OPINION by JEFF HORTON
Is it just me, or are things starting to look too “city” around here? At this time, I am beginning to lose the idea that it is just me because I hear the same complaints everywhere I go. These factors that have lowered our quality of life can be reduced or even removed. It’s just now time to figure out if that’s what ‘we’ want to do.
It is not too late to close the door on all the development that is causing the traffic and crowding. All this time that San Luis Obispo County residents have spent bragging up our natural beauty, that’s been kind of off the mark in my opinion. Not that we don’t have it, but so does everywhere else in coastal California. It’s just harder to see in the built out spots like Long Beach or Huntington Beach.
Not long ago, (in this lifetime) those places looked like Pismo Beach. As children in Southern California, we all had lemon, orange and avocado fights on the way to school through the ubiquitous orchards. In the span of a generation, that was gone. Most of us wouldn’t give you a vacant lot in Oceano for all of San Gabriel Valley now. We currently have people here who are marketing the area heavily; houses have become the products for sale on most billboards.
Those houses are not filled by the county’s homeless. Ever. Instead, they are sold to people who live in formerly-awesome-but-now-blighted-by-crowding dumps like the Bay Area.
I saw a solid line of headlights last night that stretched all the way from Arroyo Grande to Orcutt. I was coming home from LA (the city) but I had gotten home to LA traffic and not a small number of that city’s former inhabitants.
The perfect Petri dish for this experiment has been Nipomo. There are literally thousands of houses there that were not there fairly recently and seemingly no end to the building in sight. Nipomo isn’t a city, has still nowhere near the resource or infrastructure for this influx of new residents. What the hay, let ‘em shop and buy gas in Arroyo Grande, right?
Wrong! Everybody here has stuff to do and it doesn’t include waiting in line for a pump or a cashier or anything else. We had the last greatest place because it was beautiful and un-crowded.
This is a massive elephant-in-the-room type issue. I am leaving out the obvious-you all know we either don’t have the water or will be asked to live with less of it.
Personally, I’d like a building moratorium. I already have enough money and business; I won’t be able to create more time to do more work. It seems ultra stupid to introduce tens of thousands of more job seekers, students, health care consumers and terrible drivers.
Let’s discuss and consider a ban on building so we can at least have this one spot that doesn’t suck.