From ActCoastal

Year 2023
Month September
Location Eureka
Description The Coastal Commission met in Eureka on September 6-8. The busy 3-day meeting featured several important ActCoastal votes on public access, shoreline armoring and sand nourishment. The Commission approved enforcement orders with an administrative penalty and restoration orders for violating the Coastal Act by blocking public access to the coast by Paradise Point Resort in Mission Bay, San Diego - resulting in a vote chart. A permit was approved for a sizable sand nourishment project in Pillar Point Harbor at Surfer’s Beach. Commissioners also reluctantly approved a seawall along Pleasure Point Drive in Santa Cruz, which was scored in a vote chart.

Issues voted on at this Meeting

Click on an issue to read full description

Issue Summary Outcome
Paradise Point Public Access Violations The Coastal Commission’s enforcement division issued a consent cease and desist and administrative penalty action against Paradise Point Resort before the Commission. Paradise Point is a luxury resort in Mission Bay with a long standing history of violating the Coastal Act, including obstructing public access and construction of an unpermitted water fountain, deck and pier. With the orders, the resort has agreed to remove unpermitted development blocking public access, restore two new public access points, add ADA features to the pier, initiate a public awareness campaign to advertise public access opportunities, provide public restrooms, fund a $500,000 environmental justice program to bring lower income students and their families from nearby communities for overnight stays with science and education recreational opportunities and pay a monetary penalty of $1 million. Enforcement staff estimated the total value of the penalties and fines as $4 million. Green Dot.png
Pillar Point Sand Restoration Project The Commission approved a sand restoration project at Surfers Beach in Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay. The project will beneficially reuse 100,000 cubic yards of sand dredged from the inside of the harbor breakwater and deposit it along a 1,000-foot-long section of shoreline. The project involves an eel grass restoration plan inside the Harbor and though not required in the permit, the Harbor has also indicated it plans to undergo a surf monitoring program. Surfers Beach has experienced ongoing erosion due to the harbor breakwater, constructed in 1961. The beach is also backed by shoreline armoring and Highway 1. The beach fill project represents a potential for improvement in public access and recreation opportunities over the short and medium term, but a long term solution as sea levels rise is still needed. Green Dot.png
Pleasure Point Drive Joint Seawall The Commission approved a joint seawall application for three neighboring properties along Pleasure Point Drive in Santa Cruz. The seawall would span all three properties as one contiguous structure and include vertical piles, soil nail walls, concrete seawall and concrete seacave plugs. As mitigation, the homeowners will construct a public accessway across the seawall with a stairway to the beach. The walkway would connect with the County’s sewer peak stairway. While two of the homes are entitled to shoreline armoring as pre-Coastal Act structures, one, at 3020 Pleasure Point Drive, is not. Enamored with the public accessway, staff invented a creative workaround and recommended finding project consistency based on the fact that the access trail could be considered a coastal dependent use and historically used access trail; and therefore legally entitled to armoring. Commissioners attempted to clarify that this decision is not meant to be precedent setting and is case-specific, but the result is an extremely dangerous direction for the Commission. Afterall, it would be devastating to the coast if anyone who wanted to justify a seawall could do so by constructing a sidewalk on top of it. Red Dot.png

Vote Chart for this Meeting

Coastal Commission Vote Chart

September 2023 Meeting

Green Dot.png = Positive Conservation Vote         Red Dot.png = Negative Conservation Vote

Commissioner Paradise Point Public Access ViolationsPillar Point Sand Restoration ProjectPleasure Point Drive Joint Seawall
AnnNotthoff.jpg Ann Notthoff Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable
Nl12c hart.jpg Caryl Hart Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable
DBochco.jpg Dayna Bochco Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable
Donne.gif Donne Brownsey Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable
EffieT-S.png Effie Turnbull-Sanders Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable
Justincummings.jpg Justin Cummings Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable
Rice.jpg Katie Rice Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable
Escalante.jpg Linda Escalante Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable
MeaganHarmon 2020 0116 color corrected.png Meagan Harmon Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable
Mikewilson.png Mike Wilson Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable
Palomaaguirre.jpg Paloma Aguirre Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable Vote Unavailable