On Aug. 28, Doug Filliponi asked the SLO County Planning Commission to make a decision on his Santa Margarita Ranch project even if it meant denying it. A month later, Filliponi got his wish.
After an exhausting five-hour discussion commissioners voted 4-1 to deny the 6,195-acre agricultural cluster. Commissioner Bob Roos moved for the denial. Roos was the sole “no” vote in the earlier 4-1 decision to continue the public hearing.
He previously accused his fellow commissioners of holding up Santa Margarita Ranch through continued public hearings in order to strip its ability to appeal to the current Board of Supervisors.
With the denial, Santa Margarita Ranch can now appeal to the Board of Supervisors before lame-duck supervisors Jerry Lenthall and Harry Ovitt are replaced in January. It is widely believed that the current board majority is pro-development and the next wave of supervisors will be less likely to approve project appeals.
At the Sept. 25 hearing, commissioners seemed certain their decision would be appealed. A representative from Santa Margarita Ranch, however, could not be reached for comment on the likelihood of an appeal.