Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Beacon's Trail Grant Requires Seawall?

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Harsh because everyone hates the seawall and the Surfrider Foundation will unleash their army of lawyers and sue us if we put one in. Does this mean the Beacon's trail project is dead?

45 comments:

  1. So in other words, the CEQA required, public input session with the Encinitas planning commission last week was a load of crap. Why didn't staff mention the Beacons grant required the city to construct a seawall the comunity doesn't want?

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  2. No-one seemed to know anything at that meeting which is why I left early.

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  3. What we need is safe, reliable access to the beach for all. If it requires a seawall, so be it.

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  4. If there is a seawall in this grant award the city asked for it. Having written many of these grant applications and gotten awards I know the state didn't come up with the seawall idea on its own. The city can reapply with another plan.

    Why didn't the city share the information that they were asking for this grant with a seawall before it was awarded?

    Again it is a case of the city thinking they know better than the people that live and hide here. The city council should have approved the grant apllication before it went to the state. I don't remember ever seeing it on the agendas. Is this another case of a secret session so the citizens wouldn't have a chance to respond?

    We have a sneaky secret government here. Almost as sneaky as me. I love it.

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  5. To me the key thing is that the grant is for $2,758,717 but the city came up with a $5 million design.

    Let's create a $2,758,717 design so we don't have to grovel for general funds that are not there.

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  6. also...does not have to provide ADA access to beach only to parking lot.

    Storm street runoff/sewage discharge pipe from park is to remain.

    also, Parks and Rec only gave me one sheet and said anything else was just signatures. I see now that this is one of eight pages. I will return to Parks and Rec as i find it difficult to believe that the other seven pages were all signatures...maybe, but I need to see for myself.

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  7. The other seven pages were not just signatures as expressed by the Park and Rec dept.

    Page 1 of the Grant Contract does in fact say a seawall is required. But the other pages, which spell out the provisions of the contract, do appear to allow some wiggle room as long as the beach access stairway, lifeguard tower, parking and lighting improvements are completed AND something is done to restore and protect Beacons State Beach and bluff.

    On Page 2/8 - Under General Provisions B.-1, paragraph 2, If the seawall was not constructed, it would be necessary to notify the State of the "modification or alteration in the project as set forth in the application on file with the State and be submitted to the State for approval".

    On Page 1/8 the project performance period is 07/01/01 through 06/30/09, so again, we are not yet at the 12th hour but are rapidly approaching it.

    On Page 3/8 at B.-3, it clearly states that the City must comply with CEQA and the Coastal Act of 1972.

    On Page 7/8, at I.-1, Application Incorporation. Inclusion of this section would appear to acknowledge that changes or additions to the project description COULD be allowed, and that such changes would be incorporated into the existing Grant Contract. (No Foul-City retains the grant.)

    So obviously, the three questions are (1)"Can the Project Description be achieved without a seawall," (2) "What are the alternatives if the State decides to rescind the Grant without the seawall." (3)"What are the consequences if the Planning Commission makes a finding that economic, social, or other benefits of the project outweigh the unmitigated impacts and therefore the unmitigated impacts may be considered acceptable." (#3-City Staff wording)

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  8. The public Review period for the Draft EIR will end on November 23. If you want to speak to the draft EIR after the review period in some area, it would be a good idea to submit SOMETHING in writing to: Scott Vurbeff,Environmental Coordinator, Planning and Building Department, City of Encinitas, 505 S. Vulcan Ave., PRIOR to close of business Wednesday Nov. 22. or email him at: svurbeff@ci.encinitas.ca.us
    prior to midnight Nov. 23.

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  9. The public Review period for the Draft EIR will end on November 23. If you want to speak to the draft EIR after the review period in some area, it would be a good idea to submit SOMETHING in writing to: Scott Vurbeff,Environmental Coordinator, Planning and Building Department, City of Encinitas, 505 S. Vulcan Ave., PRIOR to close of business Wednesday Nov. 22. or email him at: svurbeff@ci.encinitas.ca.us
    prior to midnight Nov. 23.

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  10. This is my email sent last night-

    Scott -

    I have questions concerning the Draft EIR.

