San Luis Obispo County Planning Commissioners recently approved an emergency permit to remove windblown sand from three homes in Oceano.
According to planner Nancy Orton, however, the issue is far more widespread than the three homes. Homeowners on about 42 lots along Strand Way in Oceano have requested such permits in the past, dating back as long as there have been houses near the dunes.
“It’s been an ongoing issue for years,” Orton said.
Windblown sand from the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area accumulates near the homes, burying garden walls, putting pressure on windows, and piling in yards, according to a county staff report. According to that same staff report, efforts made by the State Parks Department to install wind fences and to revegetate the area haven’t stopped sand from accumulating.
Emergency permits allow property owners to remove the sand from their lots and place it back on the dunes. Such requests also require a coastal development permit from the state.