Opinion » Letters

Keep dreaming


Al Fonzi has hit upon a novel solution to the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area air pollution problem ("Under siege," July 4): Just move all the Nipomo residents in the path of the plume! That's much easier than planting vegetation.

Let's follow his logic to its conclusion: 1) San Luis Obispo County owns the portion of the riding area that is emitting the air pollution. 2) SLO County would condemn homes that its degraded property made unhealthy. This may fall under the legal definition of "take." Therefore, 3) SLO County would need to pay each homeowner fair market value for their home. The homes on the Nipomo Mesa run about $750,000 to more than $1 million. There are several thousand homes in the plume, according to the Air Pollution Control District map. This buyout would cost $750 million or more, dwarfing the $150 million to $243 million of "economic activity" from off-highway vehicle related purchases. 4) Those homes could not be resold. The county would forever lose millions of dollars in property taxes. 5) The empty homes would become magnets for crime. 6) The people left living next to vacant homes would see their home values plummet. They would want to move away too.

I know of people who have moved due to the air pollution. I, for one, would gladly sell my house to the county for fair market value. I think I would move to another county, where they don't pollute my air and then condemn my property. Dream on, Al.

Rachelle Toti

Nipomo Mesa

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