Citizen Raises Land Ownership Concerns

A Lone Pine man came to the Inyo Supervisors for their views on land ownership, DWP and the local economy. He got a lot of guff and not much help.

Scott Palomar grew concerned when he heard that private land owners in Oak Creek near Independence might sell 110 acres and water rights to LADWP. He wrote a petition which suggested DWP release equal amounts of land if they buy any new land.

Palomar noted the severe economic deterioration in Southern Inyo, land-locked by DWP ownership, allowing no growth. He also pointed out to the Board that their General Plan contains goals and policies for no net loss of privately owned land.

Supervisor Marty Fortney said that “If the Bells want to sell their property, that’s their right.” That was not the point of Palomar and local realtor Jennifer Castaneda. Palomar explained that he was hoping for a better understanding between Inyo and LADWP regarding land acquisition. “The county is in an ongoing state of decay,” said Palomar. “DWP plays a big role.”

Supervisor Linda Arcularius said she had not received one phone call about this issue. Some commented that with her obvious attitude of refusal to buck DWP, it’s not surprising no one called her.

Supervisor Susan Cash said that DWP General Manager David Nahai understands the need for services for DWP employees. As for buying and releasing land, Cash said, “I don’t want to wade in those waters.”

Palomar said optimistically that he would like to consider the discussion an “opening conversation.”

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