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Port San Luis takes interest in Diablo Canyon assets

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As Diablo Canyon Power Plant gears up for its decommissioning process, the Port San Luis Harbor District is eyeing some of PG&E's assets.

At an Aug. 21 special meeting, the district compiled a list of Diablo Canyon land and facilities that would potentially benefit the port. One area of interest is Wild Cherry Canyon, a property leased by Homefed Corp from a subsidiary of PG&E. Who gets control of Wild Cherry Canyon and the road that leads to the lighthouse is a big concern for Deborah Foughty, the executive director of the Point San Luis Lighthouse Keepers. She spoke during the meeting's public comment, saying she was supportive of the port gaining the property.

The lighthouse is on Diablo Canyon-owned property. For security measures, the road and hiking trail that lead to the lighthouse are closed to the general public, but the Keepers volunteers who operate and lead interpretive tours of the restored lighthouse utilize Wild Cherry Canyon as a parking and staging area for its visitors to board their trolleys.

"If we lost access to a staging area, we can't stage in Avila because you know what kind of a parking mess that is. So our program totally falls apart," Foughty told New Times. "It's our largest revenue maker to keep that lighthouse in operation, so we've got to look at that first."

Other areas of interest include the property behind Harbor Terrace and the marina. According to a staff report, obtaining Wild Cherry Canyon could provide a parking lot, a trail to Harbor Terrace, or the opportunity to collaborate with a nonprofit to create an open space. Property behind the Harbor Terrace project could offer a chance to expand the campground area. And the marina could lend itself as a transient dock, boat storage, or a co-op with Cal Poly.

In 2016, PG&E announced its plans for the closure of Diablo Canyon at the expiration of its Nuclear Regulatory Commission operating license. The company created the Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel in order for the public and PG&E to have a dialogue on topics regarding the decommissioning of the power plant. In August and September the panel is offering four public workshops to gather input on potential future uses of Diablo Canyon land and facilities. Δ

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