Bannasch Living Trust sea cave-notch fill

From ActCoastal

Month June
Year 2014
Summary The applicants in this case chose to rebuild their home in 1991 and place it within the 40 foot setback zone just 29 feet from the bluff edge. In exchange, they waived their right to a future seawall through a deed restriction but were allowed to maintain their sea cave notch fills. In this application, they requested permission to repair and expand the 5 existing sea caves with erodible concrete. The proposed “expansions” would cover 92 feet of previously unarmored bluff.
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Outcome Description The Commission voted 6-5 to approve the project with special conditions. One condition required the applicant test erodible concrete to prove it erodes before being utilized. While this is a positive step to ensuring the concrete erodes with the bluff, there are many scientific uncertainties about erodible concrete—and several studies assert that erodible concrete is a myth. Unfortunately, the Commission overlooked how the “expansion” of sea cave infill equates to new development instead of simply being “maintenance.” The Commission ignored Coastal Act 30610 that says: “Maintenance should not result in addition or enlargement of …” and overlooked the Land Use Plan that says “redevelopment greater than 50% is considered “new development.” The bluff in front of home is 214 feet, with 5 existing sea caves totaling 60 feet; an additional 92 feet is equivalent to a 153% increase in maintenance.
Why You Should Care In 2003, Surfrider successfully won a lawsuit that determined the applicant needed to conduct a “project specific” Environmental Impact Report (EIR) before erodible concrete could be used. It has been more than 10 years, and this applicant still has not conducted an EIR. In 2002, the City of Solana Beach submitted a monitoring report regarding its use of erodible concrete and concluded that it does not erode at the same rate as the bluff. At a public hearing in January 2014, the City’s own Engineer questioned whether “erodible” concrete erodes. The most concerning aspect of this vote is how the project undermines the definition of maintenance under both the Coastal Act and Local Coastal Program. The project is considerably more than maintenance—expanding sea caves an additional 92 feet on unarmored bluff is the functional equivalent of building a new seawall which is barred by the deed restriction the homeowner agreed to in 1991. At that time, the applicant agreed to special conditions to avoid bluff hazards. The conditions included “planned retreat” (i.e. moving the home when it’s threatened by erosion) and as mentioned, waiving their right to a seawall. The Commission’s vote sets a poor precedent of “piecemealing expansion of sea caves” that technically function as a seawall and weakening the definitions of maintenance and development under the letter of the law.
Image Jaffee erodible-photo-300x243.png
Decision Type Coastal Development Permit
Staff Recommendation Approval with conditions.
Staff Report
Lobbyist/Agent Walter Crampton
Opposition to Project Surfrider Foundation and Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation argued the concrete is not erodible and the project cannot be considered maintenance since the “infills” are expansive and cover 92 feet of unarmored bluff.
Coastal Act Policies 30235, 30253, 30210, 30211, 30212, 30212.5, 0240, 30250, 30604, 30251, 30210, 30211, 30212, 30212.5, 30221, and 30221 . Land Use Plan policies: 4.18, 4.25, 4.26, 4.27, 4.29, and 4.37

Voting Detail for Bannasch Living Trust sea cave-notch fill

Individual vote detail for Issue: Bannasch Living Trust sea cave-notch fill
Wendy MitchellBad Vote
Martha McClureBad Vote
Mary K. ShallenbergerGood Vote by Alternate
Steve KinseyBad Vote
Greg CoxGood Vote by Alternate
Dr. Robert GarciaAbsent for Vote
Dayna BochcoBad Vote
Erik HowellGood Vote
Mark VargasGood Vote by Alternate
Jana ZimmerBad Vote by Alternate
Effie Turnbull-SandersGood Vote
Carole GroomBad Vote

Meeting Page

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