Sustainability

Central Coast Grown’s Comment on San Luis Ranch’s December 2016 DEIR on Proposed Topsoil Grading

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

I. Introduction

This comment expresses the views of Central Coast Grown(CCG), the non-profit organization selected by the SLO City Council to manage City Farm San Luis Obispo under the terms of 1) a 20-year nominal-fee lease and 2) of the 2011 Master Plan for the Calle Joaquin Agricultural Reserve (www.slocity.org/home/showdocument?id=1916). City Farm SLO is a 20-acre parcel zoned Agricultural Open Space and owned by the City, adjacent to San Luis Ranch

CCG has a strong interest in the development plans for the Agricultural Land belonging to San Luis Ranch for several reasons. As an immediate neighbor, City Farm’s operations are directly impacted by the treatment of soil and water resources on the adjoining property, in particular by any grading activities affecting land contours and soil conditions.  As custodian of City Farm and a continuous onsite presence, CCG has a responsibility to uphold the intentions and terms of the Calle Joaquin Agricultural Reserve under which it operates and to which the agricultural land of San Luis Ranch will be subject, if and when it is annexed into the City. (more…)

Mariotte Hotel Development (sequel 1)

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Note: See earlier posting for backstory

Testimony at Architectural Review Commission at hearing October 5 2015

My name is Steven Marx. I live in San Luis Obispo and am a retired Cal Poly Professor. I testify today as the President of the Board of the Non-profit, Central Coast Grown, which holds a 20-year lease with the City of San Luis Obispo for the City Farm Property to implement the General Plan requirement to preserve “the signature agricultural landscape at the southern entrance to the City.” By the terms of that lease we are tasked with assuring that its nineteen acres are used for organic production of locally marketed crops by small local farmers and with creating educational programs about sustainable agriculture for schools and the general public. In our first year and half of operation, we have done that, staffed by one paid employee and volunteers and funded by small produce sales, grants, and contributions.

Unfortunately the matter at hand today has proceeded beyond the preliminary stages without our input, as a result of a failure of notification. It is surprising that nobody at the City who received notification long ago forwarded it to CCG or to its other neighbor, San Luis Ranch, and it’s also surprising that none of the earlier staff reports to the ARC gave adequate consideration to the larger issues stated in your Community Design Guidelines: “Scenic views and natural features around the site, and a site’s location should be considered early in project design.” (more…)

“The Time to Act is Now”

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

An address at “SLO Faith Communities Respond to the Pope’s Message,” sponsored by People of Faith for Justice, October 1 2015

About a month ago, I went to the annual potluck picnic of the White Heron Sangha—a Buddhist meditation fellowship I’ve been attending for several years. It took place at a beautiful home and retreat center in Squire Canyon, and during the meal I was asked by a couple of people if I would be willing to substitute for one of the Sangha’s leaders in representing the Buddhist community at tonight’s program. He couldn’t be here because he was heading off to a retreat in India.

Being only a marginal Buddhist myself and a burnt-out former climate activist, I was reluctant to agree, but I found myself saying “yes” as I recalled recently hearing about Pope Francis’ wholehearted willingness to take on the issue. (more…)

Response to Initial Study of Calle Joaquin Hotel Development

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Introduction

The signatories of this letter, consisting of all of the Board Members of the licensed non-profit, Central Coast Grown (http://centralcoastgrown.org) urge the San Luis Obispo Architectural Review Commission not to grant a Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Calle Joaquin Hotel Development at its meeting of October 5, 2015.

This Declaration was recommended by the contract planner hired by the City of San Luis Obispo in an “Initial Study” dated July 31 2015, but we oppose it for the reasons detailed below.

We also request that 1)the project be either rejected or thoroughly scaled back and redesigned and 2)the project be required to submit for public review and comment a full EIR with sufficient time for consideration and response. (more…)