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Environment and Energy

San Luis Obispo expands greenbelt with new property

Oak House/City of San Luis Obispo
The addition of the La Cuesta Ranch property adds 266 acres to the city's greenbelt.

The City of San Luis Obispo recently acquired more than 250 acres of open space. The added property is located in the northern portion of the city’s greenbelt, within the Cuesta Canyon area. The open space property has been part of a deal about five years in the making.

The land is part of the Miossi Brothers' La Cuesta Ranch, and the Miossi family has owned it since 1917. City officials have been working with the Miossis seeking the best ways to approach conservation of the property, located at the headwaters of San Luis Obispo Creek. 

“This acquisition of 266 acres is really the first phase,” said Bob Hill, interim deputy director of the San Luis Obispo Office of Sustainability. "We will be sitting down with them soon and talking about phase two, which is anticipated to be a conservation easement for most of the balance of the ranch.”

The move was approved by the city council back in September. But it took about a month for staff to get the funds together. This new land is valued at about $1.3 million dollars. The city will spend about a million and the rest will come with a grant from the State of California’s Habitat Conservation Fund and a $100,000 gift from the Forbes family.

Although the sale has gone through, it will be a while before the public can go out and run, hike and bird watch in this new open space.

“We really want to understand what natural resources are out there in terms of flora and fauna,” Hill said. "Then we’ll also need to do a lot of the normal protective elements that we have in our city open space properties, such as fencing, gates, signage and informational kiosks that help folks know where to go and how to stay safe out there.”

Hill said San Luis Obispo now owns about 4,000 acres of open space, includng the new 266-acre purchase. This is in addition to another 3,500 acres of permanent conservation and open space easements—for a total of 7,500 acres in conservation status within the greenbelt.

The new open space property is expected to open to the public in 2019.

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