CERF Appeals ‘Emergency’ Blue Curl, LLC Seawall to Encinitas City Council

Today the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation appealed the Encinitas Planning Commission’s January 5, 2012 approval of the Blue Curl, LLC seawall and stairway project. Located in Leucadia (just north of Beacons), this 18 ft tall, 50-foot long two-tiered concrete wall was constructed after the upper portion of the bluff failed in 2008. However, the approvals were given without consideration of feasible alternatives, cumulative impacts assessment, or required mitigation for loss of beach resources.

The appeal comes on the heels of a January 9, 2012 notice-of-intent-to-sue letter to the City of Encinitas. That correspondence identified a significant flaw in the City’s municipal code that results in a “pattern and practice” of forcing seawall projects to be proposed and approved only when they would qualify for “emergency exemptions” under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). As such, these emergency approvals allow coastal armoring applicants to avoid substantive environmental review and mitigation requirements, ultimately leading to the loss of public beaches while private property owners get publicly subsidized protection for their bad investments.

CERF is seeking to work collaboratively with the City to create a comprehensive coastal management plan similar to that being developed in the City of Solana Beach. Such a plan will not only ensure the cumulative impacts of coastal armoring likely to occur over time (due to lack of sand from inland sources and global sea level rise) will be mitigated, it will also create a framework to make certain those who benefit from the coastal armoring also shoulder the burden of mitigating the resource losses.

Exhibits to the appeal include:

CERF August 5, 2011 Blue Curl, LLC Comment Letter

SANDAG Shoreline Preservation Working Group Regional San Project II Information, April 1, 2010

Ecological Responses to Coastal Armoring on Exposed Sandy Beaches

Staff Report on Sea Level Rise Preparedness to the California State Lands Commission Dec. 2009

Draft National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan, National Ocean Council

Surfrider Foundation, San Diego Chapter: February 18, 2010 Comments on Geotz Seawall Negative Declaration, Carlsbad

Surfrider Foundation, San Diego Chapter: May 24, 2010 Comments Opposing Goetz Seawall, Carlsbad

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About CERF

Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation (CERF) is a nonprofit environmental organization founded by surfers at Coast Law Group LLP in North San Diego County and active throughout California’s coastal communities. CERF was established to aggressively advocate, including through litigation, for the protection and enhancement of coastal natural resources and the quality of life for coastal residents.
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