The Morro Bay- Cayucos Wastewater Treatment Plant is jointly owned by the City of Morro Bay and the Cayucos Sanitary District, (MBCSD). The plant operates under the Joint Powers Agreement between the two agencies, (JPA).

 The treatment plant is in the process of being upgraded for a few reasons:

  1.  The plant presently operates with a waiver of full compliance of the secondary treatment – it is estimated to be about 97% in compliance with the secondary treatment process.
  2. The plant was initially built in 1954 and is in need of an upgrade in order to extend its useful life.
  3. New technologies allow for tertiary filtration which would produce effluents that would meet standards for disinfected secondary recycled water and be as such could be used in limited beneficial ways.

 Operating under an 8-year plan, the upgrade project initially began in 2003/04, and is to be completed and in full compliance with Federal and State Permits by March of 2014.  The current estimated cost of the project is $30 million.  Financing is to be arranged through a low interest State Revolving Loan under the State Water Resource Control Board.  The upgrade will affect residents’ monthly sewer bills.

 The EIR for these plans was released Sept 20, 2010 for public review and comment.

 NOW- Enter PERC Water-  Due to resident encouragement- A second vendor is now being considered for the project.   The technology that this vendor offers would allow for a greater level of tertiary filtration and the company offers a Design, Build, Operate and Finance package, which purports to shift the construction risks from the MBCSD to PERC.

 The PERC Construction Design Report was presented to the JPA on September 23, 2010.

 Stay tuned….

Savor – Santa Margarita Ranch rides into Sunset (the magazine)

Santa Margarita Ranch hosts ‘Savor the Central Coast’ put on by none other than Sunset Magazine this weekend.  Foodies, wine enthusiasts, history buffs, and the socially concerned will all find something to appreciate. The event is two days but visitors can go either Saturday or Sunday. Santa Margarita Ranch is a special place that plays a large part in the history of the Central Coast.  Tours of the ranch and the history will be on display.  But this is more than a wine and food fest as the timely theme appropriately considers how we get our food as well as how it is prepared.  I plan to head straight to the  ‘Sunset Kitchen Garden’ which is a two acre display garden that is both aesthetically pleasing as well as functional as it provides essentials for the cook.  There are many demonstrations and educational events from local chefs, farmers wine makers and Sunset Magazine editors – From Market to Meal; Chickens, Chickens and More, Fresh from the Fields – California Breakfast,  just to name a few.  Find out more about this world class event at http://www.savorcentralcoast.com . This something not to be missed!

Buyer Beware of Unpermitted Improvements

It is an all too common situation. You find the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood. Even the price is right and actually almost too good to be true. Then you find out why….the improvements were done without permits. The seller insists they used licensed contractors only and were merely trying to avoid city permitting fees/hassles and avoid higher property taxes.

There are a few major risks a buyer needs to be aware of when making a decision whether to buy such a home:

1. Make sure during your due diligence period that all unpermitted structures are thoroughly inspected inside and out to ensure the work was in fact done to code and properly. If at a later date, you have a fire or water leak that is related to some defect that has been hidden by the seller or one of his contractors as part of the unpermitted work, your insurance company could deny all or part of your claim. If the sellers are agreeable (many are not for fear of opening up a can of worms) it is always advisable to get the work permitted and/or contact the city to find out what they would need to get the improvements permitted before the close of escrow.

2. Unpermitted additions do not add value for appraisal purposes. A 1,200 square
foot home with a 500 square foot unpermitted addition will get appraised as a
1,200 sq ft home. The same will occur with an unpermitted rental unit.
Appraisers are being very conservative these days. Low appraisals have
caused many deals to fall apart in today’s tough lending environment.
Property’s with a lot of unpermitted additions might need a buyer with a lot of
cash to avoid the need for a loan or formal appraisal.

Buyer Beware!

Light, Bright and Airy Home Staging Tips

Yikes, it has been hot!  A few staging tips to beat the heat if your house is being shown:

  • Ventilate at night and close up during the heat of the day, when its going to be hotter outside than in! 
  • Use ceiling fans when possible to keep the air moving.
  • Water early, so that your yard gets the most benefit from the water.
  • Water your house plants a little extra.
  • Be smart about your animals in this heat, make sure they have plenty of water and shade.

Good luck and happy home selling!  Contact me directly for more insight or for a free home staging quote.

