Thank your for reporting on the grand jury’s investigation of the county planning department’s seriously flawed report on the proposed sale of county land in the Oceano Dunes; a report that pretended inconvenient coastal policies barring the use of vehicles on that land do not exist (“Deception or bumble?,” June 18). The grand jury didn’t buy the planning staff’s the-dog-ate-my-land-use-policy explanation, and neither should anyone else
We encourage readers to take a look at Staff Report on the Sale of Oceano Dunes Parcels: Errors or Deception? at slocourts.net/downloads/grand_jury/Reports/Oceano%20Dunes%20Sale.pdf. It’s a quick, riveting read. Of special interest are the three appendices that spotlight exactly what went missing from the staff report on the proposed sale. All can judge for themselves the likelihood that the multiple policy deletions—their absence urging the planning commission toward a misleading conclusion—can be explained away by the words, “It was a mistake.”
There should also be no takers for the idea that none of this really matters or had any bearing on the county’s decision on whether to sell the land. Because we pointed out one of the major omissions from that report, the planning commission overturned the planning director’s determination that the sale of the land would be in conformity with the General Plan. This triggered a rash of appeals, monthly public town halls in Oceano, a packed board of supervisors appeals hearing, and the Sierra Club’s lawsuit over this issue, all making the sale of the land untenable.
The state’s goal of locking up this land for OHV use forever, despite coastal policies barring such use, was thwarted. We continue to press the case.