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Residents push back as Avila Beach Golf resort re-applies for outdoor entertainment license

Posted at 6:47 PM, Dec 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 21:47:34-05

The Avila Beach Golf Resort is applying once again for an outdoor entertainment license, but tensions between some homeowners and the resort are surfacing as the popular venue grows.

For more than 20 years, the resort has attracted crowds to its oceanfront venue and now the owners say they need to renew and expand an existing county license to accommodate the evolution of events.

"It's a wonderful thing for the community, it certainly put Avila Beach on the map," sad Lisa Newton, a longtime Avila Beach resident.

The resort is applying for a commercial outdoor entertainment license, which proposes 12 one-day events with 1,000 to 3,000 attendees plus five multi-day events with up to 5,000 guests, according to its permit application.

Co-owner of the resort Rob Rossi told KSBY the number of events is consistent with the number they have been hosting in recent years.

However, many San Luis Bay Estates residents are concerned with increased noise and traffic, noting there is only one way in and out of Avila Beach.

The Avila Valley Advisory Council is against approval of the license, writing its recommendation to San Luis Obispo County in a November letter.

In part it says, "Safety and welfare of those who visit, work and reside in Avila must not be ignored by approval of an improperly processed project that avoids requirements."

"[AVAC] wants a legitimate permit process and it's something the council has advocated for a number of years," said Sherri Danoff, AVAC Land Use Committee chairperson.

AVAC is also pushing the resort to get permission from the California Coastal Commission and define the day and time of each event, among other requests.

Rossi told KSBY over the phone Thursday, "I believe we are operating within all of our proper licenses. We are recognized in the county's general plan as a coastal asset and we continue to serve the public in a variety of ways."

Additionally, the Avila Beach Golf Resort is suing the San Luis Bay Estates homeowner's association for allegedly stopping the resort's gate access.

County leaders said they are working with the California Coastal Commission on this matter since part of the resort falls in a coastal zone, though they hope to settle the matter without state interference.

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors will discuss this matter December 17, although talks with the California Coastal Commission could postpone that.