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"Friends of Oceano Dunes" files lawsuit against California Coastal Commission over decision to restrict OHV

OCEANO DUNES.JPG
Posted at 11:23 PM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-16 02:27:50-04

"Friends of the Oceano Dunes," a non-profit group advocating for coastal recreational activity, requested the Superior Court of California review and reverse the California Coastal Commission's (CCC) decision to phase out vehicle access at the Oceano Dunes.

In a lawsuit filed on April 12th, the non-profit group said the CCC violated state law by failing to study the environmental impacts of closing beach camping and driving among other accusations.

Advocates of recreational use of the dunes argued the CCC staff used a "bait and switch" tactic to make last-minute changes to the California State Parks's public works plan (PWP) regarding off-highway vehicle use at the dunes.

In the writ of mandate, group members of "Friends of Oceano Dunes" said, "For more than 33 months, the public was led to believe that the PWP would allow OHV recreation, beach driving and camping (and the entrances that have existed for 40 plus years would remain in place), and in the last 22 days in a 3-year process, the CCC completely changed the project without any formal hearing on the PWP, and substituted its preferred project of total elimination of OHV recreation, beach driving and camping, which is a substantial change in the scope of the project. That violates CEQA’s stable project description mandate."

They are also asking that the CCC come up with proposed mitigation measures for its decision.

This lawsuit comes after the Coastal Commission voted on March 18th to phase out OHV at the Oceano Dunes in three years.