Los Osos Habitat Conservation Plan approved by US Fish and Wildlife

Dear conservation partner, 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved the Los Osos Habitat Conservation Plan and issued an incidental take permit to the County of San Luis Obispo, authorizing take of Morro shoulderband snail that would result from covered activities in the Community of Los Osos in San Luis Obispo County. The Service also completed a Finding of No Significant Impact  as a result of the completion of the Environmental Assessment  associated with the HCP. The plan balances the needs for residential and commercial development, infrastructure development, and implementation of fire hazard reduction with the conservation of federally listed animals and plants. The Service signed the 25-year incidental take permit on February 15, 2024. 

The plan describes measures that avoid, minimize or offset the effects of future residential and commercial development, existing facility operation and maintenance, and infrastructure improvement projects in Los Osos. The incidental take permit only authorizes take of Morro shoulderband snail. However, the plan includes conservation measures designed to avoid, minimize and offset impacts to not only the snail, but also the federally endangered Morro Bay kangaroo rat and the Indian Knob mountainbalm, and the federally threatened Morro manzanita. The conservation measures in the plan will help conserve and protect the federally threatened and endangered species covered in the plan. The document also describes conservation measures to be implemented during fire hazard reduction activities and the proposed establishment of a preserve for the long-term protection and management of federally protected species. 

“The Service and the county have collaborated for many years toward the completion of the final HCP,” said Steve Henry, field supervisor of the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office. “We will continue to work with the county to support and improve the Habitat Conservation Plan to achieve the recovery goals for the listed wildlife in the area..” 

The HCP was prepared by San Luis Obispo County to support its application for an incidental take permit. Habitat conservation plans are a necessary part of an application for an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act.  

“I’m thrilled that we have reached this important milestone that will greatly benefit the community of Los Osos,” said Bruce Gibson, County of San Luis Obispo supervisor. “I greatly appreciate the hard work of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and county staff, that together have achieved this important step. I look forward to future collaboration.” 

At the following links you can find a copy of the final HCP, the incidental take permit, the final Environmental Assessment, and the Findings/Finding of No Significant Impact. A list of frequently asked questions can be found here.

Working with others is essential to protecting ecosystems that benefit society as a whole. The Service regularly engages conservation partners, the public, landowners, government agencies, and other stakeholders in our ongoing effort to identify innovative strategies for conserving and recovering protected wildlife, plants, and their habitats. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Steve Henry at steve_henry@fws.gov.

No excuses – Run or Register for Election 2024

We will be holding elections for all four Districts this year. Take a look at the people you’ll be serving with. Then click the button below!

Don’t want to run? You have two options to vote for your district candidate this year!

  • In person: In person elections will be held on May 4th, time and location TBD.
  • Online: you must register and provide proof of residency. We must verify you are a resident in order to count your vote. Once we do that and online elections begin, you will be emailed a unique ID to vote for a candidate with. Online election process is provided securely through ElectionBuddy. We will not be able to view results, and your vote will be anonymous, until end of Election Day on May 4th at midnight.

Election Timeline


  • Candidate applications by March 31
    • Candidates vetted by April 4 and posted online
  • Online voter registrations by April 30
    • Applications for online voter registration will be batched weekly
  • Online elections open April 1-May 4th at 11:59
  • In person elections on May 4th @ X location from X time

Got questions about the pipeline tie in?

 Info provided by Deborah Howe, Water Committee

LOCAC has not taken a position on the pipeline project.  This is a Los Osos Community Service District (LOCSD) project and we do not usually comment about their projects but we do have reports from them. 

The LOCSD holds regular open meetings and residents can attend and comment on this or any other item on the agenda.

The purpose of the pipeline and the additional water is to build long term resilience into the water system.  Currently we have all of our “eggs in one basket.”  In the short term, the idea is to reduce pumping from the aquifer in wet years when there will be more water available from the State.  This will allow the aquifer to recharge.  

The water will be purchased from the county.  Currently the county has 25,000 Acre Feet (AF) allocated to them.  They only use 14,000 AF but they must pay for the 25,000.  In wet years, there will be the opportunity to purchase some of this water for Los Osos if the pipeline is in place.  Obviously the cost of this water will be more than the cost of pumping from the ground.  That additional cost will be paid by all three water purveyors, Golden State, CSD and S & T Water.  The water purveyors are incentivized to take this approach because they have not met the metric for sustainable water for the aquifer.  The Basin Management Committee establishes the sustainable yield for the aquifer and then subtracts 20% as a buffer.  Their goal is to only use 80% of the sustainable yield and currently we sit at 84%.  

