Concerned Citizens for Avila Newsletter
January 25, 2016
Together we can protect the natural environment, 
safety and accessibility of Avila.
Happy New Year from Concerned Citizens for Avila (CC4A) 

Note from Steering Committee:   Our group is ready and energized for 2016. The steering committee and core group will meet each month to prioritize issues and action items. We have grown to 266 participants; people like you who care deeply about protecting the natural environment, safety and accessibility of Avila.

In this newsletter: 
  • Event Permit Loophole Still Abused
  • The Trouble with Tuesday Traffic
  • Your Presence Valued at Local Meetings
  • T-Shirt Coordinator Needed
  • Community Activities
  • Update on Large Developments
Event Permit Loophole Still Abused

"An event is an event, an impact is an impact" proclaims a recent SLO County Grand Jury report concerning the County's Temporary Events Ordinance. For many years, large events at Avila Beach Golf Resort have produced traffic, noise, and parking issues. Locals have asked repeatedly for enforcement of event permits, but the abuse of an exemption continues. If the event is on private property, is both free and operated by a non-profit, no permit is required. However, large concert events at the golf course do not satisfy this exemption requirement and yet the County does nothing. Event Permits are needed to address inadequate parking, road congestion, and land use compatibility.
 
Since early 2000's, the Avila Valley Advisory Council (AVAC) and groups of individuals have advocated for SLO county to adhere to its regulation requiring event permits. From 2004-2011, County Planning worked on revisions, but a Board of Supervisors (BOS) action deferred the effort. About two years ago, representatives for Advocates for Avila began legal proceedings for enforcement. Every indication points to the BOS not enforcing event permits without legal intervention.

If you are interested in getting involved with this issue, please email concernedcitizens4avila@yahoo.com.
The Trouble with Tuesday Traffic

In a December letter to Adam Hill, BOS representative for Avila, Concerned Citizens for Avila (CC4A) supported AVAC's recent request to amend the unique traffic evaluation method for Avila ASAP. The County uses a traffic count on the second Tuesday in May for evaluating proposed project impacts on Avila Beach Drive. This weekday count represents roughly the 340th highest traffic hour during the year, whereas elsewhere in the County--as in most of the nation--the 30th highest hour is used. The most imminent project that presumably will evaluate traffic impacts on the second Tuesday in May is the proposed Chevron Resort at Avila Point.

Instead, CC4A supports realistic evaluation of traffic impacts using summer weekend traffic counts. In this regard, CC4A asked Supervisor Hill to provide monthly updates on a County study of Avila Beach Drive traffic and capacity at AVAC meetings (second Monday of each month, 7pm, PG&E Visitor Center on Ontario Road).
 
The reason for unrealistic traffic evaluation used for Avila no longer exists. In 1995 the General Plan was amended to evaluate Avila traffic on a second weekday in May in response to the Harbor District wanting to show sufficient road capacity for a future Harbor Terrace project. With approval last year of the Harbor Terrace RV Resort, Avila traffic evaluation should be normalized. It is a matter of safety.
Your Presence Valued at Local Meetings
(Wear your t-shirt!)

Much of our success in influencing the BOS voting to prioritize an update of the General Plan for Avila in October is because we showed up, at every board meeting, for months. Wearing the CC4A blue t-shirts, we spoke passionately at each meeting and were noticed! Since then we have been attending many other local meetings to show our interest in learning the issues and supporting our mission to protect the natural environment, safety and accessibility of Avila.
 
Please consider attending local meetings!
 
Avila Valley Advisory Council (AVAC)
Port San Luis Harbor District Commission
Your local water purveyor board 
Avila Beach Civic Association
 
Harbor Commission meetings are especially important. (While an eye-opening experience is likely, decisions close to midnight could be eye-shutting.) Your property tax dollars support the Harbor District, and you elect the commissioners. Harbor District properties include the Avila Beach pier, parking lot and beach, the Hartford Pier, Port buildings, parking area, beach and the future Harbor Terrace RV resort.
 
