Pismo Beach is currently setting goals for the future of downtown. At one time there was talk of putting commercial space on the diamonds of the pier, newly rebuilt from storm damage. The artist can’t seem to decide if it is summer (left side of pier) or winter. The prevailing wind appears to be opposite the usual flow.
On Sept. 15, 1988 Telegram-Tribune reporter Danna Dykstra wrote this story.
Pismo urged to quit stalling on pier
Proposals for building a restaurant and shops on the Pismo Beach pier were nearly blown out of the water this week.
However, the City Council decided 3-2 to allow two developers to discuss the proposals with a consultant. Their findings will then be brought back to the council for further review.
Councilmen Hardy Hearn and Dick Morrow dissented on the Monday night vote, claiming the city should give other developers another chance to put in their proposals.
The city sought proposals — and not a public bid — on the development more than two years ago and again last year. The city found no proposals to be satisfactory, said City Attorney Art Shaw.
He said while the courts “insist upon strict compliance with public bidding laws,” when a project is built on public property, there is a legal loophole that allows the city to contract with developers on a negotiated basis — rather than hold a formal bid.
Shaw said public bidding is not required for the design or management portions of the project.
RKO partner John King and Trader Nick’s restaurant owner John Nichols have, since the city’s request for proposals, shown great interest in forming a partnership to build a restaurant and small shops on the pier.
The development would be a great source of money for the city, Nichols told the council.
The city is currently paying an annual $140,000 bond to repay the state $1.5 million for the pier improvement project.
“And,” Nichols told the council, “you’re not getting back one nickel.
“Here you have some people who want to help (generate revenues) — and we don’t want to waste anymore time,” said Nichols.
“I wish somebody would get off their dead center and make some moves, instead of sitting around because it’s an election year.”
King told the council that, “In reality, you got two bites on the apple. I’d like to see this project proceed.”
Nichols said the restaurant he is proposing would be comparable to those at Pier 39 in San Francisco.
King said the project would bring pride to the community and is a “good, quality” project.
Issues to be ironed out in negotiations are lack of parking and leasehold rates, Shaw said.
King and Nichols will meet with a consultant to analyze the business elements of their proposals.
The council will consider negotiations once those findings are brought back for review.