Pismo Preserve project running nearly $5 million over budget

August 30, 2016


The Pismo Preserve project is running two years behind schedule and nearly $5 million over budget. The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County had planned to open the preserve to the public this fall, but the organization recently announced construction is not expected to be completed until late 2018.

In 2014, the Land Conservancy purchased the more than 900-acre property, which is situated northeast of the city of Pismo Beach. The Land Conservancy paid $12 million for the property, a price that local real estate professionals said was too high.

Last week, the Land Conservancy stated in a press release it is estimated to cost an additional $4.8 million to complete the project. The organization expects to acquire the funds from state and local government grants, family foundations and in-kind services from contractors and suppliers. Government funding already accounted for much of the funds used to purchase the property.

The Land Conservancy cites design difficulties and environmental regulatory hurdles as reasons for construction delays and cost increases. Additionally, offers for assistance with construction have yet to come to fruition, according to the news release.

Builders must still construct sidewalk and a retaining wall that allows safe bicycle and pedestrian access to the preserve from the Highway 101 interchange along Mattie Road. They must also construct two parking lots, water-efficient restrooms, directional signage and a one-mile trail that is accessible for people with disabilities.

Volunteers have completed a network of 11 miles of new trails, though. The Land Conservancy says it will allow the public to take part in docent-led tours, hikes and equestrian and mountain bike rides on the preserve by the end of this year.

County Supervisor Adam Hill, whose reelection campaign is citing the project as one of the supervisor’s achievements, helped broker the sale of the Pismo Preserve property to the Land Conservancy. Since then, Hill has received campaign contributions from Phoenix developer Bradley Wilde, who profited from the sale of the property.

Wilde contributed $6,000 to Hill’s reelection campaign in 2015. The developer gave another $1,000 earlier this year.

Hill recently praised Wilde for making large contributions to his campaign. Hill made the remark in an email after berating local business leaders for not doing the same.

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I wonder what the property was actually worth if they overpaid at $12M?

Take a close look at the proposed PP parking lot:


While it might look nice from an airplane, it’s going to be an expensive pain to keep-up, maintain and police. Just wait and see. Soon enough there will be a ranger/sheriff kiosk. Then a snack shack and horse barns.

It really does seem like the LC is out of its depth on this one.

“if they overpaid at $12M”?, of course they did but “they” didn’t pay, the taxpayers did and that’s not a problem because there is always more money that can be squeezed from the taxpayers

Has any “expert” opined what the property was/is actually worth? I think to a large degree the seller played a con on all of us and got exactly what he wanted — a homestead for his coming multi-million dollar house wrapped-up in a park which he was actually paid for.

Disgusting. How is it possible to miss the mark by $5,000,000. The Pismo weed patch will never be a “world class” anything but a over priced weed covered hill along our coast. Return on the investment? ha,ha,ha.

Here’s a little hint. For $5.00 you can join the LC and hike the PP now rather than wait for another 2+ years. You too can be a privileged person…


Remember when hiking trails were just where people had walked for years? Just dirt, no bathrooms, no concrete, no lights, just nature? How did we ever survive?

You must have a vision of greater than natural things, like man made messes, oh yeah and money.

At least I can go for a hike with this cost overrun. The women’s prison cost overrun? Not nearly as enjoyable.