwater Sustainability Director, or designee, to serve as Plan Manager; and 3. Finding that the project is exempt from Section 21000 et seq. of the California Public Resources Code (CEQA). The motion passed 5-0.

The last item of the day was a hearing to consider an appeal by Salvidor Perez of the Planning Commissions’ approval of a conditional use permit for a cannabis operation in Nipomo. The appellant and applicant had found common ground on many of the items but still could not come to terms on the water usage. It was decided that the water issue would be handled with a private negotiation between the two parties. Supervisor Gibson moved to adopt the resolution partially upholding the appeal of Salvador Perez, modifying the decision of the Planning Commission and conditionally approving the application for the conditional use permit based on the findings set forth. The motion was approved 3-2. 

The next meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 14, and the meeting agenda will be posted on the County’s website when it becomes available at slocounty.ca.gov/Departments/Administrative-Office/Clerk-of-the-Board/Clerk-of-the-Board-Services/Board-of-Supervisors-Meetings-and-Agendas.aspx