Jet fuel tanks in Morro Bay hot seat



The removal of two jet fuel tanks was the spicy topic at Morro Bay’s Planning Commission meeting Jan. 3, but for the fourth time, a decision was not made on the project. 

The project is seeking approval for a coastal development permit, conditional use permit, and environmental report, but once again didn’t get it.

The two tanks located on Panorama Drive were created in the 1960s and used by the U.S. Navy for storage and distribution of jet fuel. The facility was shut down in 1991. The current property owner wants to get rid of those tanks along with pipes that run both above and underground. But issues associated with the removal are raising concerns in the community surrounding the site, although many residents are in favor of the project. 

Whitney McLlvaine, contract planner of the project, discussed mitigation measures and addressed concerns brought up by the community, including noise levels, air quality, traffic, and vegetation disturbance. 

The result of the almost four-hour long meeting was the commission once again asking for more information about impacts. In this particular case, it was for the noise impacts of the project. But the commission also requested information about a potential performance bond, which could pay for project completion in the event that the property owner backs out of it. Community Development Director Scot Graham said the division will address the requests and believes that having the project on the agenda multiple times is good for the public. 

“I think the more we talk about it, the greater the comfort level there is that we’re looking at all these things and that we’re looking out for the neighborhood,” Graham said. 

In regards to noise, Graham said the division can easily make a report by monitoring the noise level surrounding the site. The idea of a performance bond is to give the community peace of mind, he said. If the applicant were to abandon the project, there would be funds to finish the removal.  

“My personal opinion is that the site is an eye sore,” he said. “If someone were to come in and remove it I would think that’s a positive thing.”

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