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Don't put up a parking lot 

"Don't it always seem to go

That you don't know what you've got

'Till it's gone

They paved paradise

And put up a parking lot"

—"Big Yellow Taxi"

This seems to be the plan of California State Parks' proposed southern dune buggy entrance at Oso Flaco. Their proposal: 225 campsites, a "kids' practice track" (whatever that means), and a staging area for 100 off-highway vehicles to traverse what is now a panoramic vista of dunes and environmentally sensitive habitat area.

What are they thinking? Yes, Oceano is now bearing the assault of the off-highway vehicles, but opening up Oso Flaco will move that mayhem south and probably won't alleviate Oceano's problem.

At Oso Flaco there are no amenities, no supermarkets or gas stations nearby other than on Tefft in Nipomo. What's more, this is a vibrant farming area in which RVs would have to traverse roads that include lumbering farm vehicles and 18-wheelers taking produce to market. Add to that a dangerous Union Pacific rail crossing on Oso Flaco Road, which is a disaster just waiting to happen with the increased traffic.

While "on paper" this seems to be a viable plan, especially when there is a plan for an expanded boardwalk area, but in reality ... they want to "pave paradise and put up a parking lot."

Laurance Shinderman


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