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Coast Biz Beat: Jobs,Oil & Wind Power

SLO Median Price Heads Higher

The median price of a SLO County single-family home sold in June jumped 3.9% from May and was up 19.4% from June 2012 says the California Association of Realtors.  The median price in June 2013 was $462,550 up from  $387,550 a year earlier. The median time on the market in SLO in June was 24.7 days compared to 42 days a year ago but up from last month when it was only 23.8 days.

Where is the hottest market in the state? Santa Clara where the time on the market is just 17.8 days.

Meanwhile in SLO County homes sales are up 0.4% year over year  but down 7.5% from last month.

Pismo Campground Getting New Visitor Center

The State Parks wants to build a new 14,500sf Visitor Center and kiosk at the entrance to the Pismo Beach campground. SLO County Planning Commission will hold  a hearing July 25  to consider a request by CALIFORNIA STATE DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION for a Conditional Use Permit/Coastal Development Permit to allow modifications and upgrades to the Pismo State Beach Campground including a new visitor center and entry kiosk, and relocated entry, access road, parking lot and camp host site.

SLO Hotel Sales In June Higher

Hotels in SLO County enjoyed 7.1% more room revenue in June 2013 compared to the same month in 2012. Smith Travel reports SLO County hotel occupancy was also up 2,3% with 3.4% more rooms sold. On a year to date basis rooms  room revenue was up an even stronger 9.3%.

Vandenberg Air Force Base

New Slant On Drilling For Oil

The U.S. Air Force announced this week will consider leasing land on Vandenberg Air Force Base for private oil firms to extract offshore oil and gas from off the central California coast.
Under the plan oil companies based on land could drill offshore using slant drilling technology.

Over the next  few months, the military said it will study whether the new type of drilling is compatible with the base’s space and satellite-launching missions and determine if it is “economically, environmentally and politically feasible,” the Air Force said.

That would put the closest refinery in Santa Maria at the Phillips 66 Refinery  undergoing expansion currently. Plains Exploration & Production with fields near Pismo also has wells on the base.
Developer Throws In Towel On Lompoc Wind Farm

ACCIONA Energy North America has announced it will not proceed with the development of the Lompoc Wind Farm, a proposed 90 MW to 120 MW project located above the town of Lompoc in Santa Barbara County.

Originally approved in 2008,  the project called for the installation of up to 65 wind turbines along a ridgeline southeast of Vandenberg Air Force Base. The applicant,a subsidiary of a Spanish company, has gone through a lengthy court case vs some neighbors and won and recently had been granted an extension of time from Santa Barbara County to finalize some issues.Some believe the company had grown tired of the endless delays and money spent.

In an email,company spokesperson Peter Gray wrote, “We are grateful to the landowners and county officials who have supported the development of this project. While the area has great potential for clean energy generation, the best decision for our business is to focus on the development of other U.S. and global projects in the company’s pipeline.”

Santa Barbara County has said it has yet to receive a formal request from the developer to pull the plug.

The company had said that a power purchase agreement has been executed with PG&E and has been approved by the CA PUC but the project hoped to be on line in 2007 or 2008. Now its five years later.

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