Supervisors Extend the Agricultural Offset Requirement Termination Date •

The USDA announced that the Agricultural Offset requirement will be extended to December 31, 2020.

The paso robles groundwater basin map is a project that will help Paso Robles to meet the agricultural offset requirement.

At the September 14 meeting, the resolution to quit the IWMA will be presented.

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — On Tuesday, Aug. 24, at 9 a.m., the San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors conducted its regularly scheduled meeting. The meeting was conducted remotely using a zoom connection as well as the normal county website links due to an increase in COVID cases in the county.

Supervisor Debbie Arnold requested that item 22 (approving the submission of an application for the Locally-Operated State Park Grant Program and allowing for reimbursement of previously incurred Cayucos Veteran’s Hall Rehabilitation Project expenditures) be pulled for discussion at the start of the meeting.

Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg asked to speak on a few of the consent agenda items, including reading a resolution declaring August as Women’s Right to Vote Month and commemorating the 101st anniversary of the right to vote.

We’re going to get through this together, Atascadero


The consent agenda was approved without item 22 and then the debate on 22 began. Given the scale of the project and the accompanying expenditure, Arnold thought it was too big to be on the consent agenda. The Board was informed by County Council that the issue could not be moved to a later meeting since the deadline to apply for the grant is Aug. 31, and that the subject will be brought back before the Board to make spending choices at a later date. The move to table the issue until a later date had no second, and it carried 4-1, with Arnold voting nay.

The Board then heard public comment on topics not on the agenda, some of which centered on the county’s recent decision to withdraw from the IWMA and questioned why a resolution to formalize the departure was not available at the time. After public discussion, Supervisor John Peschong moved to bring back a resolution to quit the IWMA at the September 14 meeting, and the motion passed 3-2, with Supervisor Bruce Gibson and Ortiz-Legg voting against.

Item 33 was a proposal to authorize a number of water, wastewater, and internet infrastructure projects to be financed under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The budget projections were discussed at the presentation, which included the cost of software as well as the training time required to bring all workers up to speed on the program. Supervisor Gibson asked that the supervisors instruct staff to put a stop on broadband projects until a method is discovered to deliver those monies more directly to people, particularly in low-income areas. Supervisor Arnold moved to approve the recommendations of the staff, which was supported by Supervisor Ortiz-Legg. The motion passed 5-0, with Gibson expressing his desire to see it succeed, but hoping to see an emphasis on internet infrastructure that would benefit low-income communities.

Supervisor Ortiz-Legg moved to resume discussion of a local hire workforce agreement, with a focus on the projects listed. The motion received a 5-0 vote.

With nothing to report, the Supervisors went into private session and returned at 1 p.m. on item 34 to discuss the usage of new water management technologies. These technologies enable contractors on the state water system to transmit, store, and share data. These mechanisms would enable SLO to profit more from state water while also allowing cost recovery via water sales when the county doesn’t require all of it.

Supervisor Arnold was opposed to selling water and said that counties that have done so in the past have found it to be a bad idea. Rather of looking at selling the water, Arnold believes that the county’s infrastructure has to be improved so that it can retain more water.

Supervisor Gibson presented a move to accept staff recommendations, which succeeded 3-2 with Supervisors Arnold and Peschong voting against.

Item 36 was a public hearing to examine Peoples’ Self-Help Housing’s proposal to modify Article 10 of the Land Use Ordinance to remove the 60-parcel restriction on the Mission Gardens property in San Miguel. While public discussion on the item focused on the problem of adding additional housing at a time when we are experiencing a water shortage, the motion to accept staff recommendations passed 5-0.

Item 38 was a hearing to propose modifying the Paso basin agricultural offset requirements, including extending the expiration date to August 31, 2022 and increasing the water duty factor for table grapes. The proposal succeeded in two parts, with a 5-0 vote to extend the termination date to Aug. 31, 2022, and a 4-1 vote with Arnold in opposition to increase the water allotment for table grapes.

Item 39 was a public hearing to discuss passing a resolution to alter the borders of the SLO valley basin to coincide with the Agency Formation Commission’s revised City of SLO limit. The motion received a 5-0 vote.

The day ended with a presentation on the San Luis Obispo Valley Groundwater Basin Draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan, which was received and filed (GSP). The second part of this item was to provide the Director of Public Works the authority to issue any required notice. With a vote of 5-0, the motion to receive and file was granted.

The next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 14, and the agenda will be posted on the county’s website at,-Agendas-and-Minutes.aspx prior to the meeting.

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