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What the County's Talking About This Week 

State sting busts local unlicensed contractors

Last week investigators with the San Luis Obispo Police Department and the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) netted 35 unlicensed contractors during a two-day undercover operation in SLO.

Relying on advertisements and tips, CSLB investigators invited suspected unlicensed contractors to bid on painting, landscaping, and concrete projects at a house near Cal Poly. Twenty-four individuals who showed up were cited for contracting without a license; 11 more were given administrative citations for violations like improper advertising.

According to the CSLB, one contractor netted in the operation had been cited just one week earlier by investigators.

First-time violators who were cited by the CSLB could receive a six-month jail sentence or a $1,000 fine. Penalties go up each time they are caught working without a license.

The CSLB urges consumers to follow these tips when dealing with a building contractor:

•Ask to see the contractor's license.

•Verify the license by visiting www.cslb.ca.gov or calling 1-800-321-CSLB.

•Be hesitant when approached by someone offering home improvement services door-to-door, especially when they will use material they claim is left over from another job.

•Don't pay more than 10 percent down or $1,000, whichever is less.

•Don't pay cash, and don't let the payments get ahead of the work.

•Get three bids, check references, and get a written contract.

-Abraham Hyatt

 

 

Los Osos schedules recall vote for October

Los Osos CSD General Manager Bruce Buel has recommended that the community's contentious recall vote be held Oct. 4, the latest date allowed by law.

Buel claims that the late election will give voters more time to educate themselves on the issues, but sewer critics maintain that the CSD is just buying time to enter more contracts and accept more loans, so that the project can't be derailed by a board of anti-sewer activists.

The CSD will vote on the special election date at this week's meeting, Thursday, June 2. The recall could remove directors Stan Gustafson, Richard LeGros, and Gordon Hensley from the board.

The board is also expected to file a lawsuit to prevent the move-the-sewer initiative from being placed on that same special election ballot.

Al Barrow, president of Citizens for a Safe Environment (CASE), organized the initiative to give Los Osos citizens the opportunity to vote on the location of the wastewater treatment facility. The CSD insists that this is an administrative matter to be decided by the board, and not a legislative matter to be decided by the public.

-Jeff Hornaday

 

 

Court Street project celebrates grand opening

After 18 months of unsightly construction and great anticipation, downtown San Luis Obispo's newest retail center, the Copelands' Court Street, will be holding a grand opening celebration on Friday, June 10, at 10 a.m. Most of the businesses, including Chico's, the Pottery Barn, Talbot's, Straight Down, and Aveda Salon Lux should be open by that time, with Giuseppe's and Taste coming online later in the summer. Banana Republic and Abercrombie & Fitch both opened early last week.

The grand-opening fete, hosted by the SLO Downtown Association and sponsored by Copeland Properties, will feature acknowledgements and refreshments, as well as a ribbon-cutting ceremony conducted by the SLO Chamber of Commerce.

As the Court Street project wraps up, Copeland Properties will be shifting its attention up Monterey Street to the Chinatown project. A multi-level, mixed-use development, Chinatown will encompass three blocks between Monterey and Palm streets, including 65 residential units and a combination of local and national retailers.

-Jeff Hornaday

 

 

261 houses proposed for SLO

Plans for two adjacent developments at the intersection of Orcutt Road and Broad Street are in the works.

Tumbling Waters and Creekstön, collectively referred to as the Four Creeks project, will create a combined total of 261 single- and multi-family units.

The land is zoned for high-density mixed use, said Michael Codron, associate planner for San Luis Obispo. This means the project will includes housing elements as well as retail space. Codron said the Four Creeks plan is part of the city's award-winning General Plan housing element, a plan that the city created to meet the demand for housing set out by the state.

"This is the largest project that's being considered right now in the existing city limits," said Codron

Bill Tickell, owner and architect for the Creekstön project, said that the proximity of nearby creeks to the project added a degree of design difficulty, but he thinks in the end the creeks will significantly add to the development.

The public-comment period for the Four Creeks draft environmental impact report lasts through July 6. ³

-John Peabody

 

 

 

This week's News was compiled and reported on by John Peabody, Abraham Hyatt, and Jeff Hornaday.

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