Subscribe for 33¢ / day

Dunes, buggies and business

I would guess the reason that San Luis Obispo County does not shut down the Dunes OHV area is that most of the businesses along Grand Avenue would die.

Gas stations, motels, restaurants, grocery stores would all feel the pinch, and as it is, businesses are already hurting. Take away 70 percent of their business and they would be history.

But as long as the activity a recent letter writer obviously didn't like is stopped, I guess he'll be happy, even though without the off-highway vehicles the dust is still going to blow. It never stops.

Boris Roberts

Santa Maria

Exploiting coastal access for money is wrong

I can't help but wonder if the County Board of Supervisors are about to be asked to further erode the trust of North County residents by exploiting what little beach access there is in North County.

Increase camping and day-use fees? Why? Because the Community Services Department director says it is needed to cover the rising costs associated with the cleaning and maintenance of cabins and yurts?

I suggest you remove the cabins and yurts and return the beach to reasonable access rates and tent or trailer/camper use only. I don't recall hearing a clamor for yurts or cabins, especially when these deluxe accommodations directly compete with lower cost alternative camping. It is nothing more than a commercialization of a very limited resource at the expense of taxpayers within the county.

 First District Supervisor Das Williams seems to get to the point by saying “what do people want most, free parking or a place to park?”. This appears analogous to saying this is how we get rid of the low- to middle-income local residents. It might be one thing to see the fees of $190-$240 offset the day-use fees and lower the cost of tent/trailer/camper fees. But of course, that will never happen with the county trying to reduce, or eliminate completely, access at a reasonable rate.

More likely, we will see the total elimination of the more modest accommodations in favor of ever more expensive cabins and yurts. A lot of us in the North County want free access, or at least, reasonable access, to a very limited coastline without the county trying to turn it into a cash-cow that limits access to the girth of your wallet.

Get news headlines sent daily to your inbox

Surf Beach is history. Gaviota Beach is a ghost of itself even with a pier (that will probably never be rebuilt along with its boat hoist). It's time for the county to quit trying to replenish its irresponsible spending habits by exploiting the few beach resources left available to the public.

Maybe the county should look at its commitment to the tax-paying members of its citizenry to see if it is supplying services that are relevant. They may find that they have become askew in the execution of their duties by erroneously viewing their constituents as servants to their progressive ideals.

As for me, I was born in Lompoc and lived here all of my 69 years. So yes, I have seen the struggle to balance services and the rise of the costs for same. What I don't understand is when the right to coastal access became an enterprise for the county to exploit. That's just wrong!

Neal Olinger