Toro Coast Preserve Update


Toro Coast Preserve Project Update

The southern boundary of Cayucos is now permanently preserved!

  • Escrow on Parcel 1 closed Thursday April 30.
  • Parcel 1 is now a San Luis Obispo County Park.
  • Beach parcels south of Toro Creek Road are expected to close sometime in June.

Many, many thanks to our generous donors and supporters; you have bolstered funds for this project beyond all expectations. CLC is still accepting donations for the remaining parcels, as the precise figure for their closing is still being determined.

These are the goals that have driven the 5 year process for Phase 1 of the Toro Coast Preserve Project (Chevron parcels):

  • Preserve open space between Cayucos and Morro Bay;
  • Preserve the spectacular rural views from Hwy 1 and the beach;
  • Preserve public access to "dog beach" and have it remain a dog friendly beach;
  • Provide land for the California Coastal Trail from Studio Drive to north Morro Bay;
  • Protect environmental resources in Toro Creek as well as hundreds of acres of grasslands.

The Cayucos Land Conservancy, the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County and the Trust for Public Land, together with the County of San Luis Obispo and the City of Morro Bay, have been working for many years to find a conservation solution for a big part of Chevron’s former oil facility between Cayucos and Morro Bay. 

Finally in December 2019 a purchase and sale agreement was signed, formalizing a deal and setting April 2020 as the close of escrow.  State agencies have agreed to provide approximately $4,000,000 to help fund (what we hope is) Phase 1 of a multi-phased and multi-year effort to conserve key parts of the entire Chevron property.  We anticipate that the local community will need to contribute approximately $750,000 to make Phase 1 a reality.

CLC is leading efforts to fundraise the difference between what State agencies are contributing and the cost of the properties.

Please donate to this important addition to the Cayucos greenbelt.

Phase 1 (see the accompanying map) includes a 258 acre parcel which will be purchased from Chevron. As you can see from the map, this large parcel abuts the southern boundary of Cayucos both east and west of Highway 1.  This property, combined with Estero Bluffs State Park to the north, serves as the two cornerstones to the greenbelt around Cayucos.  

Escrow has closed on Parcel 1 as of Thursday April 30 and it is now a San Luis Obispo County park.  County Parks will continue to graze the inland 248 acres and to lease the existing residence.  Parks intends to maintain public access to the beachside 10 acres and to eventually build the Cayucos to Morro Bay section of the California Coastal Trail on that section of the property.

Another important component of Phase I is the parcels owned by the Cayucos Sanitary District (CSD), which the CSD recently purchased from Chevron in order to meet certain operational needs.  It is the conservation partners' goal, working with the CSD, to purchase the parcels on the ocean side of the highway and then to transfer that ownership to the City of Morro Bay so that the bluff and beach will remain open to the public and "dog friendly".   

Photo by Rocki deLlamas

The conservation partners are also intent on conserving, in some fashion, the CSD's inland parcels, which are bounded by Highway 1, Toro Creek Road and Toro Creek.  Negotiations between the partners and the CSD are ongoing and the partners hope to close escrow on the beach parcels in the Spring and to determine how best to protect the inland parcels by Fall 2020.

Following the completion of the Phase 1, the conservation partners and Chevron hope to negotiate a Phase 2 plan which will conserve additional sections of Chevron's property between Cayucos and Morro Bay. 

When viewing the accompanying map PLEASE be aware that much of the potential Phase 2 land is south of the area portrayed on the map.

cover photo by Susan Lyon.