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Ernie’s Field of Dreams

Good segment last night with Dave Cox and Vic Montgomery, with listeners calling in with ideas on how to develop (or not) the controversial Dalidio acreage in San Luis Obispo. Dave and Vic wrote down every idea and seemed genuinely impressed by the list Hometown Radio listeners generated — they were especially intrigued by having a countywide vote on the property (an idea I like, as well).

Remember — Saturday morning from 8:30 to 12:30, Supervisor Jerry Lenthall is hosting a public forum on this issue at the county building in the Supes chamber. Everyone will have a chance to speak and express their ideas on what should be done.

I’ve always been in favor of the Marketplace idea and I was disappointed in last spring’s vote. We all know it was orchestrated by downtown developers trying to defeat competitive shopping. San Luis Obispo should be the regional shopping center hub. Prado Road should go all the way from Laguna Lake to Broad Street. Let’s hope the county does the right thing and Ernie Dalidio is allowed to develop his property.

What say you?

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  1. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    January 26, 2006 at 4:11 pm

    I am amazed that all of these people that called in and have such good ideas for the land act as if it is their land to determine it’s use.

    Even Bill from way down in Santa Maria would APPROVE of the project if half of it was a central park. We are so grateful that he would approve of that. When did he buy the property, or is SM Bill People’s Republic of SLO land use decider??

    Attention: The land belongs to Mr. Dalidio, he pays the tax, he owns the property.

    You can do what you want with your back yard, which used to be an open field not too long ago. If you want to keep the peoperty open, lease it long term at a comparable amount Ernie would receive if he developed it, OR don’t. But it is not yours to decide what to do with it since you have driven buy it on highway 101 for the last 12 years.

  2. Bob from San Luis
    January 26, 2006 at 5:55 pm

    Let’s see, I have open space in my backyard so, I should be able to anything I want to; first, there are zoning regulations that limit what I can do in my back yard. If I am in an R-2 zone, I can build a second unit, because that fits the zoning regulations. If I want to put in a three story 5 unit complex, I won’t be approved for that use. Are my property rights being denied? As long as what I want to do fits the zoning then it should be approved, but there is no guarantee until I go completely through the permit process.
    Mr. Dalidio’s property is zoned agriculture use, not commercial, not retail, not housing. He needs to have the zoning changed before he can do anything other than farm or ranch. Is it his right to have his property zone changed? This is the crux of the so called property rights question. There may be zoning adjacent to his property that is the zoning he wants to obtain, but does that mean that changing his zoning is a given? I for one do not believe that having your property zoning changed is a right, but a possible option, with the proper approval. I don’t know all the facts concerning Mr. Dalidio’s property, but I seem to remember planning department recommendations against changing the zoning based on traffic impact studies, water availability and sewer capacity concerns, and airport right of way concerning the density of any housing projects. Mr. Dalidio has every right to submit plans for projects for his property, he has no inherent “right” to have those plans approved if planning department concerns are not answered satisfactorily.
    As for anyone leasing the property or buying it from Mr. Dalidio, he has apparently refused any such offers outright, as far as I have been led to believe.
    Having a county wide vote on Mr. Dalidio’s project sounds like a good idea, but the citizens who would be the most greatly impacted have spoken already. Perhaps if Mr. Dalidio’s project gets a planning department approval, then the project could be put up for a county wide vote. I know I don’t have the answer to all the questions, but all of the questions haven’t been answered yet, possibly because all of the questions haven’t been asked yet.

  3. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    January 27, 2006 at 2:03 am

    Hey Bob from San Luis, yeah, BUT the problem with the logic you are using is that the land zoning is as follows:

    What would you do if your house (yard) is zoned residential. Somehow, all of the people around you turn their houses into factories. You are left to be the only house in your area, and the rest are factories. Then, the great and all protective government comes by and tells you that it is unsafe and really not a good idea for you to stay in your house. You can visit during the day, but not at night. And also say that the people working in the factories like your house because it reminds them of what the neighborhood used to be before all of the factories. You can’t sell you house to be a factory, like your neighbors, but you can’t live there either.

    I see it the same way for Mr. Dalidio. He must pay the price since he did not rush to development like his other neighbors? He can farm, organic or otherwise really because of all the dust and runoff restrictions that have come from the so called environmentalists. You drive by and think it looks nice, and you think you should decide what an American citizen should be allowed to do with his property within reason. Town is all around him. It may be different if he was out in the farthest away from town.

