California Coastal Commission: Changes will not be made at Oceano Dunes, for now

California

A majority of the California Coastal Commission shot down plans considering to phase out off-road vehicles at the Oceano Dunes Natural Preserve on the central coast.

The 8-2 vote means plans will be drawn out by public works, deciding the future of the dunes, and acreage will not be cut down.

A permanent set of guidelines are expected in 2020.

The meeting ended after about 7 hours of public comment on restrictions to the dunes. Hundreds of people turned out Thursday for the public comment portion of the commission’s meeting in San Luis Obispo.

Commissioners considered their votes on a staff recommendation calling for an end to off-roading because of concerns over the destruction of habitat for endangered species and effects to downwind communities, where air quality is a danger to public health.

Off-roaders say they have as much of a right to recreate on public lands as anyone else.

1,500 acres are currently open to public recreation at the dunes. 

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