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California Coastal Commission May Approve Rock Wall at Goleta Beach Park

The panel staff is recommending a 20-year permit, with conditions, on the revetment

The California Coast Commission staff is recommending that a permit be issued for the rock barrier at Goleta Beach Park. The panel is slated to make the decision May 13.
The California Coast Commission staff is recommending that a permit be issued for the rock barrier at Goleta Beach Park. The panel is slated to make the decision May 13. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk file photo)

Goleta Beach Park may finally get permission to keep its rock revetment now that the California Coastal Commission staff is recommending a 20-year permit, with conditions, for the as-built structure at Santa Barbara County’s most popular park.

The county Board of Supervisors asked to keep the 1,200-foot-long, 11-foot-high rock wall that was installed with emergency coastal development permits in 2004, as an effort to protect park facilities and the land itself from washing away during winter storms.

Coastal Commission staff accepted the county’s application and are recommending that commissioners leave the rocks be, according to the agenda for May’s meeting.

The recommendation includes a 20-year conditional permit with an assessment 10 years in, after which the Coastal Commission can require a new coastal-development permit from the county.

The rock seawall is likely to stay buried under sand most of the time, so it’s “not expected to result in significant adverse effects on coastal processes and sand supply,” according to the Coastal Commission staff report.

Over time, the use of the rocks will have to be reevaluated to “ensure that adverse impacts to the beach, down-coast areas and public access are avoided or minimized.”

Environmental impact reports determined that the rock structure helped the beach stand up to storms in the last decade, and helped sand move naturally along the South Coast, assistant county executive officer Renée Bahl said in a statement Monday.

Goleta Beach hosts 1.5 million visitors a year, and the county is planning to renovate the public restrooms, re-pave one of the parking lots, and replace the access bridge to make it easier for pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles to get to the park.

The Coastal Commission will discuss Goleta Beach at its May 13 meeting at the Board of Supervisors hearing room, at 105 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara.

Commissioners also will discuss construction plans for Santa Barbara City College’s classroom and office buildings on the West Campus, and Venoco, Inc.’s vested-rights claim to produce oil out of its Haskell’s Beach piers in Goleta.

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli 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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