|Summary|| This is a request by Santa Barbara County to amend a permit granted with conditions to include after-the-fact authorization for installation and retention of 3 sections of geotextile cells filled with cobble and earth that are located downcoast of the approved rock revetment and are approx. 10-20 ft. wide, 9-12 ft. high, and total 415 linear ft. at back of beach and within central lawn area of Goleta Beach County Park, Santa Barbara County.
The amendment proposes to retain the unpermitted development. Staff recommended approval with conditions that require re-evaluate the plan after 20 years or if the revetment is exposed for 24 months in total from the date of permit issuance.
|Outcome Description|| The County violated its permit on several occasions in the first year. They used unpermitted heavy machinery for emergency construction, failed to remove debris and litter and groomed the beach during the grunion season. In addition, the rock revetment that was supposed to be buried under the sand was exposed, impeding safe pedestrian access to the beach and exacerbating beach erosion - all without any environmental review process or alternatives analysis. In a sense, all of the concerns with hard armoring of the coast came true in just one year of this structure’s existence.
Ultimately, the Commission decided to approve the ATF development, agreeing that sufficient triggers existed in staff’s conditions to allow re-evaluation of the development should they continue to violate their permit.
|Why You Should Care|| This project demonstrates the importance of adherence to the previously adopted Sea Level Rise Policy Guidance and that local projects can reflect issues of statewide significance.
Additionally, asking for forgiveness rather than permission with unpermitted shoreline protection must not be tolerated by the Commission as it may set a dangerous precedent of backwards permitting that undermines the Coastal Act at its core.
|Decision Type||CDP amendment of ATF development|
|Staff Recommendation||Approval with Conditions|
|Opposition to Project||Surfrider Foundation|
|Coastal Act Policies||Chapter 3|
|Mary K. Shallenberger|
View Meeting Page for the meeting where this issue was discussed/voted on.