By Amanda Winchell | Published 2015/08/11
Recent articles published by the San Diego Union Tribune and Los Angeles Times preview an important decision before the California Coastal Commission at its meeting on August 13 in San Diego: whether the San Diego Unified Port District has failed to meet a state guarantee of protecting and expanding affordable access to the coast. The Port District wants to provide for development of multiple high-end hotels on public land, but according to Commission staff, it has not ensured such development is accompanied by affordable lodging options, as required by law.
Access to the coast is a right of all people as guaranteed by the California Constitution. A key element of public access is lower cost overnight lodging – whether in hotels, hostels, cabins, or campsites – that enables residents and visitors of all backgrounds to visit and enjoy the coast. Under the 1976 California Coastal Act, such facilities must be “protected, encouraged, and, where feasible, provided.”