Concerned Citizens for Avila Newsletter
April 10, 2016
Together we can protect the natural environment, 
safety and accessibility of Avila.
In this newsletter:  
  • Save the Date: June 13. Budget Vote for Avila Area Plan Update
  • Save the Date: July 19. RMS Study to be Discussed
  • Large Projects Update
  • Fires, Garbage and Graffiti: Welcome to Cave Landing
  • Concerned Citizens Flyers Posted
  • Community Activities
  • Avila Alerts
Save the Date: June 13
Budget Vote for Avila Area Plan Update
 
On Monday, June 13, the SLO Board of Supervisors will be deciding on allocating $850,000 to the Avila Area General Plan update. The update allocation is also needed for the highly important study underway of the unique traffic evaluation method for Avila which dismisses summer traffic and does not allow for its mitigation. 

We have been told by Planning staff it is important for Concerned Citizens to be at the meeting, in our blue t-shirts (or any royal blue shirt you have), with a few speakers reinforcing the reasons it is so important to make sure this effort is funded. We will remind them of their 5-0 vote last October in favor of the update, and the 800+ signatures collected on the petition.
Save the Date:  July 19
Traffic Study Underway
 
On Tuesday, July 19, the SLO Board of Supervisors will be discussing the Resource Management System (RMS) concerning traffic in Avila. The RMS Study committee is made up of 4 members of County staff, a hired consultant, 3 members of Avila Valley Advisory Council (AVAC) and 2 members of Concerned Citizens for Avila. The purpose of the study is to analyze the historical background of and determine if the current method of accounting for traffic analysis in Avila Beach still has merit*. County staff will most likely present several options to the Board of Supervisors for consideration. County staff hopes to have enough data to complete the study and present to AVAC at the May meeting.

Concerned Citizens are urged to attend the July 19 meeting and show support for this important issue. Wear your royal blue t-shirts! Learn more by attending the Monday, May 9, AVAC meeting, 7 PM, at the PG&E Community Center, 6588 Ontario Road.

*Just in Avila, traffic for proposed projects is evaluated solely on a second weekday in May, even for visitor-serving projects that will have most traffic on summer weekends. The outcome is insufficient mitigation of realistic impacts. 
Large Projects Update

C hevron has its application for a resort on Avila Point "on hold" and, therefore, the EIR has not proceeded.
 
For information on other large projects, please see CC4A's January 25, 2016 Newsletter

 Fires, Garbage and Graffiti: Welcome to Cave Landing
 
If you've ever hiked from Shell Beach to Cave Landing in Avila, you know the awesome beauty of this scenic place. Or perhaps you've reached it by walking the Ontario Ridge trail, or motored up Cave Landing Drive and marveled at the wild mustard blooming all over the hillside. There are gorgeous ocean views, lovely Pirates Cove, and Arch Rock (also called Whales Cave), an unusual, magnificent natural rock formation framing the blue Pacific beyond. 
View from the trail, Shell Beach to Cave Landing
A tiny bit of the ocean is visible through Arch Rock in the distance.

Unfortunately, this special County parkland is currently minimally managed; fire pits, garbage and graffiti frequently greet the surprised visitor. Cars parked up and down the road on busy weekends make access difficult.

Congestion on Cave Landing Road. Photo credit: KSBY 
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On the same road


On a recent hike by several Concerned Citizens, the Arch Rock area looked relatively clean, but only because dedicated volunteers come--sometimes daily--to pick up the trash left behind by uncaring visitors. These visitors often have an illegal fire, which feels like a disaster waiting to happen. One hiker told of an instance where the fire pit spread to 17-feet wide and Cal Fire had to be called in. Worse, the culprits were belligerent, forcing the Sheriff to be summoned as well.

Many are helping (posting signs, providing garbage bags, organizing cleanups), but still are frustrated with the difficulty of addressing these issues. Some prefer the park unmanaged.

Fire pit, garbage, graffiti inside Arch Rock

 
Not working...


Are there answers? Imposing park hours?  Installing trash receptacles?  Arranging for graffiti eradication?
 
Two years ago, with substantial Avila Valley Advisory Council (AVAC) input, a County Parks plan for improvements to Cave Landing was approved by the County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. The plan was voted down, however, at the California Coastal Commission due to an appeal by those who want Cave Landing to remain unspoiled by a paved parking area, restrooms, stairs to the beach, a trail to Shell Beach, trash receptacles and park hours. The Coastal Commission particularly wanted to retain the unmanaged appearance of the parking lot without paving.
 
The County did not communicate with the Coastal Commission about an acceptable revised plan. Instead, County funding slated for Cave Landing Park improvements was reallocated to Pismo Preserve. A new effort initiated by AVAC to install trash receptacles is stalled while the County Parks decides if any of its slim financial resources should be prioritized for Cave Landing.

Hope for the future


Concerned Citizens flyers recently posted around Avila Beach.
Community Activities
(Wear your t-shirt!)

From the Avila Beach Community Association:  Opportunity to promote community unity! The Avila Apple Festival, September 18, is a BIG fun-filled event and needs numerous volunteers. Preparations began last month. Volunteers can help the event be environmentally friendly, safe and accessible. Contact Mary Foppiano, Executive Director of the Avila Beach Civic Association, (805) 627-1997 or avilabeachcc@gmail.com.
Avila Alerts

Register for the Avila Alerts service and receive emails if traffic is expected to be impacted from local events. This service is brought to you by the Avila Beach Community Foundation. Sign up here:   www.avilaalerts.com.