As Michelle De Werd’s May 14 letter highlighted: Los Olivos Community Services District (“LOCSD”) residents have concerns about the state of the township’s septic-to-sewer plan.

It is no secret that the supply of restrooms in downtown Los Olivos is woefully inadequate to support the tourism generated by a hotel, three restaurants, dozens of wine tasting rooms, a couple of sandwich shops and coffee houses, and a brewery.

According to a TripAdvisor review of “The Best Bathroom Ever,” visitors use the toilets at St. Mark’s in the Valley Church, but the local house of worship’s septic system was not designed to serve the thousands of weekly visitors to downtown businesses.

Homeowners are wary of footing the bill to solve a nitrate “problem” modern groundwater data indicates is both (1) nowhere near as dire as had been anticipated and (2) limited to groundwater directly under and around the commercial core.

Perhaps less is more.

The original plan, already approved by all relevant constituents, remains viable:
• construct a system for the commercial core’s fewer than 80 small lots, and
• tie any expansion to results from ongoing groundwater monitoring.

Instead of needing 2/3 of all District landowners to vote to tax themselves in perpetuity to pay for a district-wide “solution,” a business improvement district (“BID”), formed for– and funded through fees paid by –commercial property owners, can pool member fees to pay for agreed-upon improvements to directly benefit the business community, e.g., public restrooms and a wastewater system in and for the commercial core.

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