In their first meeting of 2024, the California Coastal Commission will meet from February 7-9 in the Oceanside City Hall chambers. The Commission meets monthly for 2-3 days in different coastal cities around the state, mainly to decide on various coastal development permits within California's coastal zone and public tidelands, but also to receive informational reports and discuss an entire spectrum of issues that affect our coastline, our beaches, and public access to them.
There are several items specific to San Diego County at this month's meeting, most of which will be heard on during Thursday's "San Diego Coast District" proceedings. Additionally on Friday morning, the Commission will receive an Informational update on trans-boundary pollution crisis in the Tijuana River and Tijuana River Valley. Let's dive into the items our chapter is concerned with and the meaningful ways you can participate in advancing coastal protection and public access!
Defeating an appeal against the Beacon's Beach Parking Lot Relocation Plan
Our chapter has protected Beacon's Beach from harmful coastal armoring for over 20 years, yet the attempts by neighboring property owners to illegally seawall off this treasured beach continues. On Thursday, Feb 8, the Commission will hold a hearing to weigh their appeal against a locally approved plan by the City of Encinitas to move the Beacon's Beach parking lot approximately 10 feet back from the failing coastal bluff it currently rests upon. Surfrider wholeheartedly supports the City in this endeavor, and spoke up in defense of the plan at both the Encinitas City Council and Planning Commission (both bodies approved the plan). Read our blog post from last year to learn more about this project and our history of protecting Beacon's.
As this is an appeal hearing, members of the public will not be allowed to testify in person unless they submitted public comments at the local level. However, you can submit a written comment asking the Commission to reject the appeal, and support their staff's recommendation to find "no substantial issue" with the Beacon's Beach Parking Lot Relocation Plan.
Please take the following steps in order to submit a public comment (by 5pm on Friday, Feb 2 if possible!):
- Email email@example.com
- Subject: Public Comment on February 2024 Item Th19a, Appeal No. A-6-ENC-23-0024 (Encinitas Beacon's Beach Parking Lot, Encinitas)
- Body: As a San Diego County (or North County, Encinitas, etc.) resident who loves Beacon's Beach, we ask the Commission to reject this appeal and find no substantial issue for the Beacon's Beach Parking Lot Relocation Plan. Moving the parking lot back is a logical first step to preserve public access at Beacon's, as it will take pressure off the active landslide on which the coastal access trail currently sits. It is clear that the appellants true aim is to stabilize the bluff using a seawall. As the Commission knows, seawalls kills beaches. A seawall at Beacon's would cut off sand supply to the beach and exacerbate erosion of the beach itself. It would amount to the beginning of the end for public access to this cherished beach. Please reject the appeal and approve the staff recommendation for "NO SUBSTANTIAL ISSUE." Thank you.
- add/subtract/edit as you wish, especially if you love Beacon's beach and care about protecting it as a natural beach!
Access to Beacon's is currently closed for the second time since May 2022 due to a partial bluff failure
Informational update on trans-boundary pollution crisis in the Tijuana River and Tijuana River Valley
In recent months, the Coastal Commission has taken a keen interest in our region's most urgent water quality disaster. Last October when they met in Imperial Beach, they dedicated an entire day to hearing from the community about how this unmitigated disaster affects their lives. Our Clean Border Water Now Manager wrote about the day and the lasting impression it made on the Commission HERE.
On Friday, Feb 9, the Commission will receive an update on the trans-boundary pollution crisis. At this time, the Staff Report is not yet published on the Commission website. If you would like to submit a comment
- Email EORFC@coastal.ca.gov
- Public Comment on Item F7a, Informational update on trans-boundary pollution crisis in the Tijuana River and Tijuana River Valley
- Body: please thank the Commission for their continued focus on the TRV pollution crisis, and ask that they continue to exert pressure in every way possible to accelerate funding and solutions from our federal and state leaders.
- If you would like to speak on this issue either in-person or virtually, you'll want to sign up to speak by 5pm the day before on the Commission website (see submit speaker slip at the top)