Thursday, January 08, 2009
Sandy Beach "Replenished" with Developer's Construction Dirt
I'm pretty sure that saltwater is really good for semi-trucks.
SignOnSanDiego.com story: Encinitas begins beach replenishment with construction-site sand
by Tanya Mannes ENCINITAS January 8, 2009 — Trucks began carrying loads of high-quality sand Thursday from a construction project in downtown Encinitas to one of the city's narrow beaches in the first sand replenishment project of its kind in the county since 1995.
"High-quality sand"? It's construction dirt. Here is a photo of the "narrow" beach the day taken on Wednesday Jan 7 2009,
The sand was reclaimed from a construction site where bulldozers are digging an underground garage for Pacific Station, a $40 million residential and commercial project.
The development at 687 S. Coast Highway 101 will include 47 condominiums, a Whole Foods Market, restaurants, shops and offices.
The trucks are using Ponto Beach in south Carlsbad to access the northern beaches of Encinitas. The loads of sand are being dumped in the tide, in a process that will take four weeks to complete.
Four weeks?!? You mean we get to surf in silty crappy water for a month while this goes on and then who knows how long for the water to clear up?
Pacific Station developer John DeWald could have sold the sand to a cement plant. But at the suggestion of California Coastal Coalition executive director Steve Aceti, DeWald agreed to give the 37,000 cubic yards of sand to the city.
Gee, thanks Steve Aceti! Thanks for the 37,000 cubic yards of dirt. You are a real power broker. Dear Mr. DeWald, please take your gift back and sell it to the cement plant.
At a ceremony Thursday, Encinitas Mayor Maggie Houlihan thanked DeWald, saying the donation offsets nearly a year of beach erosion.
“It's a great example of a public-private partnership and it's benefiting one of the most seriously eroded beaches,” Houlihan said. “We had an opportunity and a lot of folks worked together to make this happen.”
Wait, was this ceremony held at the beach? Did Mayor Maggie see that the beach is sandy? Did you she just call this beach "seriously eroded"?
In many areas of developed coastline, beaches shrink over time because seawalls, jetties, railroads and other manmade devices prevent the onshore movement of sand. Some coastal cities, including Encinitas, must buy sand.
Encinitas buys sand for the small tourist section of Moonlight Beach only.
Using sand excavated from a construction site is rare, mostly because of the strict regulations over sand replenishment. It took nine months for the Encinitas coastal program manager, Katherine Weldon, to obtain permits for the project from eight regulatory agencies and the city of Carlsbad.
Yeah, it's rare because it's not beach sand, it's crappy ass construction dirt. Why do you think they are dumping it miles away in north Leucadia where nobody goes, instead of dumping it at Moonlight Beach which is only 3 blocks away from the construction site?
“I think it's a great statement about all these agencies that they were able to cooperate and make this happen,” DeWald said.
The project represents a way for cities to fast-track sand donations from construction sites.
To avoid costly delays that could discourage future developers from donating sand, Encinitas has applied to the California Coastal Commission for a speedy-approval process.
Oh god no. Just imagine if this fast tracking had happened during the housing boom, we would have had every nutjob developer in the county dumping all kinds of crazy varieties of dirt and material on our beaches. Does this mean that our pristine and valuable beaches are now nothing more than dumping grounds for construction sites?
Under the proposal, Encinitas would designate two sites as sand-receivers: Batiquitos and Moonlight beaches. There would be rules – preapproved by all the regulatory agencies – about the kind of sand that could be used and what time of year it could be placed on the beaches. That would make it easier and faster to determine if excavated sand was suitable.
Leucadia beaches are so severely eroded and covered with cobblestones that you would not even be able to drive your SUV onto them...whoops!
Carlsbad was the first city in the county to obtain fast-track approval in 2006, but the city hasn't yet found a sand-generating project that fits the bill. Solana Beach and Oceanside received approval for their fast-track programs in November, and Coronado and Imperial Beach are working on proposals.
Shelby Tucker, an environmental planner with the San Diego Association of Governments, has been assisting cities with their applications and working on a similar regional program.
“We're trying to expedite the process, to make it more simple so that when sand becomes available you can place it somewhere,” Tucker said. “You don't want good sand to get thrown away if it's possible to put it on the beach.”
Talk a walk down the sandy beach to see the beach replenishment in action.
The last construction project in the San Diego region that provided beach sand was in Solana Beach, said Lee McEachern, the Coastal Commission's regulatory supervisor for the San Diego region. The 1995 project produced 230,000 cubic yards of sand from a 1.4-mile-long trench that North County Transit District dug for its railroad tracks through the city.
DeWald is spending $133,000 to transport the sand. The Encinitas City Council approved his request to be reimbursed from a sand-replenishment fund that SANDAG manages from fees imposed on bluff-top homeowners building seawalls.
So, DeWald is getting reimbursed for his "gift" of dirt/sand that he needed to haul out of there anyway. How much would the cement plant have given him?
You can't make this stuff up folks. Dirt is now sand. Oh, and nice puff piece there San Diego Union Tribune. You couldn't have written a better press release if the city paid you.