The Cayucos Land Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land and the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County, together with the County of San Luis Obispo and the City of Morro Bay, have been working to find a conservation solution for Chevron’s former tank farm between Cayucos and Morro Bay. The State Coastal Conservancy recently agreed to provide $1,000,000 of “seed money” to fund what we hope is Phase 1 of a multi-phased project which will protect key parts of the Chevron property.
When the first phase is completed, it will protect roughly 300 acres east of Highway 1, as well as the coastal strip between Cayucos and Morro Bay west of Highway 1. In doing so, it will secure land needed for the construction of the Cayucos-Morro Bay connector trail. It will also insure that the popular "dog beach" will remain open to public access in perpetuity. This transaction would involve the Cayucos Sanitation District and property it intends to purchase in order to complete its infrastructure.
Following the completion of the Phase 1 protection of approximately 300 acres and the coastline, the conservation partners and Chevron intend to negotiate a Phase 2 plan which will conserve a significant portion of the rest of Chevron's property between Cayucos and Morro Bay. The goals of these two phases are to: 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 M.B.; and protect environmental resources in Toro Creek as well as hundreds of acres of grasslands.
It is anticipated that a final purchase agreement will be signed in mid-fall. We are pursuing a range of public and private grant sources. The Coastal Conservancy grant was a key first step in our fundraising efforts. The goal for completion of Phase 1 is early in 2020.
When viewing the accompanying map PLEASE note that for Phase I several very important variables including, lot configurations, cost and ownership must still be finalized and that Phase 2 is best described as a potential future phased area.
cover photo by Susan Lyon.