    Must the final design have a seawall at the bottom to qualify for the grant?

    Was "the design" the only possible way to achieve the project description as specified in the grant?

    Can someone in Engineering, Planning and Building, and outside consultanting emphatically state that; "no other design or combination of designs will achieve the project objectives with less unmitigated impacts and therefore these unmitigated impacts must be considered acceptable". It seems unreasonable to place this burden on our Planning Commissioners. They are humble servants chosen from our community and should have absolutely rock solid engineering input so they are not left standing on ground less stable than Beacons bluff.

    Our newest commissioner did not even have the complete 'package' during the Planning Commission's Draft EIR review. This precluded his meaningful interaction with comments made by and issues addressed by the public. Therefore this was NOT a meaningful public comment meeting.

    Why does the Draft not address the "emergency" storm drain that runs unfiltered into the ocean? Does our current plan provide for removal in the future without degradation of the project or are we just burying the problem and pretending it will go away?

    I have a few more questions but that is all I have time for tonight.

    Regards

    Gil Foerster

    I am on the road in LA today but will leave the entire eight pages at Anderson Stationers early tomorrow AM. for those wanting a copy.

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  11. Wow, thanks Gil. I too, immediately wondered about the rest of the eight pages. Typical that you were wrongly told that only the first page "counted," that the rest were for "signatures."

    Yes, as another person commented, also, the City can reapply and "tweak" the contract so as to allow for a grant without a seawall, by popular demand.

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  12. Closed door CouncilNovember 21, 2006 10:15 AM

    I do think this is another case of the City going behind our backs for the grant application. If we had been able to give input from the "get-go," then the seawall would not have been included.

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  13. I went to the Planning Commission meeting last Thursday, and stayed until the end. My impression was that there needed to be an immediate threat, an overriding concern of imminent collapse, and danger to the public, to say that the unmitigated damage can be "overridden." The general public, private property owners cannot build seawalls unless they can prove there is an emergency situation. The Planning Commission asked Staff about this, who said that no findings had been made that there are any overriding concerns of public safety, or emergency, that would require a seawall.

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  14. You can't have one standard for the City and a different standard for the General Public. Also, there is recent precedent, in Court, regarding a State college, which claimed the public benefit of its proposed parking lot outweighed the “immitigable” damages caused to the environment by the construction of parking facilities. The court found that one, including a government entity, has to mitigate, or not build, that “significant public benefit” does not outweigh the requirement for mitigation. I will be putting this in my e-mail to Scott. Thanks again, Gil.

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  15. Bob, J.P.,

    if you had paid attention, or perhaps not left early, you would have heard Commissioners ask staff if a seawall had been included in the grant application, if a seawall was an integral part of the design, and if the seawall could successfully be removed from the grant.

    Not a "load of crap," sir.

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  16. I don't think the required public input session was a load of crap. It did give the Commissioners and the public the opportunity to make comments and to ask questions, that, for now, are unanswered.

    I'm glad California law requires this input, otherwise, as in the grant application, before, the City wouldn't have done it, we wouldn't have had the opportunity to know about it or object until it was "too late." Only the very nearby residents would have been noticed, if not for the Calif. Environmental Quality Act.

    This blog, and the notice in the newspapers, all allow for more community input and involvement, which is a good thing. I believe the Planning Commissioners, and the Coastal Commissioners, before, on the rental ban issue, are most happy to receive public input, so it isn't all just streaming from the City's lobbyists and public relation twisters and spinners.

    The Planning Commissioners did their job well, I thought. It was City Staff that was unprepared, really.

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  17. I dont think the grant requires a seawall. The discription was taken from an application submitted by Encinitas staff. A simple amendment can be made and delete reference to a seawall in grant language. I'm sure the "State" Parks department is not a supporter of Seawalls. Torry Pines doesn't have seawalls along its access.

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  18. nor does Cardiff State beach or hundreds other I've visited. I think the state park department is more green than our City Parks department. Ours is Urbanized. I do have to say that I am really impressed with Cottonwood creek park. Great concept to return an watercourse to an open living creek instead of an LA Stormdrain model.

