Local government roundup: 10/30/17

Oct 30, 2017

This week in local government around the Central Coast: Camp 4; a new SLO county administrator; and a months-old agreement among San Luis Obispo County’s seven cities to join forces in building a new animal shelter has apparently disintegrated. 

On Monday, officials in Paso Robles and Atascadero voted to opt out of the group project and build their own animal services facility, with the Paso Robles city council voting unanimously. That leaves Morro Bay, Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo still in the agreement. The Arroyo Grande city council said if that city’s portion of the cost exceeds 15 percent, it will drop out as well. A new county animal services facility has an estimated cost of over $14 million dollars, and the county board of supervisors is expected to talk about next steps on November 7.

San Luis Obispo County officials met Monday in closed session to decide who will be next administrative head of the county, after former county administrative officer (CAO) Dan Buckshi resigned in May. Supervisor Adam Hill said the board just finished interviews and expects to formally announce the county's new CAO at the November 7 meeting.

This week in Santa Barbara County, Tuesday’s board of supervisors special meeting is all about the Camp 4 property in the Santa Ynez Valley. The county is poised to sign an agreement with the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians over future development of the tribe's Camp 4 property.

The 2.2 square-mile property was added to the tribe’s reservation land earlier this year by the federal government, making it immune from county zoning and land use laws. Since then, the county supervisors have met with the tribe nine times to hammer out a deal that all sides can accept. That deal - referred to as a memorandum of agreement (MOA) - is up for passage Tuesday.

"Anyone examining this closely realizes this is about the best deal that the county could have achieved, given the circumstances," Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams said. "It's sure a whole lot better than what would exist with no agreement."

Williams sits on the ad hoc committee formed in 2015 to negotiate with the tribe. He said the Camp 4 property is the gateway to the Santa Ynez Valley, and most important to the community has been the preservation of open space. The tribe has agreed to keep over half the property as open space, and Williams said the MOA has “enforceable protections on open space.”

The tribe has agreed to paying the county $178,500 every year until 2040 to cover costs of county services.

Both a current bill in the U.S. Congress and the proposed MOA agreement explicitly state that gaming is prohibited on the Camp 4 property. Since the Chumash bought the land in 2009, tribal leaders have stated an intent to build housing for its members. Other residents of the Santa Ynez Valley have worked for years to block any commercial development on the tribe’s Camp 4 land.

The Monterey County board of supervisors has the week off.

Carol Tangeman contributed to this report.