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Posted on: July 3, 2019

Sea level rise program heading to Coastal Commission

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During a July 15 discussion on sea level rise, the City Council renewed its commitment to reject managed retreat while backing a previously-adopted adaptation plan and Local Coastal Program amendments now pending before the California Coastal Commission.

To date, the Coastal Commission’s staff has signaled it would accept Del Mar’s Local Coastal Program Application, which includes the sea level rise adaptation plan and vulnerability assessment. The application references Del Mar’s voter-approved Beach Preservation Initiative of 1988 and rejects managed retreat, which calls for moving structures to higher ground. 

Through its staff, the Coastal Commission also has indicated it could require clarification to some language in the City’s application and a commitment from Del Mar to return to the Commission in a decade to review measurements of beach sand and coastal bluffs. Those measurements are part of the monitoring approach approved in the City’s adaptation plan.

The Coastal Commission is expected to consider Del Mar’s Local Coastal Program Amendment when it meets in mid-October. 

Before then, on Oct. 7, the City Council is scheduled to receive public comment on the Coastal Commission’s yet-unpublished staff recommendation.  At that time, the Council will provide direction to City staff on how best to represent Del Mar’s position before the Coastal Commission.

Also at the July 15 meeting, the City Council reviewed the federal government’s new Flood Insurance Rate Map, which takes effect Dec. 20 and applies to beachfront property from 17th Street to the San Dieguito River. The maps show an increased danger of flooding to hundreds of low-lying homes. Find details on the New Flood Map webpage.

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