Solana Beach council asks for modifications to new Marine Safety Center design

Solana Beach City Hall
(Staff photo)

Council members and nearby residents want to preserve views that adjacent properties currently have with the existing structure


Solana Beach City Council members asked for modifications to the new Marine Safety Center design during their Feb. 7 meeting, with the goal of minimizing view impacts to surrounding properties.

“I’m interested in seeing some changes,” Solana Beach Mayor Lesa Heebner said during the meeting. “I think many of us are curious about condensing this and exploring maybe even a single story. We may have a few back and forths with some different floor area designs before we get to anything final.”

According to a city staff report, the current Marine Safety Center dates back to the 1940s and has required “constant repairs and maintenance.” The city hired domusstudio architecture in 2018 to come up with a design, and story poles for a two-story concept were installed last spring. Properties in the immediate area were notified and given a chance to submit their feedback to the city.

The proposed design for a new Marine Safety Center, which would be located in the same spot as the existing structure, has 3,247 square feet of office, operational and observational public safety space, according to the city. It would also have a 1,884 square-foot parking and storage area for the department’s vehicles and equipment.

“We’re just here to hope that this can be rethought and that not a single inch of sky or ocean that we currently see is going to be obstructed,” said Solana Beach resident Ron Blumberg, who added that he was also speaking on behalf of a neighbor who couldn’t attend.

Other council members agreed that they wanted to see modifications to the proposed design that would preserve existing views from adjacent properties.

“I really wish to create a functioning Marine Safety Center that will stand the test of time and enhance, and not take away, the public and the private views,” Solana Beach City Councilmember Kristi Becker said. “We live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and we all need to be good caretakers of that beauty for the future.”

The city doesn’t currently have a timeline to complete construction of the new center. According to the city staff report, after the preliminary engineering and design are completed, and discretionary permits secured, the cost for environmental studies and final design is about $450,000. Funding for construction has not yet been identified.

“It will be here long after we are gone,” Solana Beach City Councilmember Jill MacDonald said.