Unocal has not revealed the full details of the settlement. But if some people made off with a few bucks, that hardly compares to the years of struggle it took to get the settlement, and the inconvenience that residents have been through while their downtown was destroyed. The story of the rise and fall of Avila Beach is the story of the rise and fall of Central Coast oil. The stuff was so plentiful that locally extracted asphalt was used to fuel gas lamps and pave streets in the 19th century. By , Port San Luis, just up the beach from Avila, became the largest crude oil shipping point in the world.
As industry boomed, Avila Beach became a typical company town.
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Houses spread across the low hills in a haphazard, unplanned way. But if it had few pretensions, the town had plenty of other things going for it. Located in a sheltered bay, the beach was spared the scarring winds that scraped other beaches bald. Avila was known as the best swimming and sunbathing beach in San Luis Obispo County.
The son of a town doctor, Guernsey has spent most of his life here. Over the years, even as San Luis Obispo grew, Avila remained something of a secret. Until Mike Rudd, then owner of the Sea Barn, was thinking of opening another business downtown. The soil analysis came back with a surprising result--Rudd had struck oil.
The oil came from pipelines that ran from an old tank farm on the hill above the beach to the Unocal oil pier. The pipes had been leaking for years. The state, county and oil company haggled over responsibility and cleanup methods.
Unocal proposed injecting bacteria into the ground to break down the toxic waste, but that idea was quickly rejected. When she was elected in and found out how long the problem had lingered, county Supervisor Peg Pinard was angry. In , Unocal accepted responsibility for the disaster and agreed to excavate the contaminated soil. Today, Unocal is the largest single property owner in Avila Beach. Unocal officials would like to unload the property, which is why they want to see the town rebuilt as soon as possible.
First, the cleanup must be completed. The roses were not only her pride, but a community landmark. If cleaning up Avila was difficult, restoring it to what it was has proved to be a challenge all its own. When county and company officials met with the public on the downtown redesign, they found that the citizens of Avila had very firm ideas of what they wanted their town to be--and not be.
What they wanted, they finally said, was what they had. Reduced to two words, that meant funky and eclectic. That stumped the planners. In the end, they came as close as they could: no stainless steel, some tile, lots of stucco. When the bulldozers pull out, the pedestrian walk and the sea wall will be finished, along with the new park being donated by Unocal.
Most of the beach is open now. But getting the community back on its feet depends on more than getting the beach ready for the beach blankets and Frisbees. The downtown district will be mostly vacant. One of the last things the community did before the contamination was uncovered was to agree to import state water. The cities of Grover Beach, Morro Bay, and San Luis Obispo had pluralities or majorities of registered Democratic voters, whereas the rest of the county's towns, cities, and the unincorporated areas have a plurality or majority of registered Republican voters.
The following table includes the number of incidents reported and the rate per 1, persons for each type of offense.
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The population ranking of the following table is based on the census of San Luis Obispo County. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
County in California, United States. April 1, . San Luis Obispo. Santa Barbara. Pacific Ocean. Presidential election results. California portal. Percentages of party members with respect to registered voters follow.
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California State Association of Counties. Retrieved February 6, UC Regents. Retrieved November 18, Retrieved March 18, United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 6, Retrieved April 19, National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, Michael Hogan Morro Creek , ed. August 22, Retrieved October 4, Census Bureau.
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American FactFinder. Retrieved Decennial Census". University of Virginia Library. March 27, April 2, Retrieved May 14, Did politicians scare away investors? San Luis Obispo Tribune. Retrieved June 24, Retrieved November 2, Presidential Elections".paiturkelicent.tk
San Luis Obispo County, California
Retrieved September 2, Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved September 25, Crime in the United States, , Table 8 California. County seat : San Luis Obispo. La Panza. California Central Coast. Oxnard Salinas Santa Maria Ventura. State of California. Sacramento capital. Hidden categories: Webarchive template wayback links Use mdy dates from December Articles with short description All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from April Commons category link is on Wikidata Coordinates on Wikidata. Namespaces Article Talk.
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