Opinion/Commentary: Upcoming projects in Solana Beach will benefit both the City and business community

Note: The speech below/on the web was given by Solana Beach Mayor Joe Kellejian at a recent Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce event.

By Solana Beach Mayor Joe Kellejian

I would like to talk about what I believe makes a great community.  It’s when the business community and the City have a great working relationship, each benefitting and thriving off one another.

When the business community is strong, the community is strong. Businesses are the lifeblood of the City.  Not only do you provide the needed goods and services, but you provide sales tax revenue to maintain and improve the operation of this wonderful city.

One of the primary goals of the City in the coming year is to better assist the business community in attracting and retaining “clean” businesses as they are a great fit for Solana Beach.

I again, truly believe that in order to sustain a vibrant community, you need to have a thriving business sector, and the City is here to assist the Chamber of Commerce to achieve this goal.

So with that being said, I would like to briefly discuss a few significant projects that will be breaking ground in the very near future that will have tremendous positive impacts to both the City and the business community.

First, we have the sand replenishment projects that will have a beneficial impact throughout the community. Increasing the amount of sand on our local beaches will result in increased recreational opportunities throughout the year, dramatically impacting tourism and drawing people into the City to shop at our businesses and eat at our restaurants.

The City is excited about the regional beach sand project which is expected to begin this April, and the federal Army Corps of Engineers project, which is on track to be approved in 2013. The proposed federal sand replenishment project would be a 50 year project with continuous sand replenishment, which will have a significant and ongoing positive impact on our local economy.

Next, I would like to discuss the exciting Highway 101 Revitalization project that is scheduled to break ground this year as well. Some of the project improvements include widening the sidewalks ,narrowing the medians while at the same time enhancing the landscaping and increasing the number of parking spaces on the west side.

Other positive aspects of the project will include making the Solana Beach Highway 101 Corridor more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, reducing speeds of vehicles, installation of art nodes and incorporating various “interesting people meeting/gathering places” along the corridor.

But what I am really excited about is that once the project is complete, it will be the final piece of the “downtown loop” that the City has always envisioned.

It will complete the loop between the Cedros Design District, the pedestrian bridges and the Coastal Rail Trail to now include a revitalized and thriving Highway 101 corridor.

We believe that this will turn Solana Beach into a true “destination” location that will attract people from all over, especially with the Train Station located right in the middle of it all.

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