|Summary|| The Coastal Commission reviewed an application by 2 Mirada Ownership Group and Casa Mira Homeowner’s Association to construct an approximately 250-ft. long tied-back concrete seawall, fronting both residential development and a portion of the California Coastal Trail in Half Moon Bay.
A rock revetment was originally built in this location under an emergency permit a few years ago in response to erosion. This new application would have removed the rock and constructed a more low-profile vertical seawall protecting an apartment building constructed before the Coastal Act was enacted in 1977 – and is therefore entitled to a seawall – as well as a portion of the California Coastal Trail.
The staff report justifies armoring the Coastal Trail by calling it a coastal-dependent use. Surfrider argued that the Coastal Trail is not a coastal-dependent use, but can be relocated and is therefore not entitled to shoreline armoring, and that using the Coastal Trail as justification would set a terrible precedent for the rest of the state. Commissioners agreed and approved the seawall only for protection of the apartment building at 2 Mirada, not for the Coastal Trail.
|Outcome Description||Commissioner Donne Brownsey commented, “How can we deny seawalls to homeowners yet allow them for the Coastal Trail?” Several Commissioners agreed. Commissioner Erik Howell, however, expressed concern about not protecting the adjacent infrastructure such as a post-Coastal Act sewage line and condominium buildings. Ultimately, Commissioners agreed with Surfrider and voted 8-2 to only allow the portion of the seawall that protects 2 Mirada. The rest that fronts the Coastal Trail has to be removed.|
|Why You Should Care|| Seawalls exacerbate erosion and if our only response to erosion and sea level rise is hard armoring, we will lose our beaches and the recreational opportunities they provide.
The vision set forth by the California legislature is that the Coastal Trail run the entire coast of California. If that’s the case, the entire coast would be subject to hard armoring. A good win for this beach and all of California!
|Decision Type||Coastal Development Permit|
|Staff Recommendation||Approval with Conditions|
|Opposition to Project||Surfrider Foundation|
|Coastal Act Policies||Chapter 3, 30251, 30253|
View Meeting Page for the meeting where this issue was discussed/voted on.