Just like Drake’s Bay Oyster Company before it, Tomales Bay Oyster Company is fighting to stay open. The Marin County Community Development Agency ordered the popular picnic and oyster farm to significantly reduce its opening hours, cut its staff by more than half and remove all 84 picnic spots (grills and tables) by October 11, SFist reported. The order effectively reduces Tomales Bay, located five miles north of Point Reyes in Marshall, to an oyster vendor.
The situation escalated after Drake’s Bay closed, driving even more business to Tomales Bay, where people grill and picnic every day of the week, therefore parking on the highway due to limited parking. Neighbors started to complain about the extra noise and congestion, and county aides agreed it was a problem. Tomales Bay attempted to apply for a permit to legalize its existing set-up and bring everything up to code, but it instead is being forced to adhere to its 1987 Use Permit which didn’t allow for onsite oyster consumption. The site will now only be open to sell cash and carry oysters (no picknicking) from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. There will be no picnicking, which assistant manager Sean O’Brien said "is going to have a really negative impact on business," as "60 percent of our revenue is from picnickers." Tomales Bay is reapplying for permits to get grilling and picnicking back, and have started a Change.org petition to support the cause. For now, though, it looks like you should get there before October 11 to experience it while you can.
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