Five to keep an eye on this year in Solana Beach
It is a safe prediction that Steve Goetsch and the Clean and Green Committee he directs will be put to the test in 2010. The group that monitors Solana Beach’s greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint will be analyzing two major projects that are sure to impact that region.
The one that has been making the most headlines recently is the proposed Del Mar Fairgrounds expansion. Goetsch recently participated in the project’s public review period by submitting a letter to the board outlining his environmental impact concerns. In it, he writes of possible threats to nearby wetlands, as well as concerns about a major increase in traffic.
Speaking of traffic, Goetsch and others in the Clean and Green Committee will be studying a recently released environmental impact report from Caltrans that calls for widening Interstate 5 in north San Diego County. Goetsch says one nice thing about San Diego is that its freeways do not mirror those of Los Angeles. He and many other locals would like to keep it that way.
As far as Peter Zahn is concerned, the “green” in the newly formed San Diego Green Chamber of Commerce does not stand for money. Instead, the Solana Beach-based organization, directed by Zahn, aims to promote “green” business practices, or those that are environmentally friendly.
Started in late 2009, Zahn says the group will be in full swing in the coming year. Those who are involved will be able to collaborate, discover and network with those who have similar goals of reducing pollution and waste. For example, a store that sells environmentally friendly building materials can promote itself and contribute to the variety of businesses in the chamber.
Although the group aims to connect with companies throughout San Diego, five of the seven members on the board of directors live or work in Solana Beach. Zahn says this city can be a great beneficiary of the Green Chamber because visitors will learn from its environmental accomplishments, and take full-advantage of what it has to offer.
Forecasters are predicting a rough El Niño system to plague Southern California in 2010.
With this comes an increased threat of high surf, heavy rainfall and more rescues, both at sea and on land. Rest assured, though, that Solana Beach Lifeguard Lt. Jason Shook will have his crew ready to respond.
Shook says he and his team have already started making preparations for the summer, something they usually do not begin until February. Much of this, due to El Niño, is training on how to make swift water rescues. With Solana Beach containing flood zones, there is the threat of cars getting stuck in deep waters and drivers needing to be pulled out before drifting into the nearby lagoon.
Since Solana Beach has a smaller lifeguard agency, the local fire department will assist in these types of rescues.
Although there is currently a somewhat skeleton crew on duty at Fletcher Cove, with any threat of rougher waters, Shook said more personnel would be brought in to make the beach as safe as possible for surfers and swimmers.
For the fourth time in the 24 years Solana Beach has been its own city, Tom Campbell is the acting mayor. He already has some big plans in mind for 2010.
First and foremost, he wants a local coastal plan for the city completed. It’s something Solana Beach officials and the coastal commission have been working hard to resolve for some time. Essentially an agreement would allow Solana Beach to take control of permitting in the city’s coastal zone.
On land, Campbell says he looks forward to raising funds to remodel the Fletcher Cove Community Center, which used to be a major gathering point for city residents. Also, he hopes to gain funds for the redevelopment of La Colonia Park’s Community Center and playing fields.
Finally, Campbell looks to get a plan in place to develop the dirt parking lot outside the Lomas Santa Fe train station on Cedros Avenue. After much debate in the community about how to develop the lot, the developer and the North County Transit District decided to pull out. Campbell hopes to re-engage dialogue and bring the players back to the table.
It is never a bad thing to have a business-savvy individual on your side. In the case of Solana Beach and the Fletcher Cove Community Center, Bryan Pruden has stepped up to serve that role.
After examining the city of Del Mar’s Powerhouse Park foundation’s fundraising efforts, he realized Solana Beach lacked a similar tax-exempt organization. That’s where the Solana Beach Community Foundation comes into play. The group that Pruden has been a major factor in creating is heading up the project to remodel the Fletcher Cove Community Center.
It is estimated the city will need between $400,000 and $500,000 to complete the renovation, but Pruden says this is only the beginning. Once Fletcher Cove is completed, the new community foundation will develop a list of other projects to improve life in Solana Beach. A CFO by trade, he says what he is looking forward to the most about 2010 is the economy turning around, and with it, the renewed optimism for making this city an even better place.
- New Solana Beach foundation will focus on community center
- Alcohol beach ban extended in Solana Beach
- Solana Beach is a Cool City
- Year in review: City of Solana Beach makes marked progress in 2009
- Green Building Week set
Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=3736