Hearst Corp. Drops San Simeon Resort Plan

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(AP) Hearst Corp. of New York has dropped plans to develop a resort on Hearst Ranch and instead will work with an environmental group to largely preserve the 82,000-acre property.

Hearst worked for nearly two years to reach agreement with the Nature Conservancy and the Conservation Fund to develop 257 acres of the sprawling ranch in exchange for leaving the rest of the property undisturbed.

Hearst, which wanted to build a resort at San Simeon Point, said this week it will now work with the American Land Conservancy to preserve the ranch and be compensated for it. The Hearst Castle is already a state park.

Still in discussion is a hotel at Old San Simeon Village, and 27 homes that would be built away from the coast.

“I remain confident that we will be able to preserve the beauty of the ranch forever,” said Stephen T. Hearst, vice president and general manager of the land and livestock division.

In a joint statement, Hearst Corp., the Nature Conservancy, and the Conservation Fund said that despite good-faith efforts they called off negotiations over the property.

There was considerable community opposition to the Hearst resort plan.

“The community so resented it, the whole project, that it made sense for us to visit the whole conservation solution,” Hearst said.

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