OCEANSIDE — The Harbor and Beaches Committee has discussed concerns about beach sand loss for more than a year.
Oceanside has the unique situation of roads and homes sitting directly at sea level. Continued sand loss could lead to damage of beachfront infrastructure and property.
To address the problem, action to form an ad hoc committee to look into sand retention was on the Sept. 25 committee agenda.
Before discussion to form an ad hoc committee began, City Attorney John Mullen gave a brief presentation on Brown Act policies committees and ad hoc committees must follow.
The bottom line of the presentation was that committee meetings and discussion must be noticed and open to the public, and action can only be taken on agenized items. Mullen said without the Brown Act, the public is deprived of its opportunity to comment on issues prior to a decision.
City Manager Steve Jepsen said he wanted to ensure procedures were followed. He asked commissioners about a neighborhood meeting on sand retention that three commissioners attended last year.
Chairman Kevin Byrne said he and fellow commissioners attended the neighborhood meeting as concerned residents to hear from scientists and engineering experts about sand retention.
A request was later made for Noble Consultants, Inc., which did a sand study on the Oceanside coastline decades earlier, to formally address the commission and present sand retention solutions.
Commissioner Kevin Witowich said the consultant group declined the invitation to speak to the commission because they did not have a present contract with the city.
Byrne did not go into details on what was talked about at the neighborhood meeting, but said there are some “issues” to discuss.
He added there have been failures in past SANDAG beach restoration efforts, and there is lack of communication from the city about proposed solutions.
Councilwoman Esther Sanchez, Harbor and Beaches Committee liaison, questioned the validity of information Byrne might have obtained. She said misinformation might hamper efforts.
“What do you hope to achieve on an issue that is already being looked at by City Council?” Sanchez asked.
Sanchez asked committee members to hold off on forming an ad hoc committee until arrangements were made for SANDAG to present its plans to replenish beach sand to the committee.
Sanchez said this would help eliminate duplication of efforts.
Byrne said he welcomed the presentation, but did not see the need to wait to form an ad hoc committee.
“It’s my effort ma’am,” Byrne said.
Byrne previously addressed City Council about his concerns on beach sand retention at the Oct. 16, 2013, City Council meeting. This was around the time the neighborhood meeting was held.
During the October City Council meeting council members discussed spending $30,000 to have Nobel Consultants update their 1980 engineering study to determine possible sand retention solutions.
Byrne supported going forward with the study update, but it was not approved by City Council.
No action was taken at the present commission meeting to form an ad hoc committee, and no date was set for the SANDAG presentation.
The City Council already set aside monies toward sand replenishment they received from the sale of Laguna Vista Mobile Home Park (while Kern & Felien claim credit for the $5.6 million in ‘reserves.’) Now they’re proposing yet another “study” / “consulting report”? If you request a list from the City of all outside “consulting reports” paid for by YOUR tax dollars you’ll get 344 pages totalling MILLIONS of YOUR TAX DOLLARS! That money could have paid for beach sand, road repairs, pools, parks, City employees that have been laid off, and much, much more. DUMP KERN & FELIEN IN 2014! ELECT CORSO FOR COUNCIL!
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