Toro Coast Preserve Update - March 2021


Toro Coast Preserve Project Update

Much of the southern boundary of Cayucos is now permanently preserved!

See above map for details, please.

  • Escrow on Parcel 1 closed Thursday April 30 - in orange on the map.
  • Parcel 1 is now a San Luis Obispo County Park.
  • Beach parcels in purple - Morro Bay voted to acquire these parcels in March, 2021, closing to follow shortly.   

Many, many thanks to our generous donors and supporters; you have been most generous in donating to this project. Because CLC is leading efforts to fundraise the difference between what State agencies are contributing and the cost of the properties, CLC continues to  accept donations for the remaining two parcels, as the precise cost for their closing is still being determined.

Phase 1, as illustrated above, can be divided into three steps.

Phase 1 Step 1 of the Project was the 258 acre parcel (in orange) purchased from Chevron in April 2020. 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  and Estero Bluffs State Park to the north, serve as cornerstones to the greenbelt around Cayucos.]  When escrow closed last April on this property it immediately became a San Luis Obispo County park.  County Parks will continue to graze the inland 248 acres and to lease the existing residence.  County 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.

Step two of Phase I are the parcels on the ocean side of Hwy 1 bordering north Morro Bay (in purple).  It has been the conservation partners' goal, by working with the CSD, to facilitate the acquisition of these parcels by the City of Morro Bay so that the bluff and beach will remain open to the public and continue to be "dog friendly".   This effort have come to fruition as the City of Morro Bay recently voted to proceed with this acquisition. The closing should be completed in Spring 2021.

In Step 3, the final step of Phase 1 the Cayucos Land Conservancy and the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County intend to conserve the inland parcels (triangular shape also in purple), bounded by Highway 1, Toro Creek Road and Toro Creek and currently owned by the Cayucos Sanitary District,  Negotiations between the two conservancies and the CSD are ongoing and the partners hope to  determine how best to protect the inland parcels by Fall 2021.

History of the Toro Coast Preserve Project

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 worked for many years to find a conservation solution for much of the coastal sections of Chevron’s former oil facility between Cayucos and Morro Bay. 

Below are the goals that have driven the 5 year process for Phase 1 of the Project:

  • Preserve the 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.

After 4 years of negotiating, on December 2019 a purchase and sale agreement was signed, formalizing the agreement.  Also in 2019 the Cayucos Sanitary District and the Conservation Partners began discussion the possibility of the conservation groups conserving the property the CSD had purchased from Chevron.  State agencies agreed to provide over $4,000,000 to help fund Phase 1.   

All those organizations involved hope that further multi-phased and multi-year conservation efforts will follow to conserve other key parts of the entire Chevron property.  

 

Please donate to this important addition to the Cayucos greenbelt.

 

Photo by Rocki deLlamas

Following the completion of the Phase 1, negotiates for a Phase 2 will follow.  The goal of which will be to conserve additional parts of Chevron's property behind Morro Bay.  And after that, hopefully, a Phase 3.

cover photo by Susan Lyon.