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State Coastal Commission Orders Phaseout Of Off Road Vehicles On Central Coast Beach

(State Parks Department Photo)
ATV's at the state's Oceano Dunes park.

The State Coastal Commission has voted to permanently shut down a popular state park on the Central Coast to off road vehicle use.  The Commission ordered the phaseout of off roading at what commonly known as Oceano Dunes by 2024. 

It’s been a controversial issue, because the park attracts an estimated 1.5 million visitors annually.  It’s the only place in the state where off road vehicles like ATV’s can be used on the coast. 

But, the Commission noted that the vehicles have damaged the sand dunes, hurt native species, caused air pollution issues and made it difficult for people to walk or sit along the beach in the area.

The action calls for allowing vehicles, and camping on the beach from Grover Beach to Oceano, but would eliminate it further south.

The current beach access ramp on Pier Avenue would be phased out.  Opponents of the move have vowed to sue, saying the action would hurt tourism, and destroy businesses in the area which cater to off-road enthusiasts.    

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.