Plans for children’s cancer hospital near Morro Bay withdrawn

A Culver City-based nonprofit has withdrawn plans to build a children’s cancer hospital near Morro Bay.

The nonprofit group Teach About had applied to San Luis Obispo County to rezone 253 acres on the north side of Highway 41, just outside the city limits of Morro Bay, from agricultural to recreation. The application was on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors agenda for Tuesday and was the first step in the process of getting the permits needed to develop the property.

However, the nonprofit’s director, Sunil Kayal, said Monday that he is withdrawing the application and is planning to find another location for the hospital. He said he withdrew the application out of frustration with the bureaucratic process of getting necessary permits from the county and state Coastal Commission.

The nonprofit group planned to build a pediatric oncology center for 300 children and a cancer nursing training center in two buildings. The development would have taken up 15 acres in the northeast corner of the property. The project also called for 50 acres of organic farming and 50 acres of ranching.

James Caruso, a senior planner with the county, said the project would have faced some difficult challenges.

“One of the most difficult things you can do in the coastal zone is to rezone agricultural lands,” Caruso said.