Monday, June 28, 2010

No Seawall at Beacon's

In 2001, California State Parks awarded a grant to the city of Encinitas to protect the bluff and parking area. The city went forward with plans to build a seawall, but were cautioned by the state to design an alternative to a sea wall. The city maintains that the only alternative is a sea wall, but the Parks withdrew funding for the project citing the state policy against seawalls. I've been having a hard time tracking down where this policy is written (maybe someone can help me?). Anyway, it seems to me that the State Park's policy on seawalls would have been established before 2001, and therefore silly that they would approve this grant in the first place. But, overall it's one less seawall (for now).

I've surfed Beacon's once in the last 5 years. The trail to the beach was pretty poor shape, but I didn't feel that it was more unsafe then the trail down to Black's or other cliff accessed beaches in San Diego.
Article from the UT:
Beach is left in the lurch as state vetoes sea wall -

1 comment:

  1. Tom,

    Thanks for the post. A few comments. 1) State Parks operates under the Public Resources Code. State Parks has been unable to find authority under Public Resources Code to permit seawalls for certain uses.

    a) They have clearly opined this on private use of State Parks for seawalls.

    See this Staff Report for example

    b) It is not clear what provision would be used to protect Park Facilities, but similar requirements in the Public Resources Code disallow building protection of parking facilities and encourage maintaining scenic and coastal resources in a natural state.

    2) Specific to Beacon's, the City Commissioned an EIR on the project and found that the seawall alternative would have unmitigated impacts on shoreline access.
    From the Beacon's Draft EIR

    Bluff protection wall projects located along the Encinitas coastline would cause impacts to beach erosion similar to those described for the proposed project, including passive erosion and erosion of the tidal terrace. The project’s incremental effect on the recreational resource value of the beach areas in the local region is cumulatively considerable. Although the sand replenishment program that would be implemented by the project would mitigate the direct recreational effects at the project site, there are no project-specific mitigation measures that would fully mitigate the cumulative effects in the local region. Therefore, the project would result in significant and unmitigated cumulative impacts on recreation."

    I attended the Public Comment on DEIR as did Todd Cardiff and I submitted detailed comments in support of this position. Essentially the project might protect access from the top and the parking lot but it will destroy recreaiton on the beach below. This is not a good tradeoff.