  4. Bob from San Luis
    January 27, 2006 at 3:17 am

    Wow, that is some turn of logic, dcrpfd. In your example, I would have to have a house in an area that is zoned for commercial use to allow those factories to be built, or, though some strange twist my residential area would have to be re-zoned for commercial use for your scenario to happen. In order for my house or lot to be the only remaining residentially zoned parcel in a sea of commercial zoning, it would have to huge, in the neighborhood of several acres, like Mr. Dalidio’s property. Given those circumstances your analogy doesn’t seem valid, since you seem to imply that my property would be a single residential lot. I would always have the ability to sell my property, which Mr. Dalidio has, but seemingly has rejected outright. As far as Mr. Dalidio farming his property in an organic manner to avoid the problems of complaints of over spray or drift, one proposal I remember hearing about is for Mr. Dalidio and Cal Poly to work out some sort of trade, either acre for acre or dollar for dollar, so that he would have a property to develop in a manner he wants to, without the uproar that his proposed development has caused. Cal Poly would then be able to develop a show place organic farm “park” that would retain the agricultural use, and allow for a few other concurrent programs on the property as well. I am curious what his response is to a proposal like that, a seemingly win-win situation for everyone involved.

  5. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    January 27, 2006 at 4:52 am

    I know it was not likely to happen, but I feel that has happened to Mr. D. The city has grown around him, by no fault of his own. And really, he cannot sell his land for what his neighbors could sell their buildable land for, nor can he continue to farm the land at a profit. Even organic farming causes dust and runoff. Incidentally, the land is way over a few acres, and I hate to see it developed, but I understand that he is surrounded by city dwellers. My grandfather was born near this ranch, near the octagon barn, so I like the way SLO was, and at the same time undersstand it is growing and want to make it responsible growth. Not just stuipid stores I cannot afford nor desire like Ambercrombie and Fitch. I would like a mid price store like Target in SLO to spend my hard earned money in and add tax dollars to San Luis Obispo City to provide you with police, fire, and food for the bums that hang out and pollute our creek.

  6. Bob from San Luis
    January 27, 2006 at 6:24 am

    Okay, one more volley. And really, he cannot sell his land for what his neighbors could sell their build-able land for, nor can he continue to farm the land at a profit. Where in the zoning that his land currently is listed as, is a provision for him to build? As I said before, the crux of the question of “property rights” is, does the property owner have an expectation of being able to have the zoning changed? That was not addressed in the last response, and is the central question of this very volatile subject. You say that city has grown around him by no fault of his own, and I agree that has happened. As to his selling his property, why did he not attempt to sell it sooner, or has his reason so that he can wait to make as much profit as possible on his ownership? I don’t fault him for his motivation, I’m sure most people in his position would attempt the very same response. Mr. Dalidio’s seemingly unbudgeable position of not entertaining any offers to buy the property now seems to indicate that his only interest is in a maximum return, with absolutely no regard for any other consideration. My question remains, how is it considered a “right” to have your property rezoned, when most planning considerations indicate that the desired usage would overtax the available resources, congest the traffic situation to near Los Angles proportions, and permanently remove the last remaining prime agricultural land within the San Luis Obispo city area? If Mr. Dalidio doesn’t want to use the land he owns in a manner consistant with the zoning that it is listed as, he should then sell or consider some sort of “swap” like the apparent Cal Poly offer that may be available.

  7. Brett
    January 28, 2006 at 1:30 am

    Oh gawd. Dear Dave, how about the county votes for a Super Wal-Mart next to your new home in Nipomo. Hell I don’t live there so I can just come on down shop for some cheap crap and leave. Of course you will incure all the impacts but what the hell do I care. That is the problem with having a countywide vote. Those who will endure the impacts are potentially S.O.L.. If and I say if some sort of a project is built it should be processed in the City. (Do you really believe Vic Montgomery hasn’t considered a countywide vote?. Bill Bird has been polling countywide at least twice. Way back and recently.)

    To other readers.

    Yes, Ernie owns the property but like has been mentioned the use of his property as well as mine and everyone else’s is strictly regulated. People don’t have the slightest idea what “property rights” really mean. Those that push the property rights issue the loudest would be the same people who would throw a tizzy if someone decided to open up a bar or god forbid an adult bookstore next to their house. Oh and it is the same.

    Have you ever wondered why there are zoning regulations in most states. You should think about that some. It actually has to do with something called wealth effect. Not the wealth of any one individual but the wealth of the community as a whole.

    Ernie Dalidio has property that is zoned agriculture, nobody is “taking” his rights away. I can tell you he’d be suing if it were the case. Ernie became a speculator when he decided to keep the property and develop a project on his own. Why he did that is his choice but there was never any guarantee that a project would be approved. No one kept him for selling his property to developer. He can still do that if he wants and let someone else take on the risk that a project may or may not be approved in the future. Obviously he won’t received as much money if he was able to get approval for a 650,000 square foot shopping center.

    Last point I’ll make. Mr. Dalidio keeps saying that he can’t farm the property. That is bunch of B.S. he knows it and so does everyone else. The property is uniquely situated in that farming is still very much viable. Hell, it’s been viable since I can remember which is going on 37 years. I can’t remember much of the first 5 years.

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