Unswayed by hours of gale-force public testimony, a 3-2 majority of the SLO County Board of Supervisors gave the final approval to a so-called viewshed protection effort for the scenic area north of Cayucos, written by the private landowners' group Protect Our Property Rights.
As with preliminary efforts that preceded the Dec. 4 vote, this one was passed with the votes of Jerry Lenthall, Harry Ovitt, and Katcho Achadjian. Unlike past efforts, however, Bruce Gibson was allowed to vote. Because he owns land in the area, he couldn't vote on a previous, far more comprehensive protection plan. The latest plan--covering less than a tenth of the territory of the earlier version--no longer affected his land. Jim Patterson joined him in voting against the plan.
At this hearing, unlike past ones, opponents of the plan far outnumbered supporters, and used their numbers at times to make political threats.
Speaker after speaker ended their opposing testimony with a call to vote for Adam Hill, the Cal Poly English lecturer who is opposing board chairman Lenthall in the election slated for this summer.
The pleas, however, likely fell on relatively few ears. The entire debate came after 5 p.m., the point at which public radio stopped broadcasting the meeting.
As written, the measure will implement some new requirements for new homes that are within a mile of Highway 1.