It would be naive of us to think that there will not be pressure from developers to access this water for their benefit.  That is where the growth management ordinance will be important.  This growth rate must be consistent with the sustainability of the  Basin.  It is currently set at 1-1.3% per year by the county.  The California Coastal Commission (CCC) has not signed off on this rate and so we are in limbo until the CCC decides what they will do regarding the growth rate and the Los Osos Community Plan.  As you may know the CCC has imposed special condition 6 which does not allow any new builds to hook up to the sewer.  This Prohibition Zone has essentially stopped all construction except in those areas where there are septic systems.

Welcome Jennifer Harrison Deutsch – District 1

LOCAC welcomes Jennifer!

Here is her provided bio:

My name is Jennifer Harrison Deutsch. I am a nurse, mother, wife, daughter, friend, and student. I am originally from Salt Lake City, Utah. I moved to SLO to pursue Nursing at Cuesta College over twenty years ago with my husband Brian. I am a mother to two young boys aged 9 and twelve. They are students at Pacheco Elementary in San Luis Obispo where my husband teaches sixth grade. They will both attend school at Los Osos Middle School and Morro Bay
High in the near future. They are both active in surfing and team sports on the coast locally so we can make social connections here on the coast. We love living here and I am so thankful to be able to raise my family here.

I am a Nurse Navigator at French Hospital where I have been working upon graduating over fifteen years ago. I worked in the ICU for over thirteen years. I am in my last semester of an online Master’s in Public Health program through the University of Alabama Birmingham. I am passionate about improving the health of my community and first learned about the work of LOCAC while conducting research about Los Osos for an Environmental Health class.
I am interested in learning more about the important issues that affect the health of my family and community which is why I am interested in joining LOCAC.

Roadway safety: County seeks public comment on Los Osos Valley Rd. corridor plan


People who travel the Los Osos Valley Road corridor are being asked to provide feedback on how to make the road safer for everyone.

Provide Feedback here!

(Featuring our Transportation Chair, Deborah Howe!)

Anastasi Project – 97 Homes

Can Osos handle nearly 100 new homes? Educate yourself and weigh in!

LOCAC is asking everyone who is concerned to educated and attend the Board of Supervisors meeting either by Teams or in person on October 31, 2023. Info here on how to join.

The Los Osos Community Advisory Council (LOCAC) heard about the Anastasi project (additional info here) for the first time at our September 28, 2023 LOCAC meeting. This is a project that usually doesn’t go through to LOCAC, which is why it was a surprise.  After the presentation, there were a number of questions and concerns voiced about this project, which dates back to a 1989 vesting tentative map.  The Anastasi project can be a win-win project if the County is willing to address a few concerns from LOCAC.  The major concerns are listed below:

Water issues

Per all 3 of the LO water purveyors, the LO water basin is in managed overdraft. On August 25, 2021 all 3 water purveyors signed a letter addressed to SLO County Department of Planning and Building stating that on page 5 states “recent monitoring data and the Basin Metrics both indicate that Basin conditions as a whole are static or worsening”. This letter was to deny ADU’s in LO which can be up to 1,500 SF.

  1. How can GSW 4 month after signing the above document, give Anastasi a will serve letter for 97 homes
  2. The will-serve letter from GSW requires the developer to pay for infrastructure and a new well.  A new well will not bring new water to LO.
  3. How can the County who participates with BMC and the Coastal Commision allow a will-serve letter to be given when neither the BMC or CCC believes there is an adequate water supply.
  4. No where in all the BOS attachments and documents state that the 200 people in LO waiting to build will go first prior to this development. (attachment 8)

Coastal Commission

The Coastal Commission is not lifting Special Condition 6 in the foreseeable future.  Special Condition 6 can’t be lifted until there is proof of an adequate water supply.  Additional sewer hook-ups are not allowed until Special Condition 6 has been satisfied by the Coastal Commission.  This means this project can’t meet the criteria needed to be voted on by the BOS.

Old-style tract

Revisions to the map made in 2017 included storm drains and affordable housing (attachment 3).  Why did the County not update the map to become a modern development like elsewhere in SLO County (Righetti Ranch).  

  • The 1989 Anastasi map has zero parks, green space or safe routes to schools.
  • This development is on the LOVR corridor, what steps will be taken to protect pedestrians, cyclists and school children when you add approximately 400 people and 200 additional cars.
  • The 1989 map doesn’t show the easement or multiple wells on this parcel that belong to ST water.  
  • The needs of LO are affordable housing, multi-family housing and parks
  • How can the County allow 15 extensions when the subdivision map act states that a vesting tentative map expires in 24 months and allows 6 one year extensions.  This project has had 15 extensions over 30 years.
  • This project never came to LOCAC or the community of LO

Water Rights An Issue?

Pattern of behavior between S and T Water and GSW has been occurring since 1990.  It’s a David and Goliath story.  GSW has absorbed ST water territory twice now.  First with the Monarch subdivision and now with the Anastasi project.  Both times the same players have been involved.  There is a PUC Court case pending on who is responsible to provide water to this parcel. Can this 1989 map be approved if we don’t even know who has the water rights?