La Jolla Public Access - Kretowicz


October 1, 2018

The Coastal Commission reviewed a permit amendment to replace decorative paving currently within the City of La Jolla’s Princess Street public right-of-way with new granite porcelain tiles and signage identifying public access to the pocket beach. The existing paving material was originally placed in the Princess Street cul-de-sac public right-of-way without benefit of a coastal development permit (CDP), but it was subsequently approved after-the-fact by the Commission in a previous CDP amendment. The existing decorative pavement raises concerns that create the illusion of a private driveway and deter public access to the existing vertical easement and accessway.

The staff recommendation takes into account that decorative pavement was previously approved at this location. Special conditions include additional signage of the vertical accessway, street markings that help to indicate this area as a public right-of-way and a no parking sign within the cul-de-sac.

Additionally, there is an existing vertical access easement on the applicant’s property that starts next to the cul-de-sac and leads down to a public pocket beach, and a stairway to make this vertical access easier for the public to use is currently in the planning stages by a the Environmental Center of San Diego (ECO San Diego).

Commissioners voted 11-1 to approve the staff recommendation.

Why You Should Care

Oceanfront homeowners often go to great extents to create the illusion of private beaches and private accessways. The property in question certainly was one of those cases. Staff’s recommendation will improve the visibility of this public accessway with signage and a clearly marked trail. It will also allow ECO San Diego to move forward with construction of a stairway at the vertical easement that exists at the property.


Pro-Coast Vote

Anti-Coast Vote

Commissioner Donne Brownsey expressed concern that the after-the-fact nature of the development.

Organizations Opposed

Environmental Center of San Diego, Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club California

Decision Type

Coastal Development Permit

Staff Recommendation

Approval with Conditions

Coastal Act Policy