Morro Bay City Council
Meeting -- October 24, 2005
Citizen’s Suggestions on How to Reuse the Duke Power Plant Site
The following is a summary
of the comments received by the Council during an open public forum regarding
the future use of the power plant site.
- Approximately 35
people spoke representing both individuals and various organizations.
- With only a few
exceptions there seemed to be a common theme regarding the suggested uses.
- Most people suggested
a mixed use approach.
- Most favored centering
the facilities on a marine/maritime theme to be consistent with the overall
existing identity of Morro Bay.
- Residential use was
not suggested at all. One individual recommended against any residential
- Comments like make
Morro Bay an “international destination experience” were often used.
- The smoke stacks are
the worst visually and should be taken down. Concern was expressed about
potential pollution if the towers were imploded.
- The location should
reflect not only the personality of Morro Bay. It should also reflect the
arts, agriculture, viticulture and personality of the Central Coast.
- Duke currently
provides room for a triage center run by the Marine Mammal Center which
should be preserved.
- The Sierra Club was
submitting a recommendation to use the area as a world class cultural center
(We should get a copy of this report)
- Many people voiced a
strong opinion against a power plant due to a) pollution especially
particulates, b) the negative impact on the plant’s noise and pollution on
our tourism industry, and c) the negative impact on the estuary
The following is a list of
suggested uses in approximated ranking grouped as “most suggested”, “frequently
suggested” and “mentioned”. It is not possible to rank the suggestions with
total accuracy as speakers in the second half of the meeting frequently said
they supported “prior suggestions” without being more specific.
- Marine museum
- Maritime museum
featuring art of the Central Coast (see Crockett recommendations)
- IMAX Theater
- Estuary experience
- Cloisters bike path
- Cal Poly/Questa marine
laboratory (marine environmental research center)
- Power generating
facility – Wind, Wave and Solar selling energy to the local community. (Wind
was cautioned as it could be problematic due to Morro Bay being on the
flight path of migratory birds.
- Native American
experience center (as well as protect sacred ground located on the Duke
property for Morro Bay’s founding mothers and fathers)
- Convert the existing
building into a museum (like the Tate Museum)
- The building may be a
unique architectural statement as it is over 50 years old and one of the
largest aluminum clad structures in the country. (Maybe it can be given a
facelift to gain more character)
- Observatory (Dark Sky
- Morro Bay should buy
the plant and go into the power generating business selling at peak times
- Public swimming pool
- The marine museum
could include glass enclosed tide pools and water polishing ponds
- Farmers market
- Series of extended
lagoons with wildlife rehabilitation and viewing centers and native plants
- Boatyard and dry-dock
The speakers seemed to support a mixed used facility combining all or most of
the “Most Suggested” and “Frequently Suggested” items above. The general
consensus was toward a “public and private partnership” to make Morro Bay an
“example city” and use the property to create interactive experiences in the
forms of maritime and marine museums, local Native American culture and history,
Central Coast arts and industries (wine and agriculture) and a marine biology
research center linked to Cal Poly. This would all be built around a state of
the art renewable resource power plant which would supply power to the site and
the local community (and would also be part of the interactive experience). In
total this was described and making Morro Bay the “crown jewel tourist
destination of the Central Coast.”