Rate Update

Mortgage rates improved over last week as generally weak economic data and a revealing Fed meeting drove investors to US Treasuries. The Fed left overnight rates unchanged but reminded us that inflation is under target and they are “prepared to provide additional accommodation if needed”. Gold rose to a record, the dollar weakened and the yield on two-year Treasuries hit an all-time low on speculation Chairman Bernanke will purchase additional US government securities in coming months in a bid to lower long-term interest rates. Durable Good purchases, items meant to last three years or more, were down 1.3%. Existing Home Sales remained at their lowest level since 1997 and New Home Sales were down 29% from one year ago. Home-builder Sentiment remained at a very low level pointing to a weak housing market. Initial Jobless Claims rose by 12,000 to 465,000 and continuing claims, a four-week average of claims, also rose. In a bit of ironic news, the National Bureau of Economic Research declared the longest US recession since the Great Depression ended in June 2009, lasting only 18 months. Did anyone tell the 15 million unemployed Americans, the 5 million foreclosed homeowners to date and the estimated 5 million homeowners pending foreclosure? Currently, the 30 Year Fixed is 4.000% (4.141% APR) and the 15 Year Fixed is 3.500% (3.749% APR).

On a slightly different note, we hope you saw the article about SLO being one of the 25 Best Places to Retire from the editors of Money Magazine… Retire SLO Article

Satellite Launch

There was a satellite launch from Vandenburg tonite (around 9:40 pm). I went to the Pismo Pier to watch and take some photos but I didn’t get my camera set up in time 🙁

I think next time I’m going to go down to Vandenburg if I’m going to take photos as Pismo is too far away. If you are interested in viewing future launches, this page has a lot of info on it.


This page talks about how to take photos of launches-




A new restaurant on the Embarcadero will be opening soon, likely within the month.  It is located in the old location of the Whale’s Tail- on the north side of the Embarcadero, near Giovanni’s Fish Market and the Coffer Pot- two other local favorites. 

 The Whales Tail moved to a location on Morro Bay Blvd because the old location needed upgrades including wheelchair accessibility.  

The menu that is now posted in the window looks appealing!

Food………plus Wine and Art in Paso

Next time you are looking for a nice evening out, try visiting Paso’s downtown.  Art galleries and cool shops are open and happily thriving.  Food is, of course, plentiful.  My favorite is the wonderfully chic Artisan.  Some young foodies from the Eastern Sierra have a winner!  The food is fresh and oh-so-tasty and even though it is on the healthy side of fare, a diner feels very spoiled by the selections.  Wine is local and perfect to pare with any meal.  And desserts are something special for those of us that cannot resist!

Where are the Chicken Wing Restaurants?

I just got back from a trip to Denver.  Had some 85 degree weather while I was there that made disc golf a bit on the warm side but I survived.

Being on the Central Coast, we are always behind a bit on the trends in other areas.  In the case of restaurants, we have recently seen yogurt shops popping up.  Wasn’t this a trend in other areas about 6-7 years ago?

One type of restaurant we haven’t seen yet in the County is chicken wings. There is a franchise wing shop that recently opened in Santa Maria but I know of none in SLO County. In Denver, there are quite a few. They are close to finishing a Quaker Steak and Lube which is also a wings restaurant. That will bring around 200 jobs when it is opened.

If you’re looking to open a restaurant on the Central Coast, please try something that isn’t already available.

Here’s my restaurant wish list:

– fondue
–  Chevy’s (or a mexican restaurant that offers something different than every other mexican restaurant in the area)
– a good Indian buffet (sorry, the 2 choices we currently have in the County are so-so. We need something like Sneha that’s in Sunnyvale that has 30+ choices in their buffet).
– a good salad restaurant that doesn’t charge $13-$15 for a salad.
– good chinese food (the choices we have aren’t good.  Maybe a PF Changs?)

Come “Savor the Central Coast” September 30-October 3

I had planned to write about the start of Cal Poly’s school year today, but decided to postpone that topic when I heard about this upcoming inaugural Savor the Central Coast event. If you’ve not made plans for this weekend yet, this may be something to consider. Sunset Magazine and the San Luis Obispo County Visitors and Conference Bureau are collaborating to showcase the beauty and bounty of the Central Coast. This four day event will highlight the talents of local winemakers, chefs and artesian food producers with unique wine and culinary tours, celebrity chef demonstrations, winemaker dinners, historic excursions, etc…. Santa Margarita Ranch will be the location of the “Main Event” on Saturday and Sunday. They are expecting more than 8,000 people from throughout California to attend. To get more information and purchase tickets for the many events running simultaneously throughout the weekend, visit www.savorcentralcoast.com. They are hoping this will become an annual event.