San Luis Obispo County (California) Supervisors are eyeing some changes that would make it easier for private landowners to add rentable campsites or small campgrounds to their properties.
However, a report said that before county planners can begin drafting amendments to the ordinance, the board needs to find out how to cover the extra tasks financially.
Based on the board’s 3-2 voting on January 25, they’re likely to look at their funding options before June, which is when the next budget cycle starts. The changes to camping and minor ordinances affecting another two sectors could contribute nearly $970,000 to the county’s budget for this year, as per a report presented to the board.
Supervisor John Peschong pushed hard for the revisions to be completed earlier. The planners believe it could take up to 18 months to finish, as the issue is so intricate.
Back in November, a majority of rural landowners expressed their desire to see the rules relaxed.
Some farmers and ranchers talked about how the additional revenue from camping sites could make their businesses more financially sustainable and allow future generations to preserve their land and agriculture-based lifestyles during these difficult times.
The landowners also noted that occupancy taxes collected from each campsite could help the county. Some people expressed grave concerns about placing sites and facilities in urban areas close to houses, in neighborhoods, near forests, as well as other places that are susceptible to fire.
There are also proposals asking the planning board and the supervisors to examine different rules for different areas within the county, similar to vacation-rental ordinances and regulations regarding overnight parking.
An informally-proposed draft ordinance (not prepared by the county) suggests amendments that could permit Hipcamp-style private camping and permanent campsites on private land and maybe even within or near some urban regions. However, some county staff have stated that it’s likely that planners would not be able to depend on the draft and would need to come up with their own.