Between budget and staff focus, priorities are discussed for the next year 

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 9 a.m. Vice-Chairperson Bruce Gibson led the meeting in the absence of Chairperson Lynn Compton, who was expected to arrive shortly into the meeting.

The meeting opened with approval of the consent agenda with three items pulled from the agenda for their own presentation. All items were approved 4-0.

Following the consent agenda, the Board heard a presentation recognizing November as “National Adoption Month” in San Luis Obispo. This past year there have been 42 adoptions finalized or set to be final before the end of the year. However, there are only 100 foster families in the county for the nearly 300 foster youth, and specifically, the county is in need of families willing to care for school-aged children. Anyone who is interested in getting involved can visit slofostercare.com.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles

The next two presentations were to proclaim November 2021 as “Thank a Veteran Month” and a resolution to recognize the San Luis Obispo Vet Center for their service to the veteran community. 

Chairperson Compton returned to the meeting as they went into Board business, starting with the review of the 2022-23 budget goals and policies. The goal of this plan is to ensure that programs that are created have the funds to be continued throughout the year. The next budget update will be in Mid February, when it will be analyzed to see where the actual budget lined up in contrast to the forecast. The Board had a chance to give their input on priorities within the budget. Economic development and housing in the county was brought up by Supervisor Debbie Arnold, who asked that it be a priority as a project that has been in process but needs to remain on the list. Supervisor Gibson made a motion to go with staffs recommendations plus economic development and housing, with an emphasis on infrastructure and water resiliency. The motion passed 5-0.

Item 37 was to direct staff on the Board’s priorities over the upcoming year. This item brought a large discussion around rural camping and what many loosely refer to as the “hip camp ordinance.” There were many public comments from residents who use the rural camping as a way to sustain their farms and hold on to family property, specifically during drought years when crops and cattle don’t do well. Conversely, there was comment from neighbors who had concerns with the rural camping and concerns over campfires and the threat to the area. 

The items that were discussed to be in the top priorities were to continue tier-one projects, craft distillery ordinance, urban small wineries, and guest ranch to dude ranch ordinance change, Senate bill 9, Los Osos habitat conservation plan implementation, removal of owner-occupied deed restrictions for ADUs, cannabis programmatic environmental update, revisiting committee advisory council bylaws, rural camping, and coastal vacation ordinance.

Ultimately, after much discussion, the motion was made by Supervisor John Peschong to approve moving all items for approval aside from the programmatic EIR for cannabis and the revisiting of advisory council bylaws. The motion was approved 5-0.

Next, Supervisor John Peschong moved approval of the programmatic EIR, which was voted 3-2 with Supervisors Debbie Arnold and Chairperson Compton in opposition. 

Chairperson Compton made a motion to approve the revisiting of the advisory council bylaws, which was voted 3-2 with Supervisor Gibson and Ortiz-Legg in opposition.

The next meeting of the Board of Supervisors will be the special redistricting meeting. The meeting agenda will be posted on the District’s website when it becomes available at slocounty.ca.gov/Departments/Board-of-Supervisors/Board-Meetings,-Agendas-and-Minutes.aspx.