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Solana Beach Seawall Policy Defended!

To defend the Land Use Plan amendments dealing with bluff retention devices, private stairways, and other coastal development that effects public beach access and coastal health.

Surfrider celebrated a win for Solana Beach seawall policy with a final decision in California Appellate Court in October 2018 and no appeal of the decision by the blufftop property owners.  In a win for beach access and coastal preservation, the California Court of Appeal for the 4th Appellate District issued a ruling in favor of the California Coastal Commission (“Commission”), City of Solana Beach and Surfrider Foundation to validate the city's local seawall regulations.  The three-judge panel denied the Beach and Bluff Conservancy’s (“BBC”) challenges to the Solana Beach access and coastal protection provisions of the city'sl Land Use Plan (“LUP”) governing seawalls or bluff retention devices. The BBC, as represented by Pacific Legal Foundation, failed on their challenges to seven specific provisions of the LUP.  The Appellate Court opinion, written by Presiding Justice Haller and joined by Justices Irion and O'Rourke, upheld every challenged portion of the Land Use Plan, validating the hard work of the City and Coastal Commission in reaching a sound compromise policy to govern the local coastal area.

After a 16 year long campaign to ensure that seawalls along Solana Beach were properly managed and mitigated, the Coastal Commission approved the City of Solana Beach's Land Use Plan in 2012 that included a 20-year review of seawall permits and also set an 18 month timeline for the City to finalize their study to determine land lease and mitigation fees that ensure the public is properly compensated for the loss of public sandy beach. The seawall policy in the amended Solana Beach LUP also deals with important issues of whether a property owner can obtain a seawall permit solely to protect an accessory structure like a playset or a gazebo (Policy 4.22) and whether homeowners include deed restrictions on future armoring (Policy 4.19).  This is a major win for the San Diego County Chapter and for statewide efforts to set strong seawall policy protective of access and coastal resources.

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Our chapter maintains two volunteer-led committees dedicated to issues related to the preservation of our coast. You can learn more about them by clicking below, or start HERE to get some background on Surfrider's Coastal Preservation Initiative


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