H-SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY

Dec 4, 2012 9:29 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

San Luis Obispo County Board tables ag cluster decision

How much control should farmers and ranchers have over their land?
The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors wrestled with that Tuesday.
Some are promoting more use of something called ag clustering.
Ag clustering has been used before successfully throughout the county as a development tool.
What it does is allows homes to be built on farmland while also forcing the preservation of the majority of the land for farm use.
The county board is considering changing the ordinance about ag clustering by limiting how much land is eligible.
That move has upset many of the county's land owners.
"It would eliminate the lot bonus incentive, dramatically reduce the area eligible for ag clustering, that would eliminate over one million acres from eligibility for being preserved under the tool," says Keith Gurnee of RRM Design, a group that headed up multiple cluster developments in the county.

No action was taken today, Supervisor Adam Hill says more time is needed to look at any changes.
This is a very complex issue as you can imagine, but the bottom line is the direction of ag clustering means millions of dollars for developers and land owners who are invested in the outcome of this debate.
Supervisors will head back to the drawing board with the amendment.
They say they will present the amendment after a new EIR is completed and all other concerns have been addressed.

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