OPINION by JULIE TACKER
District 4 Supervisorial candidate Jimmy Paulding has Oceano residents up in arms over having been “the county’s stepchild;” as evidenced by there not being sidewalks in the community. Blaming current Supervisor Lynn Compton for failing to prioritize county general funds to improve their little berg.
As a junior land use planner, Jimmy should know sidewalks are generally paid for by development. Each property is required to make its own frontage improvements and as they do (to the standard that is required by their permit) the town will eventually piece together their own sidewalks.
On occasion, the county will fill in if it looks like haphazard development will take too long and as a matter of safety or to provide a “safe route to school.”
Look at Los Osos and Cambria, both stymied by building moratoriums for 20 to 30 years; they too have few sidewalks. Very few sidewalks can be found in Templeton, Cayucos, Nipomo, Shandon, San Miguel, San Simeon and so on.
Old-school sidewalks have gone out of fashion, they inhibit drainage disrupting groundwater recharge. Low impact development practices, and alternatives to traditional sidewalks, increase the visual beauty of the neighborhood. The Oceano CSD, not the county, recently got a grant to study just that.
Julie Tacker is a countywide activist and community watchdog.