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Coastal Commission Staff Declares County’s Goleta Beach Plan Incomplete, Seeks More Details

Proposal to keep protective rock revetments at popular park met with request for more documentation, reports

California Coastal Commission staff wants more information about Santa Barbara County’s decision to leave in a rock revetment at Goleta Beach Park to mitigate erosion in the area, saying the county’s application to do so is incomplete.

The park is one of the county’s most popular recreation areas and has suffered from erosion for decades. Rock revetments were erected at the beach in 2005 to keep erosion at bay under an emergency permit that has since expired.

Removing the revetments without any other action likely would lead to the parking lot and other park amenities washing away. Earlier this year, the Board of Supervisors voted to leave the rocks alone, pitching a “no project alternative” to the Coastal Commission, which has demanded a long-term strategy for dealing with erosion at the beach.

Whether the Coastal Commission will approve the rocks remains to be seen, but the agency issued a letter last week to county staff saying that the application was incomplete and more information was needed.

The letter was sent by Coastal Commission staff on May 28, and county staff received it on May 30, according to county planner Alex Tuttle.

He said planning staff will be working to respond to the requests but that there’s no timeline as of yet.

The county’s coastal development permit application is incomplete, the letter stated, and the application for the no-project alternative would not be processed until all of the information the commission requested has been submitted.

The letter asked for several items, including two sets of detailed cross sections of the revetment that show the project footprint in relation to bordering properties.

The commission asked for a description of the rock to be retained as well as reports that look at “wave modeling, geomorphic interpretation, wave run-up,” and a coastal flooding and erosion vulnerability assessment.

Supervisor Janet Wolf, whose Second District includes Goleta Beach Park, said Thursday that the request for more documents is a “routine step for the Coastal Commission.”

“It’s not alarming,” she said. “In fact, it was always expected” that the agency would follow up.

“Our staff is gathering all the underlying support and studies that they requested,” she said. “These studies exist so it’s an easy request to send this information ...

“I’m feeling confident that we’re following the process and we will get this done.”

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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