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  19. Torrey Pines is not a good comparison. They don't have a parking lot at the top of the cliff.

    I am not an engineer, but as I look at the Beacon's bluff, something needs to be done to stabilize the top of the bluff, if we want to retain a parking lot. To stabilize the top, you need to stabilize the bottom.

    Let's not fight this so hard that the City says "this is too complicated, and Leucadia people can't agree, so let's deploy dollars somewhere else".

    When there is no stairs and no safe trail, we will all be sorry.

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  20. worked hard to get my own beach accessNovember 21, 2006 8:17 PM

    "When there is no stairs and no safe trail, we will all be sorry. "
    I wont' be. f you all

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  21. Paul "Pablo" MartensNovember 21, 2006 8:54 PM

    Fellow Leucadians --
    Five words for the Beacons Overhaul
    1> Seawall
    2> Posts
    3> Structural
    4> Integrity
    5> Access
    Thank you for your attention.
    YVT Paul "Pablo" Martens

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  22. I could give a shit if there is a parking lot at the top of Beacons. In fact, I do give a shit. I hope it fails and closes the parking lot. Let nature take its course.

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  23. Gil, why do you always seem to defend the City, council, and staff?
    Ans. I am always looking for the sunny side of the street!

    If you think it is difficult to wrest money from the City for Leucadia improvements, it is even
    more difficult at the State level. It may be that the inclusion of the seawall was what swung the
    State to award the grant, 2.7 million isn’t “chicken-feed”. And no, the State did not come up
    with the seawall idea on it’s own. The grant was written by Parks & Rec. and submitted and
    signed by City Manager Kerry Miller. They wrote and submitted a Grant request and got it
    accepted. They did their job.

    The EIR is very clear about the pros and cons of the project. Mr Vurbeff did nice work that is his job. It is the slant that someone has taken with this information that needs careful review and perhaps reworking if that is possible.

    We want and deserve the State money. Beacons is part of the State Park system and it is in both
    our City and the State’s best interest to maintain Beacons and the bluffs and access and use of the
    park. At the same time the project must satisfy both the members of the community and the
    Coastal Commission.

    I do not believe that the project as currently written does the above. I want to believe that some
    of you out there will come up with a re-worked design morphed from those examined in the current EIR so that it still works. If the design restores and protects the bluff and the beach, maintaining an access stairway, lifeguard tower, parking and improvements and lessens the unmitigated impacts and does not have a seawall, the State will probably allow the change and
    the Coastal Commission will probably approve it.

    If such a design is possible and was NEWLY submitted to the State for funding it might not be
    chosen. This Grant has already been budgeted and if an acceptable “modification or alteration” is developed, the State would probably look favorably on it when submitted for re-approval.

    That would be the sunny side of the street

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  24. Pablo-

    Go smoke another bong. I doubt you even know the impacts of a seawall on a beach. If so, please post.

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  25. Pablo-

    3 words- Kiss my ASS!

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  26. The grant contract only reflects what the city promised in the grant application. The grant application would give the true city wording for the grant. Were there any internal staff communications on obtaining the grant?

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  27. Pablo, this is not New York.

    Gil, you were kind to go get more info from staff. I was glad to see you at the Planning Commission and glad you went to Huntington Beach, too.

    That being said, staff was not prepared on this. Also, JP and you, initially, Gil, should have been given all eight pages. Kerry Miller and the engineers did not do their job if they submitted a grant that included a seawall without knowing the engineering ramifications of such in greater detail. Perhaps you trust Council and staff too much, Gil?

    No one, on this post was questioning your kissing up to Council and Staff. That must be from a previous post about the Lease Revenue Bonds. The people who live in Encinitas deserve a say-so, a vote on the City's using the General Fund, the San Dieguito Water District and the Library to basically "mortgage" property not owned by the City (owned by the County) to finance, through a non-existent revenue stream, a property that the water district will have no ownership rights on. No one is watching out for SDWD ratepayers, or the taxpayers, for that matter. The City has just gone along with Council's vanity projects, full bore, without proper, well-prepared environmental impact reports in place.

