Update: FoOD Sues

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Update: FoOD Sues

Post by ChoppedLiver »

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local ... 99870.html

Oceano Dunes’ future still up for grabs
An ATV group filed a lawsuit July 9 saying state law overrules county’s General Plan in possible 575-acre sale
By Bob Cuddy
bcuddy@thetribunenews.com

Vacationers are flocking to the Oceano Dunes this summer, but there has been almost as much activity in legal and government chambers as the future of the spectacular stretch of sand draws the attention of legislators and lawyers.

First, a lobbying group for all-terrain vehicle users has sued the county over a decision it made concerning the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreational Area.

Meanwhile, a bill in the Legislature that could restructure how the Dunes is operated has been bouncing from committee to committee like a beach ball, but it remains in the air.

The lawsuit, filed July 9, does not appear to have any effect on the county’s possible sale of the valuable property to the state.

The county Board of Supervisors had denied the ATV group’s appeal of a Planning Commission decision that declared the sale out of conformity with the General Plan.

Friends of the Oceano Dunes—which claims 28,000 members — argues in the lawsuit that state law trumps the county General Plan when the two conflict, as the group says happened with the county’s plans to sell 575 acres of the Dunes.

Most off-roaders and those who profit from the recreation want the sale. Opposing it are environmentalists; Oceano residents who dislike traffic, trash and noise; and those who want the beach reserved only for pedestrians.

Specifically, the General Plan calls for an off-limits buffer zone that Friends of the Oceano Dunes says could interfere with its right to freely use the beach for vehicles.

If the Planning Commission’s decision stands, the group argues, local government –– not the state –– would decide the outcome. It argues that state law pre-empts local governments because the Legislature approved an act in the early 1970s that formalized vehicle recreation areas and put them under state management.

The County Counsel’s Office declined to comment because the issue involves litigation and sale of public property. State law allows policymakers to discuss both out of the public eye.

However, Supervisor Bruce Gibson doesn’t know whether the lawsuit would affect the sale. He said supervisors would discuss the suit behind closed doors today with the county counsel.

Thomas D. Roth, attorney for Friends of the Oceano Dunes, said, “it is not our intent to interfere with current negotiations.”

The environmental group Sierra Club called the lawsuit a “rehash” of old arguments by the ATV group.

January’s commission decision “opened up this issue to massive public input and the current consensus that the county should not sell the land to State Parks, and will be better off maintaining control of this land via a short-term lease agreement,” according to a statement by Andrew Christie, director of the Sierra Club Santa Lucia Chapter.

Meanwhile, a bill that could change fees, management, environmental impacts and other aspects of the off-highway vehicle recreation program has been sent back to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

The bill has undergone numerous hearings and has been the target of furious lobbying by environmental groups, off-road vehicle enthusiasts and ATV retailers.

For 25 years, the county has leased the 575 acres to the state Department of Recreation and Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division. That lease will expire in June 2008.

Last year, the county and state moved quietly to sell the land. But Larry Bross of Oceano appealed to the Planning Commission. He said Oceano residents were being bypassed, and the commission supported his appeal.

The decision moved the discussion to the public, where hundreds of residents have been expressing their views since spring.

The county’s slice of the Dunes is between two parcels owned by the state. The property makes up the Dunes recreation area. It is the only oceanfront land in the state set aside for all-terrain vehicle use.

The county leases the land to the state under an operating agreement. The county’s General Services Division wants to sell the land and allow the county to decide how to use the money.

The state has offered $4.8 million and said it will continue to allow ATVs if the transaction is processed. Many ATV enthusiasts, some local and some from the Central Valley, are in favor of the sale.

The county could keep the land and do the same. But many locals want the county to impose restrictions, and some said they want it closed to vehicles.

Bob Cuddy can be reached at 781-7909.

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Post by ddjthomas »

How many hundreds of miles of beech do you need dedicated to pedetrians :?:

Why can't they just let us have a little peice :?:

:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
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Post by ChuckZilla »

ddjthomas wrote:How many hundreds of miles of beech do you need dedicated to pedetrians :?:

Why can't they just let us have a little peice :?:

:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
Exactly.
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Post by crash »

Glad to see someone is taking the OFFENSIVE here. :D

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Post by Woodglue »

crash wrote:Glad to see someone is taking the OFFENSIVE here. :D
Yeah, except...
Bob Cuddy wrote: The lawsuit, filed July 9, does not appear to have any effect on the county’s possible sale of the valuable property to the state.
:shock: :?
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