Thursday, March 01, 2012

American Smart-Ass

There are probably about three people on this planet that will get this joke, but, trust me, if you're top-notch SewerWatch-savvy enough to grasp the complex set of circumstances behind my email... errrrrr... official "written objection" (below), this is REEEEEEEELLY funny.

And it's real.

And it's official.

And it's hilarious!

And on March 8, 2012, at the California Coastal Commission's meeting in Chula Vista, the Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission, Charles Lester -- the same person that, in 2004, as a Commission staffer, thought that picnicking with the kids in an industrial sewer plant in Los Osos was a good idea -- is going to have to officially "respond" to it.


Awww gawd, what a tangled web they weave!

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TO: Daniel Robinson, Coastal Planner, California Coastal Commission
DATE: 3/1/12

Dear Mr. Robinson,

Please consider this email a "written objection" to the proposed Amendment to CDP "A-3-SLO-09-055/069," mentioned in your 2/23/12 letter to "All Interested Parties," archived at this link:

The proposed amendment concerns moving a pump station needed for the Los Osos sewer project from the Los Osos park, to across the street, near where the former, now-failed, Tri-W sewer plant had begun construction, before that construction was stopped shortly thereafter, and then that project would go on to fail completely.

In that 2/23/12 letter, it states, "The proposed amendment is consistent with the Commission's original CDP approval."

That's not accurate, and it goes straight to my objection.

The Commission's original CDP approval for the Los Osos wastewater project, occurred in August of 2004, when the Commission voted to approve CDP #A-3-SLO-03-113, the development permit for the now-failed, so-called "Tri-W project."

That original "original CDP" is archived at this link:

My "written objection" to the currently proposed amendment is that it does NOT include the "site amenities" at the pump station site, that were included in the REAL "original CDP," that the CCC approved at nearly the exact same site in 2004, for the sewer plant in the now-failed, so-called Tri-W "project."

According to the original 2004 CDP, that the CCC approved:

"Special Condition 17

Fencing, landscaping and park amenities in accordance with the site plan attached as page 5 of Exhibit 2. Landscaping and park amenities (e.g. dog park, off-street parking, amphitheater, tot lot, picnic area, multi use area, community gardens, and pathways and trails shown by Exhibit 2) shall be installed or bonded for before final building inspection. If bonded for, landscaping park amenities shall be installed within 60 days after final building inspection and thereafter maintained in a viable condition in perpetuity."

(Page 16 of the pdf file)

I object to the current amendment, as proposed, and instead, insist that "Special Condition 17," that the 2004 CCC also insisted on, be added BACK into the project, via the proposed Amendment to the current CDP, A-3-SLO-09-055/069.

The reason I "insist" that Special Condition 17 from the original "original CDP" be added to the proposed amendment, is because, apparently, the California Coastal Commission considers Special Condition 17 to be extremely important for Los Osos.

Allow me to explain:

On page 89 (of 91 pages) in the original "original" CDP, CCC staff writes:

"... other alternatives (to the mid-town Tri-W site) were rejected on the basis that they did not accomplish project objectives for centrally located community amenities."

In other words, according to CDP A-3-SLO-03-113, the ONLY reason the sewer plant designed for the now-failed Tri-W project, was being constructed in the middle of Los Osos was due, solely, to the "park amenities" (a.k.a "centrally located community amenities), because ALL "other alternatives (to the mid-town Tri-W site) were rejected on the basis that they did not accomplish project objectives for centrally located community amenities."

So, if the "site amenities" in the Los Osos sewer plant were so important to the Coastal Commission back in 2004, that ALL "other alternatives (to the Tri-W site) were rejected on the basis that they did not accomplish project objectives for centrally located community amenities," AND the CCC even went as far as to require Special Condition 17, that demanded that the amenities not only be "installed," but also "maintained in a viable condition in perpetuity," then why, today, in 2012, is there no mention whatsoever from the Commission of the "dog park, off-street parking, amphitheater, tot lot, picnic area, multi use area, community gardens, and pathways and trails" that the CCC required in the Tri-W project CDP, and that were solely dictating the downtown location?

The proposed Amendment to the 2nd CDP, A-3-SLO-09-055/069, appears to be the perfect opportunity to reincorporate those "park amenities" that the CCC found so important in 2004 that they required Special Condition 17 in the original "original CDP."

I also object to the proposed amendment not including Special Condition 17 from the original CDP, because, due solely to Special Condition 17, the State officials responsible for overseeing the State Revolving Fund, interpreted the "park amenities" as "project mitigation," despite the fact that SRF Policy reads, "Ineligible for (SRF funding): Decorative Items," and, therefore, made the decision to fund, "entirely," the estimated $2.3 million worth of park amenities contained in Special Condition 17, as well as the estimated $3 million in park amenities O&M over the next 20 years.

Again, if the "park amenities" in a Los Osos sewer facility are so important to the CCC, that the Commission, in 2004, actually required the amenities (Special Condition 17) -- amenities that were solely responsible for dictating the now-failed "mid-town" sewer plant location -- and, due to "Special Condition 17," nearly $6 million of SRF money was allocated to fund that public park -- then why isn't the CCC even mentioning Special Condition 17 today?

It seems like the proposed Amendment to the 2nd CDP, A-3-SLO-09-055/069, would be the perfect opportunity for the Commission to finish what they started in 2004, namely: a "centrally located" "picnic area" in a sewer facility in Los Osos.

