The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously during their Nov. 5 meeting to override two appeals that sought to maintain the status quo at Pirate’s Cove.
Though appellants Sean Shealy and Brian LoConte both made impassioned arguments for why Pirate’s Cove should remain as is, the board wasn’t swayed.
Supervisor Adam Hill, whose district includes Pirate’s Cove, said that planned improvements initially approved by the county planning commission on July 25—which include paving the beach parking lot, installing picnic tables and restrooms, and revamping beach access routes—are necessary and have been “well-vetted.”
In contrast, Shealy said the improvements “reek of the stench of man” and that the cove “is not a place that’s screaming out for anybody’s emergency intervention.”
The current parking lot and access route to Pirate’s Cove are made of dirt and poorly maintained, but Shealy argued that the beach’s quirks and undeveloped nature have yet to cause any accidents—and are also the very qualities that make the beach desirable.
Shealy, the founder of the advocacy group Friends of Pirate’s Cove, said he plans to appeal the board’s decision to the state Coastal Commission. On the group’s Facebook page, Shealy made a post early on Nov. 6 encouraging supporters to attend a Coastal Commission hearing set for Feb. 12 to 14, 2014.