About Us: Our Goal: Facilitate the protection of the Cuesta Inlet and preserve continued access for the benefit of the community and wildlife.
Save Cuesta Inlet is a concerned citizens group. They are exploring strategic ways to secure the Cuesta Inlet property for the continued enjoyment by the community. The Group’s goal is to facilitate the transition of the property to a long term steward. The group has received non-profit status as a 501(c)(3). There are no paid members, and no members with any financial stake.
Anyone interested in joining the Group’s efforts, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Save Cuesta Inlet Inc. P.O. Box 6976 Los Osos, CA 93412-6976
FAQ View as PDF
Save Cuesta Inlet
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Save Cuesta Inlet?
We are a group of Los Osos community members who came together when we learned that Cuesta Inlet was listed for sale. We are working to facilitate the protection of the Cuesta Inlet and preserve continued access for the benefit of the community and wildlife. We recently formed a 501(c)3 corporation and have received nonprofit status.
Who is on the steering committee?
Andrea Lueker – recently retired from a 35 year career in local government management, including marine facilities and coastal lands. Andrea and her family have enjoyed living in Los Osos since 1986 and enjoy the outdoors.
Beth Crizer – is a retired educator. Beth and family enjoy supping and kayaking the Bay. They have lived in the beautiful community of Los Osos since ‘79.
Cheryl Dodge – is the SVP of Operations for an education technology company. Cheryl has a background in general business management and product development. Cheryl and her husband, Doug, are recent transplants from the Central Valley. They love all the outdoor activities this community has to offer.
Gerard Ages– is a retired General Contractor. He’s been on the bay since ’74, kayaking, boating, Supping, Kite-boarding, fishing, and swimming.
Jim Royer – is an attorney who has lived near Cuesta Inlet for over 30 years, birder, canoeist, former board member of Morro Coast Audubon and Kern River Research Station, and dog owner.
Kelly Fisher– is a retired Army Brigadier General and longtime resident of Los Osos. She has been an avid user of Cuesta Inlet for the last 30 years and advocates for retaining it as open space with community access.
Margarete Schmidt – is the Controller for Sequoia Transportation Services Inc. Margarete has a real estate and finance background. She and her husband, Mike Lozito, have been community members since 2014.
Martin Smith – is an IT professional who, in 2019, finally realized the dream of leaving the hustle and bustle of Southern California and, with his wife and family, relocated to the beautiful central coast. Martin has 2 kids that are currently attending Cal Poly. The whole family enjoys the quality of life, the outdoors and the culture this area has to offer.
Pandora Nash-Karner – is a long time Los Osos resident with a history of volunteerism.
Steve Harrell– is an avid kayaker and volunteer for the Morro Bay National Estuary Program. He and Susan have been in Los Osos since 2000.
Liz Hale – is an artist, surface pattern designer, and a new resident Los Osos. Currently, when she isn’t busy renovating her home, gardening, and creating artwork, she is thrilled to be spending time with her wife and hiking, biking and paddling on the Cuesta Inlet.
George Pilling- is a retired librarian and former board member of several non-profits. After owning a place here for 20 years he is now a full-time resident of Los Osos.
What is the name and address of the 501(c)3?
Save Cuesta Inlet Inc.
P. O. Box 6976
Los Osos, CA 93412
What are Save Cuesta Inlet’s objectives?
To facilitate the protection of the Cuesta Inlet and preserve continued access for the benefit of the community and wildlife. Save Cuesta Inlet was formed to facilitate the transfer of Cuesta Inlet from private ownership to the public domain. Our goal is to maintain public access, boat launching, and provisions for other types of passive recreation
Will Save Cuesta Inlet be the owners of Cuesta Inlet?
We may take ownership in the short term. Our goal is to immediately transfer ownership to a long-term steward. This is often referred to as a takeout plan.
Who will be the long-term steward of Cuesta Inlet?
We are exploring different options. The possibilities include San Luis Obispo County Parks, Los Osos CSD, and other agencies. At this time, an agreement has not been reached with any organization.
Will Save Cuesta Inlet manage the property?
SLO County Parks has expressed concern over their ability to manage the property due to budgetary constraints. . At this time, we are looking for a group to be the management partner. This could be a community group such as Celebrate Los Osos or a new entity (Friends of the Inlet?). This type of relationship is not without precedent. Most notably, the Elfin Forest is owned by SLO County and managed by the Friends of the Elfin Forest
What is the plan?
The short answer is we are going to fundraise in community to purchase the property from the sellers. At this time, our nonprofit has a three-pronged approach, all worked on concurrently.
Raise funds to purchase the property
Identify a long-term owner of the property.
Identify a manager of the property
Raise funds to purchase the property.
How are you going to raise the money?
We will appeal to the community for donations. We will solicit contributions from corporations that do business in our area. And we will pursue grants and other funds from organizations that support open space and land conservation. We will be holding various fundraising events and selling Save Cuesta Inlet logo merchandise.
How are you going to spend our donations?
Donations will be used to facilitate the purchase of the land and costs related to transitioning Cuesta Inlet to a land steward.
We are a 100% volunteer-run organization and 100% of your contribution goes toward the Save Cuesta Inlet project.
Is my donation tax deductible?
Who will hold my donations?
Save Cuesta Inlet Inc. will hold donations in their bank account at Chase Bank Los Osos branch.
If this effort fails, what happens to my donation?
A small portion of the money will have been used for administration and fundraising costs. Donors will have the option of a refund or designating another 501(c)3 organization for their funds to go to.
What are we buying?
