Since 2003 Surfrider San Diego has been commenting on and opposing a proposed project in Solana Beach by the Bannasch Living Trust. These bluff top homeowners tore down and completely rebuilt their home in 1991. As such the home is no longer considered “existing development” (built prior to the Coastal Act) and is instead “new development”. When the home was built in 1991, the home was designed to be moved landward, if it ever became threatened by erosion, and the homeowner signed a deed restriction that allows them to maintain their seacave fills, but they are NOT allowed to have a seawall since it is new development. 

Back in the early 2000’s the homeowners proposed to “maintain” their seacave fills with erodible concrete. Surfrider filed a lawsuit, and won in 2003, when the judge found that there was not sufficient evidence that the concrete would erode as planned, and that a project specific EIR had to be done. Fast-forward to today, and the homeowners are once again pursuing a similar project. The shocking part is that this “maintenance” project proposes to cover 92 linear feet of previously unarmored bluffs with “erodible concrete”, and there still has been no scientific studies to show this concrete will erode as anticipated. Currently there are 5 seacave fills, which total 60 linear feet of the 215 ft. long bluff. Surfrider’s fear is that once installed in such a large amount, these seacaves fills and “erodible concrete” will not erode as expected, and will be functionally equivalent to a seawall, which is forbidden for this property. 

The Coastal Commission heard this item in May of 2014 and it was continued to the June 2014 hearing. The Coastal Commission staff report can be found here. We will keep you posted with the outcome.