The Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the 2.0 Project was released to the public, stakeholders, and interested local, state and federal agencies on June 3, 2013. The County has decided to extend the period for which the public and interested stakeholders can submit comments on the adequacy of the Draft EIR for an additional 30 days to August 30, 2013 due to the County’s desire to receive input from the community on the project and the alternatives to the project, and the community’s request for additional time for review of the Draft EIR.
In the late 1990s through early 2000s, major winter storms eroded Goleta Beach and damaged park facilities. In response, the County installed a series of rock revetments to protect park facilities from further storm damage and erosion, under temporary emergency permits issued by the California Coastal Commission (CCC). The CCC’s approval of the emergency revetments for 30 months was based on the County developing a long-term solution to protecting the park, including potential soft approaches to shoreline protection. In 2009, the County sought approval for a permeable pier solution, which would have built up the beach and protected Park facilities. The Coastal Commission voted 9 to 1 to deny the permeable pier project and directed the County to develop a long-term solution to the park that balances the recreational resources of the park while accommodating natural coastal processes. Since the Coastal Commission denied the first solution, the County Community Services Department is now proposing a new approach (2.0), along with consideration of three project alternatives, in response to prior direction.
The Draft EIR evaluates the impacts of the proposed project and identifies three project alternatives that could reduce or avoid project impacts, as well as two “no project” alternatives. The Draft EIR and additional information pertaining to the Project may be reviewed at or downloaded from the County Planning & Development Department’s (P&D) website at: www.sbcountyplanning.org/projects/11DVP-00000-00016/index.cfm. The Draft EIR is also available for review at the Santa Barbara Downtown Branch Library (40 E. Anapamu St.) and Goleta Branch Library (500 N. Fairview Ave.). Santa Barbara County P&D is soliciting comments on the adequacy and completeness of the analysis and proposed mitigation measures described in the Draft EIR, as well as the discussion and assessment of project alternatives.
The intent of the Proposed Project is to protect key park amenities and infrastructure from future erosion while allowing for ongoing natural coastal processes. It would accomplish this by:
• Removing Parking Lots 6 and 7 and restoring this area to sandy beach; • Relocating key utilities and the bike path further landward outside of the coastal erosion
• Protecting the Goleta Sanitary District sewer vault with a 250-foot buried geotextile dune (i.e. large sandbags) and cobble berm system; and
• Removing the 1,200 feet of rock revetment installed under expired emergency permits along the western half of the beach.
Key mitigation measures identified in the EIR that would be incorporated as part of the project if it were approved include delaying the removal of Lot 6 until it is significantly damaged by wave action, developing additional parking spaces in underused portions of the park, identifying appropriate emergency management responses to periodic major erosion events (i.e. winter beach berms, geotextile revetments, etc.), and developing management options for reconstituting beach and park uses, such as volleyball courts, picnic tables, and irrigated lawn areas within the expanded back beach areas after erosion events.
The Draft EIR identifies three project alternatives for consideration and evaluates their impacts relative to the proposed project. These include:
Alternative 1 – Natural Shoreline Management:
• Removal of the 1,200 feet of rock revetment west of the restaurant and replacement with 2,050 feet of a buried geotextile dune (i.e. large sandbags) and cobble berm system to protect the park from storm-related erosion;
• Removal of Parking Lot 7 and replacement with sandy beach; • Installation of a 20-foot long reflected wave energy dissipater (i.e. small rock wall)
extended from the western headland to minimize wave reflection and downcoast
erosion; and • Periodic beach nourishment (i.e. importing sand to build up beach) to supplement
ongoing beach nourishment by Santa Barbara County Flood Control.
Alternative 2 – Temporary Revetment Retention and Pilot Coastal Protection Projects:
• Retention of western and mid-Park revetment for 10 years; • Experiment with three “eco-friendly” shoreline protection measures in the gaps in the
revetment to test their respective efficacy in protecting against storm damage and erosion, including:
• Geotextile dune and cobble berm • Vegetative revetment such as Canary Island date palms • Pressure Equalizing Modules, which is a series of vertical plastic pipes buried in
the sand that facilitate drainage of wave run-up while minimizing erosion of
beach sand • After 10 years, the rock revetment would be replaced with the selected pilot project.
Alternative 3 – Westward Managed Retreat Program:
• Retention of western and mid-Park revetment for 20 years or until exposed by storms; • Once exposed, relocate revetment landward up to 40 feet, fill in the gaps and
reconstitute shoreline lawn over buried revetment, thereby protecting the park while
giving the beach more room to accommodate natural coastal processes; and • Removal of Parking Lot 1 and associated revetment and restoration of sandy beach.
You may comment by submitting written or oral comments to the project planner, Alex Tuttle, at 123 E. Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, (805) 884-6844, firstname.lastname@example.org, prior to the close of public comment on August 30, 2013. Questions about the Project may also be directed to the project planner, Alex Tuttle.