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Posted on: May 24, 2023

City statement regarding Surface Transportation Board decision

railway on Del Mar bluffs

The City of Del Mar is pleased with the United States Surface Transportation Board (STB) decision issued on Tuesday, May 23, declining to grant the North County Transit District’s (NCTD’s) Petition for a Declaratory Order, filed in August 2020, seeking to overcome important community sensitive conditions including improved public beach access as part of ongoing Del Mar Bluff stabilization projects. The STB’s decision also found that issues related to NCTD’s proposed fencing project should be addressed by the State courts.

Del Mar Mayor Tracy Martinez responded, “We are very happy with the STB’s decision, which confirms that the Coastal Commission’s conditional concurrence on Bluff stabilization initiatives, including improved, safe access to the beach, does not block or prevent rail operations as NCTD claims. In addition, Del Mar agrees with the STB that the issue of fencing should be addressed by the State courts, and we look forward to the Court’s determination on that matter as well.”

Del Mar has actively participated in the STB’s proceedings arguing that neither Del Mar, nor the Coastal Commission, has sought to unreasonably interfere with railroad operations, and that the conditions of approval agreed to by the San Diego Association of Governments as part of their bluff stabilization projects do not warrant issuance of a declaratory order or a finding of federal preemption.

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