Gaviota State Beach Pier Repair


September 1, 2019

The California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) submitted a coastal development permit for the repair and reconstruction of the pier at Gaviota State Park as well as the installation of a rip-rap seawall. The Gaviota pier provided the only public boat launch facility used to access Hollister and Bixby Ranches, which are otherwise inaccessible. The staff recommendation approved the pier rebuild, however prohibited the riprap seawall, instead requiring State Parks to design the landward portion of the pier with a metal grated material to avoid the need for a seawall. State Parks claims that option is feasible; however the agency opposed the recommendation due to financial concerns. The Surfrider Foundation strongly supported the staff recommendation, citing the potential for sensitive habitat impacts within the Kashayit Marine Conservation Area and unmitigated public access impacts.

Why You Should Care

A small increase in funding for a better design is not an excuse to irreparably damage sensitive habitat within a marine protected area and block lateral public beach access.


Pro-Coast Vote

Anti-Coast Vote

Commissioners Shelly Luce and Mike Wilson expressed support for the staff recommendation. Commissioner Caryl Hart motioned to approve the staff recommendation and Commissioner Steve Padilla seconded the motion. Commissioner Erik Howell expressed concern that the Commission was unnecessarily micromanaging the boat hoist program and that State Parks should be redesigning this pier to better withstand sea level rise.

Organizations Opposed

Decision Type

Coastal Development Permit

Staff Recommendation

Approval with conditions

Coastal Act Policy