Court Ruling Safeguards OHV Use At CA Dunes

Big Win for Off-Road in Oceano Dunes for OHV

Victory for Friends of Oceano Dunes as Off-Road Activities Remain Protected

In a major legal win for off-road enthusiasts, the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court has ruled in favor of preserving off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation at Oceano Dunes SVRA, California. The court found that the California Coastal Commission does not possess the authority to impose a complete ban on OHVs at the popular dunes.

This significant victory is the result of four lawsuits, with Friends of Oceano Dunes leading the charge alongside one by EcoLogic Partners. The court made it clear that any attempts to restrict OHV activities would need to be pursued through the county’s local coastal plan or require the state legislature’s involvement.

Friends of Oceano Dunes argued that the power to close the park, even temporarily, resides solely with the county, not the Coastal Commission. The court agreed with this argument, emphasizing that the commission’s attempt to ban OHV recreation was unlawful and in violation of the Coastal Act.

Furthermore, the court supported Friends’ position that the commission failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) when it decided to close Pier Avenue as a vehicle access point to the beach. The absence of a proper traffic impact analysis in this decision was deemed unacceptable.

As a result of this ruling, the Coastal Commission’s March 2021 amendment to end all OHV use at Oceano Dunes has been overturned. This means that OHV enthusiasts can continue to enjoy their beloved activities at the iconic dunes, and access to Pier Avenue beach remains open.

This legal victory is not only a celebration for off-road enthusiasts but also a protection of jobs and local businesses. Oceano Dunes has been a significant economic driver, with visitors from outside San Luis Obispo County contributing over $500 million to the local economy in 2019.

Friends of Oceano Dunes have reiterated their commitment to safeguarding beach driving, camping, and OHV recreation at Oceano Dunes SVRA, ensuring that the cherished traditions of the past century can be enjoyed for generations to come. This ruling serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of standing together to preserve and protect the places we hold dear.


If you can’t wait to hit the dunes yourself, grab your next set of UTV seats or seat covers from PRP before you go and check out these posts for more information!