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  28. Kerry Miller and the head engineer were brought in to redevelop. Miller left before the sh~t hit the fan, just as he did in So. Lake Tahoe, that did begin a redevelopment district with disastrous results.

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  29. We think the financial crush is starting to unfold, now, with more people retiring in the City, and more people digging into public documents.

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  30. Stand up, Teresa, for us allNovember 21, 2006 9:28 PM

    We do look forward to more open hearings with Teresa. She should NOT let the lawyers tell her when she can speak, or not. Council should direct the City Attorney, and his "assistants," not the other way around.

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  31. According to our city attorney's billing's, he does NOT use Assistants. I guess he does all of the work by himself, or so his billings tell us. He is part of the problem, not part of the solution. I suggest we find another, more competent, city attorney. Things might be positively different in a lot of matters.

    Since I don't live in Leucadia, and am certainly no expert on this subject, I will not post my thoughts on Beacon's. I will say that I am thankful we have this beautiful backyard, namely the Pacific Ocean. I will fight long and hard for anyone who messes with it. It is nature at its finest, IMHO.

    If you have never heard the song, Morning Has Broken, by the former singer known as Cat Stevens, and the song, Now That The Battle Is Over, by John Denver, you might want to listen to the song and lyrcis. They are both, in their own way, a tribute to all natural things. We humans seem to be the ones that screw up what was already so perfect. As the great poet Bob Dylan says "We are masked and anonymous."

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  32. Next time you have health problems don't call 911, just let nature take it's course. Soon you will be at peace and we will go to Beacon's without you.

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  33. I know that some surfers would love to have the stairs collapse and then they would "repel" down the face of what is left. That is why some surfers are fighting this proposal - it is in their best (selfish) interests to have less people on the beach.

    Those of us with kids want access to the beach at Beacons. We can't just say "no" to all improvements - there must be a compromise solution in here somewhere.

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  34. No surfers are realistically fighting the seawall so they can have the beach to themselves. If the trail collapses the sheriff is parked at the cliff all day writing tickets.

    Surfers fight seawalls because traditionally seawalls damage the sand flow and hurt the beach in the long run.

    I myself don't think this seawall will be damaging, but in the interest of peace in the community I think we should look at alternatives. Especially if an alternative can be found that cost 2.8 million instead of 5 million.

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  35. Dr Lorri,

    I want to be your pateint considering you get your philosophies from the lyrics of songs. Perhaps you should start using RAP lyrics to quote to your pateients so you can relate to the younger crowd. Especially you can relate to the lyrics calling for killing your police and raping "bitches". Yea those great song writers are real thinkers and philosphers.

    I knew your society were decadent infidels now I guess I know why. Your psychologists rely on song writers for their guidance. That gives me an idea. Maybe I can get some muslim songs on you hit parade. Then you could see and preace the true message.

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  36. Thank you, Dr. Lorri, for a thoughtful, healing post.

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Music can soothe the savage beast. But not all music. I would love to hear a mixed tape with the songs you mention.

    Unfortunately, some people get a "rise" out of infighting and putting others down. I am glad you are not one of them.

    I agree with you about the attorneys and the so-called assistants. The lawyer at the Planning Commission meeting last Thursday had a plaque that said "City Attorney." I thought we had a new one, and went up to speak to him, after the meeting was over. He said he was Assistant Attorney. So the billing rate contracted for is not right either.

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  37. Actually Pablo, it is the negative effects of the seawall that most concern me with the EIR. Although glossed over rather quickly, damage such as end scour, scour trough formation, deflated profiles, beach cusps, passive erosion, ie loss of beach width, beach encroachment, wave reflection, erosion of the tidal terrace, end flanking and scour estimated to be a problem downcoast up to 70% of the length of the wall, and last and certainly not least, alteration of the surf break based upon near shore profile and availability of sand. Unlike JP, i don't like the seawall. The downside potential for destruction seems to me to far out-weigh the potential gains. The potential damage is all spelled out in the EIR and I don't like it.

    I don't want to loose the parking lot or even seven spaces.

