Goleta Beach Park is a treasured asset in the Goleta community. Major decisions are being made at the Santa Barbara County level about the future of our beloved park.
A new program, called Goleta Beach 2.0, is being considered by the county and would include action items that Friends of Goleta Beach Park and the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce are opposed to, including:
» Removal of150 parking spots (20 percent of all spaces at the park) on the west end
» Removal of all the rock revetments on the west end in a process known as “managed retreat”
» Moving all underground utility lines landward of the existing bike path
» Moving the west-end restrooms once the first major winter storm penetrates landward that would put such in harm’s way, knowing that there is no protection from the existing rock revetment
The reason for these actions is that our county supervisors have assumed that future sea-level rise coupled with major storm surges will eventually put most of our park underwater. They are therefore ready to adopt a new concept called “managed retreat,” which essentially says that the sea should prevail and landward structures and assets should not be protected but moved inland.
The Goleta City Council is not the decision-maker on this program, but it has an important role to play in communicating to the county the importance of this recreational beach to our Goleta community. The City Council is holding a hearing at 6 p.m. July 16 to hear from the county about the county’s plans for the park.
The council should hear from you, as well. Please let your City Council members know by phone or email or by personally attending the July 16 meeting to say you want to save Goleta Beach Park and that you are not in favor of “managed retreat” that is included in Goleta Beach 2.0.
How can we make an impact at the county level? We need to send our message to the county to reject Goleta Beach 2.0 but consider recommendation in the Alternative No. 2 in the DEIR. Alternative No. 2 would permit the existing buried rocks for 10 years and experiment with different eco-friendly alternative revetment measures at locations not currently protected on the west side. A DEIR public hearing is scheduled for 5 p.m. July 23 at the county Planning Hearing Room at the County Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara.
Letters and emails also should be submitted to:
Planning Department, County of Santa Barbara,
123 E. Anapamu St.
Santa Barbara 93101-2058
Supervisor Janet Wolf, Second District
105 E. Anapamu St.
Santa Barbara 93101
The DEIR public hearing is July 23 at 5:00, at the County Planning Hearing Room. Let the county know that you want to save Goleta Beach Park and you are not in favor of “managed retreat” that is included in Goleta Beach 2.0.
Click here for more information on Friends of Goleta Beach Park.
— Michael Rattray represents Friends of Goleta Beach Park.