The Morro Bay City Council seems to be headed toward annexing property in north Morro Bay to form five building lots and adjoining open space. This may or may not be legal and will likely result in legal challenges and expense for the city if the City Council takes this action.
In 1984, as I was completing my first term on the Morro Bay City Council, Measure F was passed by the voters in Morro Bay that resulted in Ordinance No. 266. Legal interpretations may differ, but most people felt this would prevent development of open space within the city limits or annexation and development of property bordering the city. This was because of the concern of impacts on limited city resources and services. Those concerns still exist today.
In 1990, Measure H was voted on and passed to limit the development of the Williams Property across Highway 1 from today's Albertsons shopping center. This was another example of the residents' desire to keep Morro Bay from growing and impacting resources and services.
Five building lots may not sound like much, but if this can happen, what might follow? I know many residents and, perhaps current members of the City Council, are not fully aware of all this history. The language in Section 7 of Ordiance No. 266 that resulted from the passage of Measure F states: "These policies and the zoning ordinances which now implement them may be amended or repealed only by a majority vote of the people at a regular or special election."
As someone who served two terms on the City Council and two terms as mayor, I understand how difficult the job can be. Given the history regarding growth, I strongly encourage the current City Council to explain why they feel this is a good thing to do, and then put an advisory vote on the ballot in the next scheduled election and let the residents tell them how they feel about growth. I stated earlier that it may or may not be legal to do this but, given the history, why not let the residents give their input? Hold an advisory vote on this matter during the next election.