Speaking of Strongly Held Community Values . . .
Some of the comment/discussion threads on some of my blog entries below have centered on just what kept being used to self-select the Tri-W site and deselect any other site. In a recent CSD meeting, Boardmember Julie Tacker read excerpts from “The Los Osos Community Services District Wastewater Project Report,”(excerpts of which can be found at Ron Crawford’s blogsite, http://www.sewerwatch.blogspot.com/ with the link to his New Times article, “Three Blocks Upwind of Downtown.”)
They make for interesting reading because it’s clear that other sites were “rejected” because they didn’t provide a community amenity in the form of a public use area. Here’s some examples from the project report:
“Although the Turri site would have less potential environmental impacts, its distance from the center of town precluded it from providing a community amenity in the form of a public use area.” Precluded, as in, ka-boom! No "community amenity?" Well, then, you're out of the running.
“[The Andre site] is 1.5 miles from the edge of the community and would not be able to provide the community with a readily accessible recreational area. On a non-cost basis this site was viewed as less favorable than the Resource Park site.” (A non-cost basis? As in, if you disregard cost as an important component of any evaluation, and focus only on a community amenity i.e. a centrally located park, then the “Andre” site’s out of the running? Gosh, and supporters of Tri-W have been relentless in telling us that cost is a really important factor, that Tri-W would “cost less,” that any out of town site would “cost way more,” etc. A non-cost basis??? What the hell does that mean?)
“Following is a description of the benefits of the project: creates a Community Amenity and Visual Resource. The wastewater treatment facility will be constructed and landscaped to maximize active and passive recreational space in the center of the community. Not only will this provide aesthetic benefits, but it will also provide park space for local schools and community groups near the existing community center.” (Playgrounds next to an industrial sized sewer treatment plant as a strongly held community value? Playgrounds next to an industrial sized sewer treatment plant as the driver to keep the plant sited on ESHA land, sited on some of the most expensive property in the middle of town, land requiring extensive, expensive mitigation, extensive, expensive engineering to even operate so close to homes and schools & etc, all being driven on a non-cost basis. Well, who knew?)
”It is essential that any proposed wastewater project within the community of Los Osos reflect these strongly help community values.” And one of these strongly held community values is “creating a wastewater treatment facility that is a visual and recreational asset to the community.” A recreational wastewater treatment plant? Now there’s a strongly held community value!
As Ron Crawford has so frequently pointed out in his articles and at his blogsite, the only time the community ever had a chance to vote to assess themselves a miniscule annual amount for anything “recreational” they voted it down. Yet there it was repeatedly in the project report and presented before the Coastal Commission, for example, a strongly held community value of desperately wanting a recreational asset next to an industrial-sized sewer treatment plant.
Plus, that wonderful notion that an alternative site would be viewed as less favorable on a “non-cost basis” when one of the driving themes of this whole sewer project from day one has been it’s “unaffordability.”
Well, go figure.