|Description||The December hearing took place Wednesday, Dec. 13 through Friday, Dec. 15 at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. The agenda included several important topics such as seawater desalination, coastal access, shoreline armoring, low-cost accommodations and more. The meeting resulted in three vote charts, all with good results.|
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|Malibu Parking Restriction|| This item is an appeal of Local Coastal Development Permit to implement a 30-minute parking restriction between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. daily, and posting of parking restriction signs issued by the City of Malibu.
The City approved project would restrict public parking on both sides of Pacific Coast Highway in the vicinity of Surfrider Beach, adjacent to the Malibu Pier. The proposed 30-minute parking restriction between 2 and 4 a.m. would apply to approximately 767 feet of the ocean side of the public highway and 973 feet of the inland side. The intent of the City-approved permit is to prevent private vehicle owners and one specific commercial business (the Malibu Surf Shack) from parking their vehicles on the public highway overnight. The City argues that the restriction will encourage parking turnover, which will benefit coastal visitors because there will be more parking available during other hours.
The area where the restricted parking hours are proposed is directly in front of the most popular visitor serving portion of Surfrider Beach and is one of the few areas in Malibu where the public can park and access the beach at nighttime. The Surfrider Beach parking lot (directly seaward of the area in question), Adamson House State Park parking lot (located upcoast of the pier), and Malibu Lagoon parking lot (located upcoast of Malibu Creek and Lagoon) are gated and closed to the public at night. The City’s findings reference nighttime visitors who may “exit their cars and walk along PCH and enjoy views”; however, 30 minutes does not provide adequate time for members of the public to access the beach, enjoy a moonlight walk along the sand, observe a grunion run, or go swimming or surfing.
Commission Staff recommended that substantial issue exists and that the Commission deny the coastal development permit after the de novo hearing on the matter because the proposed project is not consistent with the public access and recreation policies of the certified City of Malibu LCP and the Coastal Act.
Commissioners voted to unanimously deny the City’s proposed parking restrictions.
|Solana Beach Erodible Concrete Seawall|| The proposed project is for a CDP that would fill an existing notch in a coastal bluff with an erodible concrete mixture colored and sculpted to resemble the natural bluff. The notch is located on a city-owned beach fronting two existing single family residences in the City of Solana Beach. The two bluff-top residences are at not at risk from bluff collapse at this time. In numerous past actions, the Commission has found that the filling of sea caves or notch overhangs as a preemptive measure has fewer impacts upon coastal resources and public access than the construction of seawalls and upper bluff structures. The City’s certified Land Use Plan (LUP) allows for pre-emptive construction of erodible concrete sea cave/notch infills, even when a bluff top structure is not imminently threatened.
Surfrider Foundation objected that erodible concrete does erode at the same rate as the surrounding natural bluffs and thus constitutes a seawall, which is not a permitted use as a preemptive measure. The staff report concedes that historically, erodible concrete has not eroded at the same rate as the bluffs. Non-erodible concrete is not permitted to be installed preemptively and has many of the same adverse impacts as seawalls and would likely require mitigation for impacts to sand supply and public access and recreation. Therefore, the LUP does not allow for pre-emptive infill unless there is evidence that the infill will erode at the same rate as the bluff. Surfrider contested that this technology cannot be utilized with robust data proving its erodibility.
After much discussion, Commissioners agreed and voted to deny the proposed erodible concrete seawall.
|Wave Resort Substantial Issue|| This item is an appeal by the Surfrider Foundation of City of Dana Point Local Coastal Development Permit No. 17-0008 approved with conditions for the construction of a two-story, 35,000 square foot commercial development that consists of a 57-room hotel, 52-bed hostel, a 4,000 square foot restaurant, a visitor center, and a parking garage on a 1.6-acre vacant lot.
The Surfrider Foundation filed the appeal, alleging the project’s failure to comply with the Headlands Development and Conservation Plan (HDCP) which is the applicable LCP standard of review, with the City’s certified LCP providing the standard of review where the HDCP is silent. However, Coastal Commission staff recommend finding no substantial issue based on ambiguity within the HDCP.
Surfrider made the case that substantial issue should be found based on several factors. The project would have one or more significant effects not discussed in the previous Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and Headlands Development and Conservation Plan (HDCP). Additional California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review is required for this project because its scope of work far exceeds that contemplated by the original EIR and the HDCP.
Additionally, only a maximum of 90 keys (rooms) are permitted in Planning Areas 4 and 9 of the HDCP. The applicant proposes 147 keys in these two planning areas. Therefore, the project exceeds the scope and allowable use of the HDCP. In addition, the appellant claims that the intent of the HDCP was for only one hotel in the Headlands development.
Commissioners voted 5-5 on whether or not substantial issue existed. Substantial issue was found and the appeal will come back for a De Novo hearing in the near future.