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Los Osos homeowners will vote on sewer tax 

Homeowners in Los Osos will soon have the chance to cast their votes on whether or not they support a sewer tax for their property.

County officials plan to send mail-in ballots to Los Osos homeowners on Aug. 28 to answer what a recent staff report calls "the single greatest question": Do Los Osos property owners want the county to implement a community wastewater project?

Details of the type of sewage treatment and the location of a treatment site will not be provided before the vote.

Voter approval for a sewer assessment is required under Prop. 218, often referred to as "the right to vote on taxes act." The SLO County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted July 17 to support staff recommendations for the voting procedure.

The votes will be not be made on a one-person-one-vote standard. Instead, they'll be weighted according to the property value, noted Paavo Ogren, deputy director of public works and the county's lead staff on the sewer project.

Owners of undeveloped land in Los Osos will not be included in the August ballot, supervisors decided, because even with the sewer more study is needed on water supply issues and habitat conservation before those parcels could develop. Registered voters who are renters rather than owners are not allowed to vote either.

Ogren's recommendation to limit the voting to owners of developed parcels is based on a policy position that those who are threatened with enforcement action by the Regional Water Quality Control Board should make the decision on whether the county should go ahead with a sewage system.

"As with many issues in Los Osos, the topic is complex," Ogren stated in a staff report.


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