|Summary|| The city of Solana Beach has been working to develop a method to mitigate for the impacts that coastal structures and non-erodible seacave/notch infills have on public access and recreation since 2007. Policy 4.50 of the existing LUP required that the City
complete a fee study to mitigate for the impacts that coastal structures and nonerodible seacave/notch infills have on public access.
In January 2014, the Commission awarded Solana Beach a $120,000 grant to complete the mitigation method, which required that the City submit an updated Fee Study and an LUP amendment to the Commission.
At the May hearing, Solana Beach proposed their Fee Study – now nearly ten years in the making. The Fee Study is a modification to its LUP Hazards & Shoreline/Bluff Development Policy 4.50.
The method for calculating a fee to account for the impact of shoreline armoring to public recreation (i.e. Public Recreation Fee) varies widely statewide and has resulted in ongoing study. The City of Solana Beach has developed a mitigation methodology, known as the travel cost method, which it is proposing to incorporate into its certified LUP through this amendment.
Staff proposed a number of modifications to the city’s proposed LUP amendment – most included adjustments to the travel cost method equation. There was one main point of disagreement - the wage rate used to calculate the opportunity cost of a day at the beach. Solana Beach recommended using a low wage rate in the travel cost methodology of 33%. Staff argued, and were supported by San Francisco State University economist Phil King, that using a low wage rate in the equation as proposed by Solana Beach would lead to a drastic undervaluation of the beach and instead recommended that 67% of wage rate be used in the equation, which would double the public recreation fee. They also recommended increasing the number of LIDAR data points used to calculate the beach width, for a more accurate snapshot of the beach width over time.
Commissioners voted on two amendments, both of which failed. Ultimately, staff’s recommendation of using a 67% wage rate passed unanimously.
|Outcome Description|| There were several votes associated with this agenda item. First, Commissioner Gregory Cox moved for a no vote to the LUP amendment as submitted by the City. Commissioner Effie Turnbull Sanders seconded and the vote passed unanimously.
Next, Commissioner Cox motioned to pass the LUP amendment in accordance with staff’s recommendation and moved to amend staff’s suggested wage rate of 67% (up from the City’s 33%) to 50% as a compromise. Commissioner Roberto Uranga seconded this motion and amendment.
Commissioner Turnbull Sanders disagreed with the proposed amendment to staff’s modifications. She noted that they are mandated to uphold the Coastal Act, which requires the Commission to ensure maximum access and provide recreational opportunities for all Californians, and that this is a matter of environmental justice. She also voiced concern over the methodology in general, stating that by using a wage rate calculation we may end up with an inequitable fee based on community differences..
Commissioner Mary Shallenberger also spoke against Commissioner Cox’s proposed amendment to staff’s modifications noting that their proposed amendment at 67%, already compromises the public’s right to access. She noted that she would even support a higher value.
Commissioner Donne Brownsey noted the difficulty in quantifying the priceless nature of our coast. She voiced support for Commissioner Shallenberger and Turnbull Sanders’ comments and believes that the staff number already represents a compromise of value and is still within a very reasonable value given.
Commissioners then voted on Commissioner Cox’s motion to amend the wage rate to 50% and it failed on a vote of 3-9.
|Why You Should Care||When bluff and shoreline armoring are built along the coastline, they have impacts on public access and recreation both resulting from the loss of public recreational opportunities that occur through direct and indirect loss of beach area that would have formed as erosion (usually of bluffs) moves inland.|
|Decision Type||LCP Amendment|
|Staff Recommendation||Approval with modifications|
|Staff Report|| Th17d) https://coastal.ca.gov/meetings/agenda/#/2017/5|
URIs of the form "Th17d) https://coastal.ca.gov/meetings/agenda/#/2017/5" are not allowed.
|Opposition to Project|
|Coastal Act Policies||Chapter 3|
|Mary K. Shallenberger|
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