It could soon be easier for SLO County property owners to set up campsites on their land

·2 min read
Courtesy photo

Could a campground or campsites be in the future for a ranch near you?

A possible revision of rules about camping on private property — which has already been the topic of spirited debates — will again be up for discussion briefly during the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting Jan. 25.

Some have said they believe the changes could provide much-needed extra income to owners of ranches, farms and rural lands, while simplifying the permitting process that currently requires all of those applicants to wade through the costly, time-consuming process of getting a proper county permit.

Opponents point to environmental, safety and social issues, especially if new camping facilities are in or adjacent to urban neighborhoods or fire-prone areas, among other concerns.

As proposed informally last year in a document not prepared by the county, suggested changes to the county’s current ordinance could allow Hipcamp-style camping and permanent campsites on private properties, both in rural lands and perhaps even in or near some urban neighborhoods.

Hipcamp is a website similar to AirBnb, but for finding private campsites

If the board directs staff to pursue the ordinance change, the projected cost to the county for the roughly 18 months of staff work it would take would likely cost nearly $870,000, according to a county staff report.

The issue will be part of the county planning department’s list of potential priority projects for 2022. In November the board pared the list of possibles down to the top seven on the list.

Those “board-directed priorities” included two cannabis-related issues, urban small winery rules, implementing the Paso Basin planting ordinance, an ordinance about craft distilleries and two items related to the current camping/recreation ordinance.

How to watch the SLO County Board of Supervisors meeting

The potential changes to the county’s camping ordinance is on the meeting’s agenda is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m.

The board’s agenda and the San Luis Obispo County Planning Department’s report on that and other priority-level projects is available at the county’s website.

You can watch the meeting live from there or at slo-span.org, where a recording will be available later.

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