The Coast News Group

Public deserves safe access to Beacon’s Beach

My husband and I bought our house in Leucadia in 2002 just a few blocks from Beacon’s Beach and we both feel a strong connection to this local treasure. We enjoy the surf and the sand and the spectacular view from the parking lot and so do many of the like-minded people we have met.

The public deserves safe and permanent access to Beacon’s Beach, and that’s why I supported the proposal presented last month to the Encinitas Planning Commission.

Commissioners agreed to send the proposal back to the community for suggestions. When the plans return for a vote, they must include a safe and permanent connection from the parking lot to the sand. A solution must respect community character but also allow for the fragile bluff’s inevitable retreat from the shoreline,  as geological experts warn. Most importantly, a final fix must pass muster with the state authorities that own and regulate the property. 

Removing the parking from the landslide area and installing stairs on the south end of the lot — away from the landslide failure zone — is the only option.  I support building a low-profile stairway that requires the fewest number of pilings to be driven into the bluff.  Designs presented by city staff meet these important requirements. A wooden stairway, by contrast, would need twice as many pilings and significantly increase the profile of the structure —  and its cost.

Working as a community, we can find colors, stamping and other treatments to create a concrete stairway that reflects our character, makes us proud and most importantly, provides for safe and permanent access. Let’s work together on a plan.

After decades of studies and consultants’ reports, the concrete stairway is the only solution that has received the blessing of the Surfrider Foundation, geologists, the California Coastal Commission and California Departments of Parks and Recreation, which owns the property.

I love heading out for a dawn patrol session to catch — and share — waves with people who cherish Beacon’s just like I do. Beacon’s Beach belongs to everybody. Working together, I am confident we can find a solution that provides waves and access for all.

Roberta Walker