The 13 acre site comprises 3 parcels; one small parcel zoned residential, two parcels larger parcels (6+ acres each) zoned recreation of which one is predominantly water. These parcels are currently listed for sale, asking price is a million dollars.
View real estate sale listing here: 1745 Doris Ave., Los Osos – Cuesta Inlet
Is Cuesta Inlet worth a million dollars?
The Cuesta Inlet is a special property. Because of this, all of the traditional methods for valuing a property are more difficult to apply. The value of this property ultimately will reflect what Save Cuesta Inlet can negotiate with the sellers to complete the transaction.
Will the owners sell for less than a million?
The listing real estate broker has stated the owners will not accept less than a million dollars. As the transaction moves forward, we will continue the discussion.
Is any of the property suitable for a home site?
There is a potential homesite on the property; however, obtaining a building permit, water meter, and other approvals would be extremely challenging. Currently, there are no sewer, water, or utilities connected.
Several land trusts or conservancy groups have expressed interest in Cuesta Inlet, why don’t they buy it?
These types of groups require a conservation appraisal of the property. The estimated cost of the appraisal is $15,000 to $25,000. A group is willing to fund the appraisal but requires the sellers to commit to selling at the appraised value. The sellers are not willing to accept less than a million dollars. While we can’t know what the property will appraise for, it is possible it will appraise for less than a million dollars.
Why don’t we let the land trust/conservation groups contribute up to the appraised value and fundraise from the community for the difference?
Great idea! Unfortunately, we have been told that these agencies will not be a party to a sale above appraised value. We are still exploring this issue, but it doesn’t appear to be a viable option.
Should the community pay over appraised value for Cuesta Inlet?
Cuesta Inlet is such a unique property. There is nothing like it on the Central Coast. It has minimal commercial value and is unsuitable for a home site. However, it has immense value to the community as a passive recreation site and one of only three public kayak/skiff launch spots in a town of approximately 15,000 people. Ultimately, the level of support from the community will dictate its value.
Why don’t we form a private group such as an LLC, buy Cuesta Inlet, and maintain it for public access?
Our goal is to move Cuesta Inlet from private ownership into the public domain. At this time, we believe the most prudent way to secure public access to Cuesta Inlet now and in the future is to purchase the property in the nonprofit and transfer the property to a long-term steward/owner. This is a complex project; as we proceed down this path, facts may come to light that would require us to change our strategy. If that is the case, we will re-group while remaining consistent in our goal of preserving public access to Cuesta Inlet.
How long is this phase going to take?
It is hard to say, we anticipate the fundraising and purchase portion of the plan to take a year to eighteen months.
Identify a long-term owner of the property.
Who will be the long-term owner of Cuesta Inlet?
We are in discussion with several entities including SLO County Parks and Los Osos Community Service District. Nothing has been finalized at this time.
Why doesn’t Save Cuesta Inlet become the long-term steward of Cuesta Inlet?
We were formed to facilitate the transfer of ownership of Cuesta Inlet to a long-term steward. We believe there are existing agencies that are more experienced and better suited for owning Cuesta Inlet and maintaining public access for passive recreation.
Will Cuesta Inlet stay the same after we purchase it?
Our goal is to work with the long-term steward to maintain public access, boat launching, and provisions for other types of passive recreation.
Will we be able to store our boats?
The boat storage situation is likely to change with fewer boats being stored and potentially permits required for boat storage. Permit fees would be a source of revenue for the management of Cuesta Inlet.
What will happen to the boats currently stored there?
Ultimately this will be the decision of the long-term steward and management partner. However, it is likely boats that are abandoned, not in use or not sea-worthy will need to be removed.
Will there be an effort to restore native plants and eliminate the ice plant?
We hope so, but our group’s focus is the acquisition of the property for public and wildlife access. This will be the responsibility of the long-term steward and management partner.
What impact will increased sea levels have on Cuesta Inlet and public access?
Models show Cuesta Inlet being impacted by rising sea levels. This is one of the reasons the land is not valuable for commercial use and development. Exactly when and how that will affect access to Cuesta Inlet is unknown. More information is available on the NOAA website: NOAA Rising Sea Level Models
Will we be able to walk our dogs and pets at Cuesta Inlet?
In discussion with groups willing to act as a long-term steward of the Inlet, we are stressing the importance and expectation of the community that dogs and pets will continue to be allowed access.
Identify a manager of the property
Who will manage Cuesta Inlet?
SLO County Parks has expressed concern over their ability to manage the property due to budgetary constraints. We anticipate other agencies will have similar concerns. At this time, we are looking for a group to be the management partner. This could be a community group such as Celebrate Los Osos or a new entity (Friends of the Inlet?). This type of relationship is not without precedent. Most notably, the Elfin Forest is owned by SLO County and managed by the Friends of the Elfin Forest.
Will Save Cuesta Inlet Inc. be the manager of Cuesta Inlet?
Our mission is to facilitate the protection of Cuesta Inlet and preserve continued access for the benefit of the community and wildlife. We were not formed for the purpose of long-term ownership or management of the Inlet. However, our members have a long history of volunteerism and may choose to be part of the group that manages the inlet.
Will there be a public meeting I can attend?
There will be several “meet and greet” gatherings for neighbors and community members to meet steering committee members and Board members of the nonprofit and to ask questions and share ideas on what is in the best interest of the community for preserving the Cuesta Inlet.
What can I do to help?
*sign up as a volunteer
*make a pledge, and plan to donate.
*spread the word and join us in securing this incredible space for the future.
Where can I find out more, comment, donate, or volunteer?
Please visit our website at: www.savecuestainlet.org