State Parks seeks additional input on future of Oceano Dunes SVRA and Pismo State Beach
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) is seeking additional public feedback on how to adapt Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) and Pismo State Beach (SB) to changing environmental, safety and recreational conditions.
Through a public works plan (PWP), a long-range land and development plan, State Parks will implement future operations and functions at Oceano Dunes SVRA and Pismo SB that fall under the California Coastal Act. State Parks introduced the PWP Project to the public in November 2017. Today’s newly released draft plan and draft environmental impact report (DEIR) are reflective of the public feedback the department has received to date.
“State Parks welcomes the continued feedback from the public on how it can enhance safe recreational experiences at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area and Pismo State Beach, while protecting unique natural resources,” said California State Parks Director Armando Quintero. “It is through this collaboration that key decision makers can gain a better understanding of the needs and desires from visitors, residents and government entities.”
Below is a list of some of the improvement and restoration projects being proposed under the newly released draft PWP:
- Improve and/or restore coastal dunes habitat where possible.
- Implement interim vehicle and off-highway vehicle (OHV) day use and camping limits on the beach until a carrying capacity study is conducted.
- Improve visitor amenities and access to services such as camping, new entrances and parking. Improve existing or build new visitor-serving facilities such as campgrounds, staging areas, education and interpretation facilities, trails, and boardwalks.
- Advance OHV recreational opportunities, such as the Southern Entrance Project which includes items such as a new entrance to the riding area, new OHV trails, a staging area, OHV safety education, and a campground that accommodates RVs and toy haulers.
- Advance non-motorized recreation opportunities like the Southern Entrance Project that diverts existing traffic on the beach to the riding area via a separate entrance and reduces crossing on Arroyo Grande Creek, new non-motorized recreation trails, campground, monarch butterfly grove improvements, nature and culture education facilities.
- Enhance park operations, resource management, maintenance and education facilities.
The draft PWP and DEIR are available online at OceanoDunesPWP.com. Written comments can be submitted to State Parks by through March 2, 2021 by 5 p.m. via email or mail:
- Email: OceanoDunes.PWP.EIR@parks.ca.gov
- Mail: Strategic Planning and Recreation Services Division, 1723 23rd Street, Suite 200, Sacramento, CA 95816
Additionally, the public will be able to learn about and comment on the draft PWP and DEIR at least two public meetings during winter 2021 -- Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission Meeting and a California Coastal Commission meeting. Comments made at these meetings will be on the meeting records, respectively. However, only comments submitted through the public comment process at the meetings will be recorded in the DEIR. Meeting dates will be shared with the public once they become public.
The Coastal Commission will review the draft PWP and DEIR and provide their comments and recommendations at a March 2021 meeting. If the Coastal Commission hearing for these draft documents is scheduled after March 2, 2021, then the comment period will be extended to the hearing date. State Parks will review all received comments submitted by the deadline date and prepare a final PWP and EIR for review and consideration at a later Coastal Commission meeting. Once reviewed and certified by the California Coastal Commission, the PWP will augment the existing coastal development permit.
With 280 state park units, State Parks is the nation's largest state park land manager. Like all public systems today, California's state parks do not exist in static environments. They exist in rapidly and changing social, economic, cultural and natural environments. The department must be nimble as it adapts to these changing conditions, while fulfilling its mission to the public.
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