New plants to be added along Coastal Rail Trail in Solana Beach


By Kristina Houck

The Coastal Rail Trail in Solana Beach is getting a much-needed facelift — a decade after the path was completed.

In a 5-0 vote, council members on July 9 amended the city’s contract with Nissho of California, Inc. for a one-time plant replacement project along the city’s 1.7-mile segment of the trail, a path from San Diego to Oceanside. Currently, the San Diego-based company maintains the city’s landscaping, including the Coastal Rail Trail.

Construction of the Coastal Rail Trail was completed in September 2004. Since then, there has been very little plant replacement, explained City Engineer Mohammad Sammak in a presentation to the council.

“Since that time, no major planting or renovation has been done on the Coastal Rail Trail,” he said. “During these last 10 years, a large number of plant species just disappeared due to their age.”

In the spring, Deputy Mayor Lesa Heebner, Councilman Mike Nichols, city staff and representatives from Nissho surveyed the area and identified several areas with poorly growing or dead trees, missing plants, and overgrown invasive plants. Nissho submitted a proposal to remove and replace the plants.

“I think it’s a good plan, and you did a good job putting it together based on the conversation,” Nichols said.

Nissho has maintained the city’s landscaping since July 2013. With approval from the council, the company’s $195,400 citywide contract was extended for another year, plus an additional $78,000 for the Coastal Rail Trail project.