Batiquitos Lagoon Public Access Trail


October 1, 2018

The Commission heard an enforcement action to resolve long-standing violations of more than 30 years related to the failure to construct a public access trail at a residential community in Carlsbad known as the Rosalena community. The community is situated on a blufftop on the north side of Batiquitos Lagoon. The trail will overlook the Batiquitos Lagoon Ecological Reserve, part of the state’s network of marine protected areas. In addition to the trail, the Home Owners Association (HOA) will install benches, interpretive signage, delineate public parking spaces and will secure a public access easement over an adjacent property to increase the value of the Rosalena trail and link it with a larger network making it part of an interconnected network of trails.

Staff proposed a consent administrative penalty in addition to the consent cease and desist order. Staff reported that the current HOA board owners have been very cooperative and that they purchased their properties after the buildings were originally constructed. With that in mind staff, recommended an administrative fine of $540,000, which will go to the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation to fund school programs and potential land acquisitions.

Why You Should Care

This is another example of the Commission’s recently granted administrative penalty authority granted under section 30821, which consistently has brought violators quickly to the table to negotiate consent agreements.Improving public access to and along the Batiquitos Lagoon will go a long way toward fostering public appreciation of our statewide network of marine protected areas.


Pro-Coast Vote

Anti-Coast Vote

Commissioners Erik Howell commented that, “the developers are the villains here - not the homeowners.” Howell also questioned staff on whether there is a practice of requiring performance bonds. Executive Director Jack Ainsworth responded that the Commission does require performance bonds where appropriate; however the permit for this development is more than 30 years old and none was required at that time. Commission staff also responded that they took the homeowners’ accountability into consideration when factoring the penalty. Commissioner Steve Padilla moved to approve the orders and administrative fine. The motion passed unanimously.

Organizations Opposed

Decision Type

Cease and Desist Consent Order and Administrative Fine

Staff Recommendation

Approval of Consent Cease and Desist Order and Administrative Fine

Coastal Act Policy