Illegal red curbing by coastal homeowners has been an issue for years. In July 2020, a chapter volunteer noticed a particularly egregious case on Camino del Collado in La Jolla. We decided to fight back.
When wealthy coastal homeowners illegally paint curbs red to block the general public from parking, they eliminate beach access for those who live further from the beach than they do, i.e. the vast majority of us who cannot afford to live at the beach. When a Surfrider volunteer noticed an entire block of suspicious red curb had popped up overnight on Camino del Collado in La Jolla, we checked with our city contacts and verified that this was an illegal job aka vandalism of public property, most likely committed by one of the homeowners on the block.
In addition to reporting the red curb to the City and the Coastal Commission, we went public through our social media and with the aid of local media outlets. While the city did re-paint the curbs gray within a week of our call to action, all it takes is one entitled homeowner and a bucket of red paint to restart the entire cat-and-mouse game (it can take 90 days before the city comes out to fix an illegal curb).
Currently, the City of San Diego only responds to illegal red curbing when it’s reported by members of the public. As part of our greater campaign to protect and maximize public beach access, Surfrider San Diego is pushing for a public access, citywide inventory of sanctioned red curbs that anyone can use for reference. In the meantime, we will continue to serve in a watchdog role and report illegal red curbing to the authorities.