This video was produced by a film student and friends who want to make a difference, not a professional film company.
This documentary shows Steve Monowitz with the California Coastal Commission in 2007 saying how the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Division of California State Parks and Recreation has failed to provide an entry into its landlocked Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (ODSVRA).
When the ODSVRA map was certified by the California State Parks and Recreation Commission in 1974, the Pismo Dunes Natural Preserve was also certified, which blocked vehicular traffic to the north at the mouth of Arroyo Grande Creek. At the time, there were at least three routes used by dune buggies to access the dunes from Hwy 1 without using the beach and without crossing the creek.
The OHV bought more land to the south of the ODSVRA (with our gasoline tax), and planned to have vehicles stage and enter there. Buffer areas were established around this southern entry, as well as to the east and north of the vehicular area.
The California Coastal Commission agreed with protesting environmentalists, notably Kathleen Goddard Jones and Bill Denneen, that Oso Flaco Lake area to the south was too environmentally important to be abused as an off-road vehicle staging area and entry into the ODSVRA.
In 1982 the Coastal Commission conditioned its coastal permit to OHV to require that another entry, less environmentally sensitive, be constructed off Hwy 1 near the riding area. The commission permitted two kiosks to be placed at the end of Grand and Pier Avenues, so that the beach and creek's temporary use could be controlled. The OHV had a time limit of three years from the certification of SLO County's Local Coastal Plan (LCP)to find an acceptable (to the Commission) entry and to construct a road from Hwy 1 and get off the beach and out of the creek.
The LCP did not get certified until the late 80's. From then until now, many have objected to the OHV invasion of Oceano, to no avail.
Many objected when OHV gave the county a million dollars to widen and pave Grand and Pier. There was objection to the 1991 EIR that OHV did in-house that showed that the beach and creek were the preferable "alternative". The research included impacts on several routes, but for the Grand and Pier routes the study stopped at the point where the pavement ended. No environmental impacts on the beach, ocean, and creek were considered.
The Sierra Club sued six years ago and a federal judge ordered OHV to try to find a way in that avoids the creek.
OHV hired Condor ($192,000 of our gasoline tax) to find a way around or over the creek. None of the entries were found to be acceptable due to the endangered species in the dunes and the terrain. Neither of the two types of bridges at the mouth of the creek where it goes into the ocean were feasible. This led to the misinterpretation that the beach and creek are the least environmentally damaging accesses. Again, only the few paved blocks of Pier and Grand were studied, leaving impacts on the the endangered species on the Pacific shoreline and in the creek unknown.
Other misinformation that has clouded the access issue was a map provided by OHV to SLO County to secure an after-the-fact permit for a sand ramp. The map shows the ramp where the old wooden ramp was before it was taken out by storm tides. The actual ramp is a dug out trench that funnels wave run-up dangerously close to private property and threatens the fresh water lagoon.
A SLO County Supervisor who is also on the Coastal Commission is shown misleading the public. He said that the access issue was resolved in 1936 when the county deeded the state an area 200 ft from the high tide line from Pier and Grand that also goes through county property for "park and highway access". The deed says no such thing, and in fact says just the opposite. The state would not accept the gift of the land unless the words "for park and highway purposes" were struck.
This documentary shows vehicles driving below the mean high tide line, which is not permitted by the State Lands Commission.
This documentary concludes that there is no way in and no way out of the ODSVRA.