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In an 8-2 win voting against their staff recommended changes to dune use at Oceano and surrounding areas, off-roaders can continue to use dunes as they’ve always done, at least for another year.

Breathe easy off-roaders, dune buggy riders, ATV users, and everyone else who enjoys a bit of motoring around the dunes because, for at least another year until 2020, off-roaders can continue to use the dunes around Oceano and Pismo as they’ve always done for several decades. According to the LA Times reporting live from the California Coastal Commission meeting earlier today (July 11, 2019) a 65-page recommendation from their own staff to implement sweeping change to the Coastal Development Permit was shot down amidst wuthering opposition to its implementation.

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Both sides showed up to the Calif. Coastal Commission meeting in support and against the upcoming set of recommendations. Contrary to popular belief, this set of recommendations wouldn’t 100 percent ban Offroad Highway Vehicle use but would set into action a set of amendments that would ultimately prohibit most, if not all, OHV use.

You can read the set of recommendations that was shot down here. It starts on page 3.

Although those against this set of recommendations mark this as a win, the CCC does recognize that current dune use can’t carry on as it has been for the past 37 years.

Increased air pollution ranking the surrounding area as some of the worst air quality in the state, erosion of protected areas, noise, and unduly burdening a disproportionate amount of locals are increasing issues the CCC can’t turn a blind eye to.

On the flip side, those against these recommendations say the dunes are a boon to the local economy, to the tune of $150 Million annually.

Amendments to this permit now are in the hands of the California State Parks. It would behoove enjoyers of the dunes to find out how they can put in their .02 with the CSP on what those future amendments mean.

The short of it is, yes, you can plan your trip to Pismo’s dunes, gas up your off-road vehicles, and go rowdy as you’ve always done, at least for one more year.

Ever been to the dunes? Are things as unruly as people paint it? Let me know in the comments below.

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