San Luis Obispo Chapter

Save the Avila Coast

The Avila Coast lies between Pirates Cove and Point San Luis along the northern part of San Luis Obispo Bay and includes the coastal watersheds from the top of the ridge to the ocean. The coastal Mediterranean ecosystems of the world are among the world’s most threatened environments. Except for the small village of Avila Beach, the Avila Coast is one of the largest relatively intact remnants of such an environment in the United States. The San Luis Obispo Chapter is working to ensure there is no further overdevelopment of the Avila Coast to protect access to its four miles of terrific coastal-dependent recreation opportunities and scenic vistas.

Save Avila from Ruin by Over Development

SLO County’s largest developers have submitted applications for lodging and event facilities that will forever change our beloved Avila Coast.  See ABR Entertainment Complex Facts. We not against lodging serving visitors pursuing coastal-dependent recreation (such as relaxing or walking your dog on the beach, boating, fishing, or swimming), which is protected by the Coastal Act for all Californians. We are not against events either.  However, they must be on a scale that won’t draw so many people that those who can’t afford $100 concerts or $300/night lodging are effectively excluded from accessing the Avila Coast – three miles of SLO County’s most popular coastal recreation.

Avila Overwhelmed by Size of Proposed Entertainment Complex  
  • 12,000 potential daily visitors to entertainment complex
  • 1,600 population of Avila
  • Visitors are 7.5 times the population of Avila
  • Equivalent to 350,000 visitors to City of SLO!         
Incompatible Uses

Event traffic on inadequate roads restricts access to coastal-dependent recreation.  People who  have been coming to Avila for decades have stopped due to the traffic created by numerous large events (up to 5,000 attendees) on the Avila Beach Golf Course.  Large music and festival events are not coastal-dependent recreation protected by the Coastal Act, which has been reaffirmed by millions of Californians three times. Event traffic and crowds interfere with Bob Jones Trail users.  Intoxicated adults, loud music, and frustrated drivers don’t mix with babies in strollers, toddlers on training wheels, and children carrying boogie boards. The thousand visitors, 25 porta-potties, stage equipment, and loud music don’t mix with beaches, estuary, and bird sanctuary protected by the Coastal Act.

  • The three-mile drive from 101 on curving, narrow, undivided highway increases the probability of fatal traffic accidents – especially for event goers who are tired and/or intoxicated.
  • Steep ridges converging on SLO Creek and Avila Beach Drive create a bottleneck near Cave Landing that could prevent evacuation on these roads in the event of a firestorm or flood.
  • Event site is directly across from children’s playground, aquarium, and family beach.
Desecration of Sacred Chumash Capital Cultural Sites
  • Avila was the capital of the Northern Chumash tribe.  Many important cultural sites have already been desecrated by development.  Further development would disturb the last remaining sites, which include 9,000 years of burial sites including the chiefs of the tribe (on the proposed Somera Cottages site on the coastal bluff above the Dog Beach and the SLO Creek Estuary.)
  • The proposed developments are viewed as a sacrilege by the Chumash Tribe and those who respect their tradition of honoring their ancestors.  Chumash will know about it for generations in addition to anyone who reads history.  It will sicken those who understand the human remains and priceless archaeological artifacts that were destroyed in the massive earth moving proposed for these developments.
  • A recent preliminary environmental impact report on the Somera Cottages project stated:

The archeological sites were found to be large, complex prehistoric villages with human remains which gave insights to social establishment of the Chumash tribes living on  the coast. As designed, the proposed development will impact significant archeological sites.”

Take Action Now!

The Developers’ first step in establishing the huge entertainment complex at Avila is the permanent event license application that goes before the SLO County Board of Supervisors on May 12. Send an email to them urging them to deny the permit as it presently stands. The proposed events and hospitality facility must be significantly downsized so that the traffic generated does not impinge on the right of all Californians to access the terrific, free, coastal-dependent recreation along the Avila Coast.