Did the Commission forget that they required, in 2004, an elaborate public park be included in the sewer facilities at the same location as the new, proposed pump station location -- amenities that were solely dictating the now-failed downtown sewer pant location?

Well, here's a perfect chance to refresh the Commission's memory, and insist that they include those same amenities in the new sewer pump station, that they required in the Tri-W sewer plant, at nearly the same location.

I mean, why not? Considering the Commission has already required, in 2004, a "picnic area" and a "tot lot" in a sewer plant for Los Osos, then why wouldn't the Commission ALSO require those same amenities for a sewer pump station, at nearly the same location, in Los Osos. That arrangement sounds like it would be MUCH more preferable. (I know, personally, that I'd rather picnic with the kids at a sewer pump station, than in a full-blown, industrial sewer plant, like the Commission originally required in Los Osos, in 2004, with Special Condition 17.)

So, that's my "written objection" to the proposed amendment: It does NOT include Special Condition 17.

Considering that the Commission has already required "park amenities" in a downtown Los Osos sewer facility, which directly led to nearly $6 million of SRF funding for "mitigation" in the Los Osos sewer project in the form of the "dog park, off-street parking, amphitheater, tot lot, picnic area, multi use area, community gardens, and pathways and trails," and their O&M, and considering that the pump station mentioned in proposed Amendment to CDP A-3-SLO-09-055/069, will now be located in nearly the exact location as the now-failed Tri-W project sewer plant, where the Commission required things like a "tot lot" in 2004, and therefore the proposed amendment will provide an ideal opportunity to include the exact same "centrally located community amenities" that the CCC required in "Special Condition 17" from CPD #A-3-SLO-03-113, I now insist, just like the 2004 Commission, that the "park amenities" found in Special Condition 17 from A-3-SLO-03-113, be added to the proposed Amendment to CDP A-3-SLO-09-055/069.

As an "interested party," I thank you for the opportunity to provide this official "written objection," and for "reporting" it, and "the Executive Director's response to it," at the Commission's "March 8, 2012, meeting in Chula Vista," as mentioned in your 2/23/12 letter.


P.S. I've published this "written objection" on my blog:



  • Gee Ron, did you not notice that the spot this pump station is proposed to be moved to onto is the narrow area around the LIBRARY, just beyond the parking lot? NOT the Tr-W property? How are park amenities going to go in that teeny, tiny spot? Besides, the Tri-W property is being restored with native plants and trails - a park of a different sort. Times change, projects change - the only constant here is that you never seem to change Ron, always bringing up ancient history. We have moved on.

    Your point here seems to be to scold the Coastal Commission (original "original CDP?" - what a wacky stretch for a different project)! BTW, who insisted those amenities be put back anyway? The same anti-sewer objectionist who said they had to be taken out in the first place! Oh, you forget that didn't you! You could write a fun article on that one, right?

    Anyway, moving on, how's that bid for composting toilets going?

    By Blogger Sewertoons AKA Lynette Tornatzky, at 6:51 PM, March 01, 2012  

  • 'toons writes:

    "Besides, the Tri-W property is being restored..."

    Even MORE perfecter! What better time to build a $6 million dollar, State funded, "picnic area" into a Los Osos sewer facility? Like I write, a PERFECT opportunity for the CCC to finish what they started:

    Requiring a $6 million dollar, State funded, "centrally located" "picnic area" in a Los Osos sewer facility.

    The best part (o.k. ONE of the best parts) of all this? According to that letter, Lester -- the same person that thought that Pandora's idea of picnicking in a sewer plant was such a good idea, that he recommended approving a downtown sewer plant on ESHA, that added tens of millions of dollars to the project BECAUSE of the "downtown-ness" of the now-failed Tri-W embarrassment -- HAS to "respond" to my "written objection" at that Chula Vista meeting.


    That doesn't sound like "ancient history," that sounds like next week.

    If that meeting was ANYWHERE near SLOtown, I'd pay to attend it.

    Oh lord, that's gonna be funny.

    Hey! I smell a "Kumbaya" moment. I think I'll email Parks Commissioner Nash-Karner, and get her on board with my "written objection."

    She'll LOVE my idea.... after all, it was her ORIGINAL idea to picnic with the kids in a sewer plant.

    'toons writes:

    "... how's that bid for composting toilets going?"

    Swimmingly, and hilariously.

    My advice: Buy composting toilet stock!

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:55 AM, March 02, 2012  

  • I'm looking forward to the formal reply to your letter, though it likely won't answer the critical one: Who authorized SRF monies for "park amenities" in the first place and was that authorization "illegal" or just a bureaucratic boo-boo?" Well, whatever the reply, you're collecting some wonderful examples of bureaucratic cat-tangle speak.

    By Blogger Churadogs, at 5:10 AM, March 03, 2012  

  • The CCCs “Notice of proposed permit amendment” dated February 23, 2012, describes the amendment to the CDP. The pumpstation is to be moved closer to the library
    It’s a good thing, in the following consideration:
    The pumpstation was too close to the area on LOVR that was undercut by erosion.
    However the letter mentions nothing about that.
    The email dated March 1 will, according to CC Review procedure, be reported, along with the Executive Director’s response to it, to the Commission on March 8, 2012.
    For others; The 10th working day from the issuance of the letter is fast approaching.

    It is a question of “materiality”, in the eyes of three commissioners.

    By Blogger Alon Perlman, at 7:52 PM, March 03, 2012  

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