UPDATE: According to a Skydive Pismo Beach employee, the business will not shut down its skydiving operations. Though permits for the structures at the Oceano Airport are set to expire, Skydive Pismo Beach will move its business operations to a new location. For more information, call Skydive Pismo Beach at 481-5867.
Wanna jump out of a plane? Tough luck if you plan on doing so in San Luis Obispo County.
Less than a year after opening, Skydive Pismo Beach will have to shut down. According to a notice from the SLO County Airport Services issued to the business on Nov. 28, Skydive Pismo Beach must cease operations by Dec. 30.
It took about two years for the business to gain approval for a temporary setup at the Oceano County Airport. Under a six-month permit, Skydive Pismo Beach set up a small collection of trailers and tents to operate, but under an agreement with Airport Services that it would obtain building permits for permanent structures in the meantime.
As of the September deadline, however, the business hadn’t obtained those permits, and the county exercised its right to issue a 30-day notice of termination on the permit. The county is alleging additional permit and code violations.
But business owners say it’s the overdue eviction the county has been gunning for since Skydive Pismo Beach first attempted to open.
“After persevering over two years of the most complicated permitting process in the history of skydiving operations, it was impossible for us to make any capital investments in our location at the Oceano Airport considering the constant harassment and interference that the county felt privileged to impose upon us,” owner Tom Pecharich wrote in a letter to County Supervisor Paul Teixeira.
A representative from Skydive Pismo Beach couldn’t be reached for additional comment.
Currently, there are no other skydiving outfits in the county. After a lengthy permitting process, Skydive Pismo Beach opened in April. Airport Manager Richard Howell told New Times the county doesn’t have a system in place to review and approve applications for a skydiving business, and county officials had difficulty working out the details.
“It took a great deal of time to get educated and understand what a skydiving operation meant to the community,” Howell said. “… The county’s position is [Skydive Pismo Beach] was non-compliant with its permit.”