Morro Bay sued over Cerrito Peak



A Morro Bay nonprofit group has sued the city following a controversial City Council decision to uphold the Planning Commission’s approval of a development on Cerrito Peak.

On Feb. 6, the group Save the Park, headed by former councilwoman and mayoral candidate Betty Winholtz, filed a civil lawsuit at San Luis Obispo Superior Court, alleging that the city violated a number of laws—including its own Local Coastal Plan—when it gave the property owner, resident Dan Reddell, the green light to build a two-story, 3,256-square-foot home on the location.

The peak is known locally as a sacred Native American ceremonial site, and the project was fought tooth-and-nail by four separate appellants as well as dozens of outraged citizens.

Other concerns about the development ranged from drainage and erosion issues for neighbors, to adverse affects on monarch butterfly populations, to visual blight and the removal of about 30 trees.

The project also ran afoul of the California Coastal Commission, which sent a letter to the city hours before the council upheld the project’s approval.

City Attorney Rob Schultz told New Times that he had yet to see the lawsuit, but noted that it will be the primary responsibility of Reddell to defend against it. Reddell said he hadn’t read the lawsuit either and declined to comment until he reviewed the document.

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