It is hoped the Commissioners will address important safety measures lacking in the Harbor Terrace project for protection of bicyclists and pedestrians on busy Avila Beach Drive as well as for preventing unnecessary RV trips through Avila when the resort is full, etc. Harbor Commission meets the f ourth Tuesday of each month, 6 pm to midnight, Harbor Gateway Building, upstairs.
T-Shirt Coordinator Needed

Want a cool Concerned Citizens for Avila t-shirt? We need a volunteer to coordinate the next batch order!
Email concernedcitizens4avila@yahoo.com if you can help or if you'd like to order.

Community Activities
(Wear your t-shirt!)

Community Workshop: The Avila Beach Community Foundation is offering a free workshop on Internet safety presented by PG&E cyber-security experts. Thursday, February 25, 6-8pm, at the Avila Beach Community Center. For more information click here to go to the Foundation's website.

Avila Beach Civic Association Holiday Party Helpers: CC4A members volunteered to help decorate for the annual party.

Update on Large Developments:
 
Harbor Terrace , Port San Luis:

Status: The contracted developer withdrew. However, the project approval continues in effect.
 
Project traffic evaluation was based on the second Tuesday in May; therefore, important traffic safety measures were not triggered. The Harbor Commission has the ability, but is not required, to implement measures which address traffic on warm weather weekends. Approved: 80 RV spaces and 100 other visitor accommodations, plus facilities for the general public such as restaurant and swimming pool.
 
Chevron Resort,  at Avila Point, overlooking and 50% larger than Avila Beach:
 
Status: Processing has started with the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report. The optional BOS authorization to proceed with processing the rezoning application has occurred; however, the r ezoning is not approved yet, and must be approved before BOS can consider the specific plan and subdivision map.
 
Caution:  Approval of the vesting subdivision map for proposed development phases would lock in certain requirements, including the contested traffic metric (second weekday in May).
 
In addition to significant truck trips for resort construction, remediation of contaminated soils from past oil industry uses would involve an estimated 140 daily one-way truck trips for 340 days.
 
Alert: Fire Department wants a second access; this is not proposed.
 
Proposal: The self-contained resort would consist of: Parking lot fronting Avila Beach Drive at Cave Landing Road; 232 units for hotel and vacation rental, with 268,200 sq.ft.; 4,000 sq.ft. retail; 20,000 sq.ft. of various uses which could include 10 multi-family residences, a desalination plant or wastewater facility; 2,000 sq.ft. for a gatehouse.
 
Please see the project application and initial study on the AVAC website
under Current Issues. (www.avac-avila.org).
 
Avila Golf Course Resort & Other Uses :
 
Status: The project application remains incomplete for processing until information requested by Planning staff is submitted.
 
Proposed uses are basically inconsistent with the San Luis Bay Estates Master Plan which includes the golf course. Also, proposed development would occupy Open Space Easements to the County. Amendments of the Master Plan would be necessary, as well as abandonment of the public's easements. BOS has discretion about whether to authorize processing amendments. Amending the General Plan should be based on compelling public interest.
 
Proposal: Proposed appears to be: Additional 230,000 sq.ft. for 144 units, amphitheater, sports field, funicular, vineyard, winery, chapel, spa, ponds, narrow gage rail, practice green and driving range.
 
King Resort , off Ontario Road, 8 acres:
 
Status: The project application remains incomplete for processing until information requested by Planning staff is submitted. No amendment of the General Plan is necessary.
 
Proposal: 44 two-story detached lodge units for long term occupancy and 12 to 27 movable units without associated parking.  
 
50 Cottage Units,  adjacent to the San Luis Bay Inn:
 
Status: An application has been submitted to San Miguelito Mutual Water Company for a "Will Serve" letter. The letter is necessary for a project application to County Planning.
 
Proposal: Fifty cottage units are included in the San Luis Bay Estates, Master Plan and, therefore, no amendment of the General Plan would be needed.   

Wild Cherry Canyon, 2,400 inland acres between Avila Beach and the Harbor:
 
Status: Supervisor Hill mentioned the applicant is now considering a resort development rather than 1,500 homes. No application submitted. General Plan would have to be amended to change the Urban Reserve Line and Agriculture zoning. BOS has discretion whether to authorize processing amendments. Amending the General Plan should be based on compelling public interest.