Inyo County’s General Plan states a goal and issue for local government as “no further net loss of private property.” Turns out that so far officials have given this issue no real weight even though Inyo towns are severely land locked, mostly by LADWP land ownership.
This topic came up when citizens complained about DWP’s possible purchase of more than 100 acres along Oak Creek north of Independence. DWP spokesmen say the agency is not in a “land buying mode”, but they’re appraising the Oak Creek land to consider it since they received an offer, reportedly from Robert and Allen Bell. The citizen complaint took the form of a petition written by Scott Palamar of Southern Inyo. He points out that the current land ownership has led to serious decay of Southern Inyo towns – from Big Pine south.
Officials say that theoretically, DWP should comply with the General Plan in its property acquisitions. Inyo County Planning Director Pat Cecil said that there really is no mechanism to block DWP land purchases.
The goal of Inyo County, according to the General Plan, would be to have any government agency that acquires land to release an equal amount.
So far neither citizens nor members of the Board of Supervisors have brought this issue to official discussion at a meeting.