Santa Cruz Rail Trail - Seawall

From ActCoastal

Month December
Year 2021
Summary On Thursday, the Coastal Commission approved a consistency determination for a proposed 7.5 mile multi-use pedestrian trail that will run from Wilder Ranch State Park to Davenport in Santa Cruz County along the railroad corridor. The project was broady supported by local agencies and the general public. The staff recommendation included two controversial conditions to the proposed project; those included a prohibition on shoreline armoring for the trail and for unrestricted 24 hour access to the trail. The applicants convinced the Commission at the hearing that a seawall was necessary for a portion of the trail in Davenport and that condition was removed and replaced with language encouraging analysis for a long term plan to remove the armoring if possible in the future. This item resulted in extensive deliberations and two vote charts - one for the vote on the seawall change in conditions and one for the vote on unlimited access. Both votes were motioned by Commissioner Caryl Hart and seconded by Carole Groom.
Outcome Red Dot.png
Outcome Description Commissioner Shelley Luce, the lone dissenting vote, agreed with Surfrider’s concerns that if we put a hard structure on the beach to armor access to or along the beach we may ironically lose the beach we are trying to protect. Vice Chair Caryl Hart championed the notion that the applicant’s seawall proposal seems like an ok exception as there “are likely impacts for other alternatives.” Chair Donne Brownsey agreed and helped incorporate and rewrite the staff recommendation from the dias to allow for shoreline armoring. The motion passed in a 9-1 vote.
Why You Should Care We should not sacrifice our public beaches for access near the beach. This coastal trail could have been rerouted for a small portion of the trail to avoid the need for armoring.
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Decision Type Consistency Certification
Staff Recommendation Approval with Conditions
Staff Report
Opposition to Project Surfrider Foundation
Coastal Act Policies Chapter 3

Voting Detail for Santa Cruz Rail Trail - Seawall

Individual vote detail for Issue: Santa Cruz Rail Trail - Seawall
Donne BrownseyBad Vote
Sara AminzadehBad Vote
Dayna BochcoBad Vote
Meagan HarmonAbsent for Vote
Caryl HartBad Vote
Linda EscalanteGood Vote by Alternate
Steve PadillaAbsent for Vote
Katie RiceBad Vote
Effie Turnbull-SandersAbsent for Vote
Roberto UrangaBad Vote
Mike WilsonBad Vote
Carole GroomBad Vote

Meeting Page

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