    I don't believe the city realizes the magnitude of the amount of sand that would have to be replenished on a regular basis to avoid scour, cusps, deflated profiles and cusps. If they say they do I don't believe them. If I am wrong then I worry that the addition of enough sand to maintain a beach may impact the reef. If the reef is impacted then I worry about the break off the reef. I don't surf but I refuse to help create a situation where beacons is no longer a good surf break.

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  38. Saying "I like" the seawall is not accurate. I'm just not stressed over it.

    One of the Neptune owners, John Wigmore, spoke at the planning commission meeting and he was very worried about the seawall causing erosion damage to his property. He seemed like a nice enough guy and there is no reason to bum him out. Therefore, no seawall.

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  39. Yes, and from what Charles Marvin said, he worked for Mr. Wigmore. So Mr. Wigmore may also be a retired attorney. The homeowners on either end of the seawall would have an actionable case against the City for not following the same rules required of homeowners: there has to be an imminent danger, an emergency to construct a seawall, because of all the damages that cannot be mitigated.

    The City would be getting into a legal can of worms to build a seawall. The best solution, as others have suggested, would be to modify the grant project and resubmit with some tweaking, so that the trail could be improved and maintained, without a seawall, "Alternative A," as discussed, very briefly, at the meeting last Thursday.

    Planting plants with deep roots might be helpful, but we are concerned that taking away much ground, then re-grading, could accelerate the erosion, too.

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  40. Roadside Park BumNovember 23, 2006 4:42 PM

    There needs to be a SAFE way to get to the beach! Seawall or no seawall, what is there now, a trail, is NOT safe and exposes beach goers to danger and the city to extreme liability. That alone may be enough to close BEACONS. Anyone that disagrees is more drunk and delusional than I am, and I am drunk as often as I can.

    Gil, what your beef with me?? You said some awful things about me in the previous posting.

    Staggering yada,yada,yada, RSPB!!

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  41. not me RSPB. Maybe Bob.

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  42. City has been exposed to liability when people have fallen down the stairs at Stonesteps and D Street, including drunks. We can't make every decision based on fear.

    No question, the City needs to upgrade and repair the trail. No one I know wants a seawall. We have established, the grant application contract can be modified. Engineering needs to come up with a good EIR for Alternative A.

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  43. GIL,
    Sand replenishment. The city will ignore that requirement right after the project is built. Who is there to make them? They would rather build firemcmansions and libraries than take care of our beaches.

    RSPB,

    We all hate seeing you puking on our streets and sleeping in our doorways. Go to a shelter in San Diego or GET A JOB.

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  44. This was one of my concerns in my final response to the Beacons EIR. The amount of sand required to maintain a usable beach profile could be enormous and fiscally unfeasible. Lack of sufficient replacement sand means no beach and in a worse case scenerio would have users going down the stairs to the seawall and finding an eight foot drop to the beach if there is any beach at all. This will make beach use for families and surfers alike difficult if not impossible without repelling devices.

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  45. ANNI AMBERGER-WARREN,
    Plaintiff and Appellant,
    v.
    CITY OF PIEDMONT,
    Defendant and Respondent

    A. Trail Immunity
    Section 831.4, subdivisions (a) and (b) provide that: “A public entity . . . is not liable for an injury caused by a condition of: [] (a) Any unpaved road which provides access to fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, riding, including animal and all types of vehicular riding, water sports, recreational or scenic areas and which is not a (1) city street or highway or (2) county, state or federal highway or (3) public street or highway of a joint highway district, boulevard district, bridge and highway district or similar district formed for the improvement or building of public streets or highways. [] (b) Any trail used for the above purposes.” This immunity is afforded “to encourage public entities to open their property for public recreational use, because ‘the burden and expense of putting such property in a safe condition and the expense of defending claims for injuries would probably cause many public entities to close such areas to public use.’ ” (Armenio v. County of San Mateo (1994) 28 Cal.App.4th 413, 417 (Armenio).) The trail immunity provided in subdivision (b) of the statute extends to trails that are used for the activities listed in subdivision (a), and to trails that are used solely for access to such activities. (Treweek v. City of Napa (2000) 85 Cal.App.4th 221, 224-229 (Treweek).) The immunity applies whether or not the trail is paved. (Armenio, supra, 28 Cal.App.4th at p. 418.)

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