On August 30, 2017, the San Diego County Chapter achieved another victory for our coastline! After years of pressure, the Encinitas City Council decided to pursue a staircase to maintain access to the beach at Beacons, an already narrow beach, and reconfigure the parking lot to allow the landslide to stay in place and reach a safer angle of repose instead of a huge “erodible concrete” buttress 15 ft. thick at the top and 25 ft. thick at base covering the entire base of the landslide. Previously, the city of Encinitas was on track to select an “erodible concrete” buttress as the preferred alternative, constructed of material that has not been proven to erode, and would be maintained in place, thus acting as a “defacto” seawall. The project still has to go through the environmental review process, including an EIR, and the Coastal Commission, but the minimal impact of a staircase as the preferred alternative instead of huge “erodible concrete” buttress, is a real win for the coastal environment.
This change in the preferred alternative for the project provides for another opportunity for managed retreat instead of hard armoring. Access to the beach will be maintained and/or improved without destroying the very coastal resources the community was trying to access in the first place.