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Harbor Terrace development at Port San Luis is approved by supervisors

The view from the first level of Harbor Terrace looking toward Harford Pier.
The view from the first level of Harbor Terrace looking toward Harford Pier. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Despite of concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety, San Luis Obispo County supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved the Harbor Terrace campground development in Port San Luis.

Approval of the project by the Planning Commission was appealed by Avila Beach businessman Michael Kidd, who cited concerns about water availability, traffic and the lack of an updated Avila Beach community plan.

Kidd can appeal the project to the California Coastal Commission. After the hearing, Kidd said he has not decided whether he will further appeal the project.

“I will appeal the project if I think it will result in a better project,” he said.

The project sits on 32 acres near the entrance to Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant and will consist of 80 recreational vehicle camping sites as well as cabins, car campsites and walk-in campsites. It will replace some existing facilities — 30 RV sites already on the Terrace Harbor site and an additional 25 along Avila Beach Drive.

About a dozen Avila Beach residents, many wearing blue T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Advocate for Avila,” said the project will exacerbate already busy traffic conditions on Avila Beach Drive. They said the traffic will create unsafe conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists who are trying to get to the beach.

“We just want the project to be safe, and we want it to be right for Avila Beach,” resident Rose Hanson said.

Harbor Manager Steve McGrath said he would work with the county Public Works Department to make sure there are safe pedestrian crosswalks and to minimize traffic impacts. He said the project will bring much-needed affordable camping to the port and Avila Beach area.

“With this project, Avila Beach will have a continuum of lodging opportunities ranging from tent camping to luxury resorts,” he said.

In approving the project, supervisors said they were impressed with the level of public outreach by the harbor district while developing the project. The Harbor Terrace project was the subject of 18 public hearings over the past three years.

“I think ultimately this is a good project,” said Supervisor Adam Hill, whose district includes Avila Beach. “People who live in communities like Avila Beach have the right to be vigilant. It is rare to see a project that has so much support from so many different agencies.”

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