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Supervisors debate, ultimately punt on authorizing Nipomo development plans 

What was scheduled to be a key referendum on the viability of development in water-starved Nipomo ended up being more of a false start.

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors debated whether to authorize initial processing of proposed specific plan, general plan, and land use ordinance amendments at Nipomo’s Blacklake Golf Resort for about 90 minutes during its March 24 meeting, but ultimately unanimously decided to continue the discussion to the board’s June 2 meeting.

Blacklake owner Rob Rossi requested the postponement in order to further discuss his development plans with homeowners and resolve issues identified by the board.

“There are some foundational, threshold issues that call into question whether this request is even ripe to consider for processing,” District 2 Supervisor Bruce Gibson said. “Why are we wading into the swamp if we don’t even know where the big alligators are?”

The main issues identified by the board include neighborhood covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) that preclude residential development on golf course parcels, possible conflicts with debated open space easements, and water usage concerns.

Though plans are extremely preliminary, 
Rossi has proposed building a 120-room hotel 
and as many as 100 new homes at Blacklake, while shrinking the golf course’s size from 58 to 35 acres.

About 10 speakers, many of them Blacklake residents, spoke during public comment, and all of the speakers opposed Rossi’s planned development.

“We accepted the fact that the lakes are now dried-up holes, and the noise, traffic, and pollution of Willow Road since its expansion has disrupted our peace and quiet,” Blacklake residents Jim and Diana Jackson wrote in a letter to the county about Rossi’s project. “The Rossi plan to build a long line of bungalows literally in our backyard is just not acceptable.”

District 4 Supervisor Lynn Compton—whose district includes Blacklake—opined that Rossi needed to secure more community buy-in before returning to the board.

The matter will come back before the Board of Supervisors on June 2.

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