Welcome Friends and Neighbors

Margarita Proud is a non-profit community organization that represents a diverse group of San Luis Obispo county residents committed to the future livability, rural quality, and safety in and around Santa Margarita, California.

We advocate and promote:
  • Adhering to the intentions and policies existing within SLO County's Comprehensive General Plan, Land Use Element (LUE), and Land Use Ordinance (LUO).
  • Creating community awareness of land-use policies, the planning process, and the decision-making process through education.  
  • Meaningful public participation in local decision making.  
  • Transparency in the process and unobstructed access to public information.
  • Responsible stewardship of the Salinas River watershed.Safety and aesthetics along Scenic Highway 58.
  • The legal rights of property owners. 
  • Responsible use of our natural resources. 
  • Wise use of our water resources that maintain safe and sufficient quality and quantity in the future.
  • Responsible planning principles that result in economic and aesthetic well-being for the entire community.

We believe the unique character and beauty of the Santa Margarita area make it worthy of the effort and thoughtful planning necessary to help shape a future that includes preserving our rural character and quality of life.


has been on an industrial scale Gravel Quarry and Asphalt and Concrete crushing facility that threatened the future safety, livability, and rural character of Santa Margarita and the areas surrounding it. The Las Pilitas Resources, LLC proposal (DRC 2009-00025), located just east of the town of Santa Margarita between the Salinas River Bridge and Parkhill Rd. (PM 5.1) on Hwy 58, was proposed in an unsuitable location, making it simply THE WRONG PROJECT in the WRONG LOCATION.  Industrial operations in the proposed location are a poor fit with the surrounding density and existing land uses, and would utilize an extremely dangerous haul route to funnel a daily average of 273 gravel trucks through residential areas. Margarita Proud commends county staff's analysis, the Planning Commission's February 5, 2015 decision to deny the application, and the Board of Supervisors May 12, 2015 decision to uphold the Planning Commission's decision on appeal.

May 6, 2015 Viewpoint by Margarita Proud 

On the pages dedicated to the Oster/Las Pilitas Hard Rock Quarry proposed by Las Pilitas Resources, LLC, the specific project was examined, and in depth answers based on factual evidence in the record were provided to many of the questions being asked by community members as awareness of the proposal increased. Our objective was to harness the POWER a well informed community brings to participation in the process by encouraging all residents to become aware of the details of this project and the land use entitlement process. The conclusions reached by our decison makers were a direct result of the high level of engagement the community brought to the process.     


STATUS of Initial Las Pilitas Resources, LLC Quarry Application

On May 12, 2015, in an over 10 hour hearing at the Board of Supervisors, the appeal of the Planning Commission's decison to deny the large industrial scale quarry proposal by Las Pilitas Resources, LLC was denied. In a 3-2 decison, Frank Mecham (D1), Bruce Gibson (D2), and Adam Hill (D3) each voted to uphold the Planning Commission's February 5, 2015 decision to deny the project.  

Lynn Compton (D4), and Debbie Arnold (D5), whose district the proposal was in, made up the 2 dissenting votes. Many local residents were dismayed that our own Supervisor did not acknowledge, and made no attempt to address, the many concerns of the large number of affected community members.

Notice of Final Action

SLOTribune article 


* NEW Quarry Application by Las Pilitas, LLC *


On May 12, 2017, two years after the project was denied, Las Pilitas, LLC (a newly formed limited liability corporation by Managing Partners Steve Souza and Matthew Holding Corporation that replaces the abandoned Las Pilitas Resources, LLC) submitted a new project proposal that seeks to permit an aggregate quarry of the same industrial scale, and in the same location as was previously found unsuitable (6660 Calf Canyon Hwy). Steve Souza owns Souza Construction, a roadway related construction company. Matthew Holding Corporation is one of numerous holding companies formed by developer Darren Shetler (dba Castlerock Development). The application proposes to extract 500,000 tons of aggregate annually, the same amount as the previously denied project proposal.

While the new applicant has requested a reduced project alternative be evaluated in the Final Environmental Impact Report, the new application is NOT for a reduced project. In fact, the location, scale, and operational details of the new project proposal remain identical to the proposal that was first submitted in 2009 and subsequently denied in 2015 after comprehensive review determined that the impacts created would far outweigh any potential benefits to the community.

The applicant has chosen to emphasize the hypothetical reduction of impacts that may/or may not be associated with a smaller scale project despite the fact that objective analysis (environmental review by a neutral third party) of that claim has yet to occur. More importantly though, the application submitted is NOT for a smaller project, but instead, for exactly the same project that was denied in 2015.

Direct Link to NEW Quarry Application

NewTimes Article 5/18 "Quarry Back From Dead"

SLOTribune Article 5/19/17

Castlerock Development (Darren Shetler) Sues City of Atascadero

What is a Holding Corporation?




"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” 
-Margaret Mead-