Council told County threatening lawsuit over Broad Beach sand

February 19, 2016
Santa Paula News

The route to the beach just might not go through Fillmore and Santa Paula the City Council learned Tuesday night when they were updated on the challenged move to transport sand from Grimes Canyon to Broad Beach in Malibu.

City Manager Jaime Fontes told the council that the County Board of Supervisors authorized the County Counsel’s Office to sue Moorpark — which struck a deal for the sand for the project to avoid moving through their city — if they do not rescind an agreement it has for the sand replenishment project.

The Broad Beach Geologic Hazard Abatement District (BBGHAD), a group of wealthy landowners, is funding the $31 million project to restore the sand.

In the past sand from Ventura Harbor was considered for the project and reportedly the BBGHAD is now looking at other sources. Under the original agreement between Moorpark and the BBGHAD what could be hundreds of trucks of sand from Grimes Canyon quarries would have traveled through Fillmore and Santa Paula. Much like the 118 in Moorpark, Highway 126 travels right though Fillmore on city streets; the 126 also travels through Santa Paula on a more defined stretch of highway.

Fontes told the council that supervisors took a strong stand against the “route, a rather circuitous plan,” that Moorpark agreed would bypass their city for sand delivery.

The county’s stance said Fontes, is “Good news on our part, good news for Santa Paula and Fillmore…”

The county maintains the agreement should have been subject to a California Environmental Quality Act analysis to determine the impacts of noise and air pollution. The county needs to file a CEQA lawsuit by April 4.

A divided California Coastal Commission approved the plan in October. The Broad Beach project will restore the dune system and create a new 1.1-mile public beach. The plan must still garner approval from other agencies.

The Coastal Commission has been under recent fire for what critics claim is bias towards development and wealthy property owners. In recent weeks the commission’s executive director was fired leading to widespread criticism.

Vowing to restore the public’s trust in the commission this week Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins introduced legislation that would force consultants trying to influence commissioners to register as lobbyists and disclose whom they work for. 

Current law doesn’t require consultants who lobby the commission to publicly report much of anything about their business; a lack of transparency that Atkins said must be corrected.

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