Joetopia

Any more talk on Pirate’s Cove better result in action. Got that, Coastal Commission?

Just when we thought we’d finally get some meaningful action on Pirate’s Cove, along comes the Coastal Commission to (maybe) mess things up again.

Two weeks ago, I was pleased and surprised when the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors unanimously directed staff to come up with a plan to close the blufftop parking lot to vehicles at night in an effort to curb the decades-old problem of trash and partying in the area.

It wasn’t the best option, but failing a comprehensive project to install legit facilities at the picturesque county park, just about anything to cut down on the lawlessness is fine with me at this point.

I’ve more than had it with the way our natural resources have been abused up there, and if some law-abiding visitors need to answer for the miscreants, so be it.

Think of it like the one guy in the army platoon who keeps dropping his gun and ends up earning the whole group extra duty cleaning the latrines.

I had hoped a closure might be the kind of tough-love motivation that would get the above-board users on-board with change.

But instead, they just showed up to protest with their same old arguments against limiting access.

“By doing this, you’re punishing the law-abiding people because of a few bad apples,” one man said at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

One, it’s not a few bad apples. It’s several bushelfuls, judging from the mess. And two, you’re right. Now when are you going to help support ways to fix the problem?

As nice as it is that some people help pick up trash, that’s not enough.

It was regular users of the park whose objections helped scuttle the county’s original improvements a few years ago. After that, everything went back to being an embarrassment of filth. And here we are.

There is a bright spot, however: When the Coastal Commission sent a letter to the county warning it might not permit a nighttime closure, the county supervisors didn’t just wash their hands of the mess and move on to other business.

That’s what happened last time.

This time, to its credit, the board decided to have John Peschong and Adam Hill form a committee to work with the state panel, which includes Pismo Beach Councilman Erik Howell, to figure out just what that commission of so-called defenders of the coast is willing to do to actually defend this piece of the coast.

If Howell and his cohorts believe putting up literal roadblocks like the parking lot closure won’t cut it, I hope they understand that erecting figurative ones won’t either.

We don’t need any more talk that discourages action, so they truly must be part of the solution by helping to bring improvements that make a difference once and for all.

Maybe if these two government panels work together, we can finally come up with something acceptable and lasting that preserves access while keeping the area well-maintained so that it’s welcoming for everyone.

Joe Tarica: 805-781-7911, @joetarica

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