I want to publicly thank the Morro Bay City Council for its courage and forward-thinking actions in voting 5-0 to purchase the privately held land atop Cerrito Peak.
This 1-acre plot is completely surrounded by public land and is in no way your typical residential lot. It hosts a monarch butterfly habitat and is recognized as a sacred Native American site, among other things. Still, it has been a source of division and animosity within the community, pitting those wishing to protect the land against others wishing to protect private property rights.
A great deal of money and resources spent on studies and lawsuits had done little to advance either cause. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, City Council members negotiated a deal which satisfied both sides: The land owner was paid for her property and the city will now begin working toward permanent preservation with a sharp eye out to recoup the money spent.
Nicole Dorfman, Morro Bay