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County receiver takes on Sunny Acres 

A county-appointed receiver has officially walked the grounds of the embattled Sunny Acres, kicking off a process to implement a series of court-mandated improvements to the 72-acre ranch.

According to homeless advocate and Sunny Acres owner Dan De Vaul, the Los Angeles-based receiver David Pasternak visited the property on March 7, surveying the facilities in preparation for soliciting bids to do the remaining clean-up work.

Pasternak was appointed by San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Charles Crandall on Jan. 20 and is tasked with ensuring that a number of sheds, tents, and vehicles on the property are vacated. He’ll also implement improvements and renovations to a number of other structures, including a dairy barn.

De Vaul said a lot of focus is also being given to the property’s wells to ensure that the ranch’s drinking water is safe.

Under the court order, Pasternak will solicit bids from contractors for the work. Pasternak couldn’t be reached for comment, but according to De Vaul, bids are expected by March 23.

“The problem is, none of this stuff is exactly clear on what the county wants done,” De Vaul told New Times. “I think some of the bids are going to come in vague.”

And vague bids are a worry for De Vaul, who will be on the hook for the cost of the improvements. If he can’t afford it, liens could be placed on the property.

The sober-living facility and working ranch has been the center of what Crandall has called a “long-running saga” to fix code violations throughout the property, which was declared a public nuisance in July 2010.

De Vaul said he’s working with Pasternak and is taking a “wait-and-see” approach.

“Right now, we don’t know what’s going to happen,” De Vaul said.

He’s due back in court on April 20.

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