It’s a spot Daniel Bohlman’s group The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County fought for and won back in 2014.
“Since we’ve closed escrow on the property we’ve been working every day to try to get the improvements that are required to open the preserve permitted and subsequently built,” Bohlman said.
Now as they work to open the Pismo Preserve, the group is facing a bit of a roadblock – literally.
“There’s no safe way to get from Shell Beach Road or from under the freeway to the Preserve. So the money we’re requesting is for part of a requirement by the city of Pismo Beach to allow for safe pedestrian and bicycle access to the preserve from the city of Pismo Beach, from the Five Cities and beyond,” Bohlman explained.
That money is no small chunk of change – they need about $800,000, close to one third of the $3.9 million renovation budget. Bohlman plans on asking the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments for this money Wednesday morning.
“The goal would be that we would be open a year from now. That being said, we could be open six months from now if we are able to acquire all the financial resources we need to construct all the amenities,” said Bohlman.
Once the Preserve opens, they anticipate upwards of 100,000 people coming here each year to enjoy the park and potentially having fewer drivers on the 101 as people will be able to use more eco-friendly means of transportation.
“We want people to get out here. We want people to find the value of getting out in open spaces and recreating because they’re going to then – we hope at least – get a passion for these outdoor spaces and want to invest more of their time and energy in seeing more of them protected,” Bohlman said.
The SLOCOG meeting starts Wednesday morning at nine at the County Government Center in SLO.
A notable member in the audience is going to be the Executive Director of the State’s Transportation Commission.