Last year, three homeowners in Solana Beach applied jointly for a 150-foot seawall. One of the homeowners was denied a seawall due to his property being post-Coastal Act and having deed restrictions. Seawalls for the adjacent homes were approved and are now constructed, but the resultant gap in the armoring presents a structural issue. This issue was predicted and the applicants were instructed to explore a retainer wall strategy to mitigate this. That strategy has been explored and is now rendered unsafe, and the two applicants who gained approval last year returned requesting to fill in the gap with a seawall. However, the property that was denied the seawall (the “gap house”) was no longer on the application, and instead another neighbor was added to the application based on an argument that this third neighbor is also affected by the structural instability posed by the gap.
Why You Should Care
The bluffs in Solana Beach are public property either by deed or easement. Despite this fact, a majority of the bluffs in Solana Beach are already armored, and public property has been taken from the public for use by private property owners. The proposal to completely seal the armoring of the area's northern beach’s bluffs is effectively and indefinitely surrendering the publicly-owned bluffs and beach to private blufftop homeowners. Solana Beach armoring is already exacerbating beach loss. The approval of this application would compound the mistakes already made and created a dangerous loophole in the Coastal Act sure to be exploited elsewhere in the state.
Negative Conservation Vote
Since this project was essentially a resubmittal of the original project that included 245 Pacific Ave, that property should still have been included as an applicant. It fundamentally defies logic that a seawall be proposed where it will result in the primary protection of a threatened property that is not listed as an applicant, especially given that the property at 245 Pacific Ave was included in the project and explicitly denied a seawall as originally submitted to the city of Solana Beach (the city) and the Commission. A more appropriate response would be requiring removal of the endangered portions of 245 Pacific Ave. to abate the current emergency per the agreed-upon deed restrictions placed on the property by the Coastal Commission.
Approval with conditions