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Scenic Central Coast Land Saved From Development Needs Final Financial Push For Public Facilities


It’s one of the most scenic chunks of land on the Central Coast. While it survived a close brush with development, it remains closed to the public because of financial issues.

The Pismo Preserve in Southern San Luis Obispo County includes everything from lush rolling hills, to spectacular vistas stretch from Avila Beach to the Oceano Dunes.

Kaila Dettman, with the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obsipo County, says at one point the land was slated for development.

The community rallied together, and with the leadership of the conservancy, $12 million was raised to buy and permamentely preserve the land. Since then Dettman says they’ve been working to plan, get permits for, and build necessities ranging from access roads to restrooms, all to make the Preserve accessible to the public.

That was four years ago, and now there’s a new issue.

The Conservancy needed about five million dollars more to plan and build the infrastructure projects; roughly  half of that amount had been raised.

That still leaves $2.4 million dollars more to finish the work. Dettman says the the plans are approved and a contractor is in place.

It all comes down to dollars and cents.

Dettman says if the non-profit condservancy can get the final $2.4 million to push the Pismo Preserve over the finish line, it could be open by the end of the year. For now, with projects like parking and restrooms incomplete, the preserve will remain closed to the public.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.