Solana Beach council adopts Land Use Plan Amendment

By Kristina Houck

The Solana Beach City Council on June 11 adopted a Land Use Plan Amendment, more than a year after council members first adopted the plan.

The council adopted a Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan in February 2013, moving Solana Beach another step closer to having more control over development in the city. The plan incorporated all of the suggested modifications approved by the California Coastal Commission. At the meeting, the council also directed staff to prepare a Land Use Plan Amendment, or LUPA, to modify some of the provisions in the LUP, relating to bluff top development, shoreline protection and private beach access ways.

The draft LUPA was developed with California Coastal Commission staff and interested stakeholders, and later approved by the council in May 2013. Following the council’s approval, city staff continued to meet with CCC staff and stakeholders to try to reach a consensus on as many of the revised draft policies as possible. During those meetings, some additional changes were made.

During the June 11 council meeting, a few community members and stakeholders urged the council to approve the LUPA, whether or not they agreed with everything in the amendment.

“When we adopted the LCP, one of the things that I asked you to do at that time … was to realize that the Constitution of the United States has been amended several times. The Bill of Rights was amended shortly after the approval of the Constitution itself. So it’s OK to accept that things are going to change and they’re going to be modified over time,” said resident Jim Jaffee, also a representative of the Surfrider Foundation. “I appreciate that we went through this process. I can tell you that it didn’t turn out exactly the way we would have liked it to. We objected to many of the things that are in there. But I also realize that after all this time has lapsed, at some point, you’ve got to keep kicking the can down the road.”

Solana Beach has been actively working to prepare a Local Coastal Program, or LCP, since 2000. An LCP, which regulates development in the coastal zone, is required by the California Coastal Act of 1976 to ensure coastal areas are used and developed according to statewide public objectives.

Now that the city has an adopted LUP, work on the Local Implementation Plan, or LIP, is planned to begin in the next fiscal year. An LIP consists of implementing zoning ordinances and maps.

“We are, where we are,” said Councilman Mike Nichols. “It sounds simple enough, but it’s true. We are, where we are … and that happens when you have compromise. This isn’t the original compromise that folks intended upon, but it’s beginning to look like there’s a compromise here and things are getting addressed.”

“This shows that we are making progress,” added Councilman David Zito. “We’re moving forward and actually making changes.”