AVILA BEACH, Calif. - The Amgen Tour is pedaling up some controversy here on the Central Coast after Avila Beach is given the thumbs up to be a host city along with Santa Barbara. It seemed to be a reason for celebration when the small beach community was named a host for the tour, but some wish it would have never happened.
Sherri Danoff, Vice Chair of the Avila Valley Advisory Council, says, "I think most of us would rather have seen this go through a normal process that any other project would go through."
The council will hold a public hearing tonight, and in attendance will be County Supervisor Adam Hill to answer questions that the advisory council has regarding the Amgen Tour in their city. According to Danoff, many are concerned the city isn't ready to host such a big event.
"Maybe it can't be carried off safely and it's going to happen anyway," says Danoff. "That's the concern that I have."
Much of the concern comes from the fact that the city only has one road in and one road out.
"We feel like in a sense we could be held hostage," says Danoff. "All of us that reside here, work here, and participate in the events, if there isn't good planning because we have restricted access."
Local hotelier Michael Kidd echoes the safety concerns that Danoff has. But he also adds that the international recognition Avila Beach will receive from being a host city will change the small-town feel.
"If we show this nationally and to the world of this huge crowd here, we are sending all the wrong messages of what we are," says Kidd.
Kidd also owns a coffee shop in Avila Beach and says he won't be open during the event.
"It's because this is the wrong thing for Avila," says Kidd. "So maybe if we don't support it, it wont come back here."
According to Danoff, she says Avila Beach will remain a host city for the Amgen Tour. As far as she knew, there isn't anything they can do to pull out of the tour.
Wednesday, June 5 2013 5:40 PM EDT2013-06-05 21:40:27 GMT
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