Save Our Beaches — They Are the Soul of Solana Beach
Updated: Sep 11, 2022
I believe our city’s beaches are a unique and irreplaceable asset that enriches all of our lives, and provides outdoor recreational opportunities for every resident of the state of California. If elected, I will ensure that appropriate fees, mitigation, conditions, and scrutiny are applied to any development that takes away our right to enjoy this community asset.
Unfortunately with climate change and sea level rise, we are at risk of losing our beaches in the next 20-50 years. NOAA predicts we will see 1 ft of sea level rise by 2050. It’s upsetting when you look at what this actually means - because our beaches slope gently upwards, if the seas rise 1 ft that means about 40 ft of beach width will be lost. Our beaches are already naturally narrow, and this means there will be no beach for most of the year except when there are very low tides. I am not ready to settle for this future for myself or for my daughter.
Our city does not have a track record to demonstrate that they value the public’s beaches. Private seawalls have defaced the natural beauty of our coastal bluffs, and are slowly but surely destroying our beaches. The beaches belong to the public and are public lands, a right enshrined in the California Constitution. The beach and bluffs are meant to be protected for the enjoyment of all. Private seawalls occupy public lands and exist only for the protection of private property, as they provide no public safety benefit.
In the last decade, the Solana Beach city council has not once denied a permit to construct a seawall or further develop our fragile coastline. As part of my volunteer activities with the San Diego Surfrider Foundation, I have objected to many of these permit applications. Even when my objections were valid under the city’s municipal code and the California Coastal Act, the City council turned a deaf ear. Only when we appealed the city’s decisions to the California Coastal Commission, were we able to secure fees or permit conditions (which should have originally been enforced by the City) to partially compensate for the damage to the coastal bluffs and beaches. In some cases the Coastal Commission denied the project altogether.
Why do we have to go to a state agency to fight to protect our beaches?
Why can’t our own city council stand up for our right to preserve and protect our beaches?
If elected, I will use the full power of the City’s Land Use Plan (an important part of the City's Municipal Code) and the California Coastal Act to ensure that appropriate fees, mitigation, conditions, and scrutiny are applied to any development that takes away our right to enjoy this community asset. We owe our beaches and community nothing less.