Monday, November 21, 2011

Draft Ocean Beach Master Plan Part III


Greetings Surfriders and Friends,

The comment period for the Draft Ocean Beach Master Plan has been extended until Wednesday November 23rd 5pm. If you have not done so yet, please review the plan and provide input! http://www.spur.org/ocean-beach

We have some good news to report on the city's emergency response to coastal erosion at Sloat. We received word from SFPUC that the agency intends to deploy geotextile sandbags instead of quarry stone in case of any new major erosion events between now and when a long term plan is implemented. We support this move because sandbags are easily removed, effective and much safer to traverse than quarry stone revetments.

We also have some additional information on the cobblestone berm idea outlined in the draft. Apparently there is no set schedule at this time for doing a feasibility analysis of this proposal. This means the Master Plan may be issuing a recommendation for Sloat without knowing if it is even viable. We urge SPUR and SFPUC to clear up this matter asap. It would be a tragedy to have SPUR issue a long term recommendation for Sloat that turns out to be unworkable.

As we have mentioned in previous posts, we still believe the long term plan should call for the relocation of the Lake Merced Transport Box. Perhaps the cobblestone berm approach can fit into such a plan as an interim step between sandbags and relocation. However, a robust feasibility study of the berm (that illuminates all impacts) should be completed before we can embrace this solution.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Draft Ocean Beach Master Plan Part II


Dear Surfriders and Friends,

I trust by now most of you have reviewed the draft master plan and have provided comment. If not, please do so as the official comment period closes this Friday 11/18 at 5pm. See: http://www.spur.org/ocean-beach There is a survey monkey link on the page for your feedback.

In the last post, the issue of the feasibility study of the Lake Merced Transport Box was covered. One other issue surrounding the Box as well as the Master Plan has to do with timelines.

It will be several years between the time that a long term plan is adopted for Sloat and when construction is completed. Surfrider believes that the city should adopt an interim erosion response plan asap. Such a plan should exclude armoring projects such as large scale quarry stone revetments. A good plan would have minimal environmental impact and have a strict expiration date. We are working through SPUR to make this happen right now. It would be a tragedy to see the master plan's recommendations get circumvented by an untimely erosion event.

One other noteworthy issue in the draft has to do with access. The draft master plans suggests several changes to beach parking. At Sloat's first lot (north) the draft recommends that parking be transferred to Sloat Blvd. This makes sense if adequate parking spaces are made available for beach access on Sloat. They should be as close as possible to the Great Highway intersection. Unfortunately, the draft is not clear on this point. We urge you to ask SPUR to incorporate this idea. Many people that come to Ocean Beach have to drive to get there. Quality parking space needs to be preserved.

Parking at the north end lots (Kelly's and VFW's) are also slated for changes. In Key Move #5 of the draft Master Plan, a proposal for charging fees for parking on peak days is floated. Surfrider urges folks to oppose any fees for access to Ocean Beach.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Draft Ocean Beach Master Plan


Greetings Surfriders and Friends,

The draft Master Plan is now posted on the SPUR website Additional written comments are being accepted until Friday November 18.

There are many aspects of the draft to comment on. We will do so in future blog entries. First, we would like to comment on the most important aspects of Key Move 1 and 2.

Overall, we are very encouraged to see lots of managed retreat in the plan. Key Move 1 and 2 include the re-route of the Great Highway around the back of the zoo, rubble clean-up, pull back of the parking lots and sand dune restoration. These are all measures we support.

The biggest challenge is the fate of the Lake Merced Transport Box (LMTB). The draft suggests it may be possible to leave the box on the beach, mostly buried in place with a minimal protective structure covered by cobblestone and sand. Certainly, this is a welcome step away from massive quarry stone armoring. However, it is not known whether this solution is possible. In fact, Surfrider has been told repeatedly by the city that the box cannot be exposed; that it could rupture. Apparently a feasibility study of this issue is about to get underway. We welcome this study and hope to see this question answered asap. How the study turns out may determine whether Sloat is restored or not. Surely, if the box can be left in place, we have a decent solution that allows for major beach restoration. However, if the box cannot be protected this way, it will either need to be relocated or heavily armored. If the City were to choose to do the latter, we could wind up with a seawall on the beach at Sloat instead of sand dunes.

Ultimately our organization maintains that inland relocation is the clear sustainable long term approach for the LMTB. With the box moved away from the sea, we know the beach can be fully restored while infrastructure gains maximum protection. Please note this issue in any comments you may send in to SPUR regarding the draft.

One final note: Thanks to all who showed up at the Rip Curl / Surfrider contest kick-off party last Tuesday night. Green Day showed up as special guests. A great time was had by all. Kudos to the team at Rip Curl, Surfrider National, and our chapter volunteers. A $5,000 check was donated to the Sloat Erosion Campaign.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ocean Beach Master Plan Workshop #3 Report


Greetings Surfriders and Friends,

Saturday's public workshop was well attended. Thanks to all who showed up to hear about / question the draft version of the Ocean Beach Master Plan. Surfrider will provide detailed public comment when the draft is officially posted on SPUR's website . At that point, all those who could not attend the workshop will likewise have a chance to review and comment directly to SPUR on the plan. Stay tuned... Thanks for your support and staying engaged!