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: