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Pismo Preserve now 'done deal' after state approves final $4 million donation

Kaila Dettman - The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County

UPDATE: August 28, 2014 at 6:12 p.m.  

It's now official, funds to buy 900 acres of land above Pismo Beach to form a public space area known at the Pismo Preserve have been secured, according to The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County.

The organization says it got word from the State of California on Thursday that an expected donation of $4 million came through.

The Conservancy's Kaila Dettman told KCBX Thursday afternoon that escrow proceedings have begun on the property. The process could be complete in early-to-mid September.

If all goes smoothly, the trails on the property could open to the public in time for summer 2015.

UPDATE: August 20, 2014 at 6:40 p.m.  

The City of San Luis Obispo will donate $75,000 toward the project to designate 900 acres of land for public use above Pismo Beach.

Residents attended the San Luis Obispo City Council meeting Tuesday night wearing green shirts to show their support for the Pismo Preserve project.

Several gave public comment, voicing their concerns about may happen if the land is not preserved and speaking on the recreational and educational opportunities a project like this may have to offer.

Others expressed their concern that the city would be spending local tax revenue on a project outside city limits.

While this was a concern of the council, Mayor Marx said a project like this is "just special enough."

The council's vote was 4 to 1 in favor of the donation with only Councilman Dan Carpenter saying no.

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors will consider during its meeting next week whether to spend $400,000 on the project.

Original Story:

It's crunch time for organizers working to set aside a big chunk of open space parkland above Pismo Beach.

The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County has just a couple of weeks remaining to secure the final amount of funding needed to purchase some 900 acres for the Pismo Preserve.

County Supervisor Adam Hill is working to drum up support for a $400,000 contribution by the county. A funding measure like this needs more than a simple majority to pass at next week's board of supervisors meeting, so at least four out of the five supervisors will need to vote in favor for it to go through.

The supervisor, whose district would most benefit by the addition of the project, is hoping to see a large outpouring of public support at the Tuesday, August 26 meeting. He expects the vote will take place late in the day.

"It's one of those things that's hard to argue with," said Hill. "Whatever your politics might be, conserving this wonderful land for public use to have trails for mountain bike riders and equestrians and hikers, it's just going to be such an asset for everybody."

A staff report on the funding is being released Tuesday, according to Hill. 

So far this year the Land Conservancy has raised more than $11 million toward its $12 million goal from a wide variety of sources throughout the Central Coast.

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