Archives: News 2012
Coastal Commission adopts 22nd DAA Restoration Plan.
SOL Restoration Area
Map above from page 27 of the Coastal Commission Staff Report
In March 2012, the Coastal Commission ordered the 22nd DAA to remedy long standing violations. Within 6 months the District was mandated to submit a plan to fully restore the Del Mar Fairgrounds South Overflow Lot to tidal wetlands.
In compliance with these orders, the District submitted a Restoration Plan for the western part of the South Overflow Lot. At its November 2012 meeting, the Commission approved the plan for this restoration shown on the picture above.
Coastal Commission Staff Report here. 35 pages
Monument installed at the Coast to Crest Trail head on Jimmy Durante
A new monument was installed on November 29 2012 at the trailhead of the Coast to Crest Trail across the street from the Del Mar Fire Station on Jimmy Durante Boulevard.
The monument was designed by Paul Riha, to the left, on the photograph and funded by a San Dieguito River Park grant.
Photo taken by Stu Smith.
Open-air classroom/amphitheater coming
to San Dieguito Lagoon area
"The San Dieguito River Park JPA will be adding an open-air classroom/amphitheater to its restored San Dieguito Lagoon wetlands area by next year. The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board recommended approval of the plan for the new gathering spot on Aug. 23.
“It will be used for education activities like ranger talks or for people to come and meet friends,” said Susan Carter, deputy director of SDRP. “We’re well on our way to building it with a huge assistance in funding from Supervisor Pam Slater-Price.”
Click HERE to read the rest of Karen Billing's article in the Del Mar Times
Construction progress on El Camino Real
These photographs, taken on July 23, 2012, show the recent progress of the work on the wildlife crossing from Gonzales Canyon under El Camino Real.
San Dieguito River Park development east of San Andres Dr.
During the month of March and April the trailers used by the Marathon Construction Company for the San Dieguito Lagoon Restoration were removed .
The site is being renovated in anticipation of new development.
Application for a grant for a multi-element Nature Center complex was denied last
year, but the JPA staff was able to secure the funding for two
critical elements of the project.
A 100 sq.ft rangers building and adjacent parking lot and an outdoor classroom with multiple potential uses.
San Dieguito Lagoon Restoration nears completion.
One of the last elements of the San Dieguito Lagoon Restoration is the construction of a rock revetment on the south river bank north of the Batter Kay offices on San Dieguito Drive.
It is designed to reduce scour by the river as it makes a sharp bend at this point. The photograph below shows a bulldozer unloading rocks. The yellow line is a
boom that surrounds the construction site and is needed to
Photo © Jacqueline Winterer
Gonzales Canyon Underpass
The City of San Diego undertook a major widening project of El Camino Real south of the El Camino Real Bridge. Because the work was performed during the rainy season they could not
improve the Gonzales Canyon underpass which flooded at the time.
After a few months delay this underpass is now being completed allowing for passage of wildlife from the area of the Gonzales Canyon to that of the main San Dieguito River.
Support the Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley!
Please read the Friends' annual fundraising letter at here. Your response will enable us to continue our ongoing program of advocacy and education. Thank you.
Meeting of 22nd DAA Fair Board May 8, 2012
On May 8, 2012, the 22nd DAA Board took several actions which have positive environmental implications:
- A plan to eliminate smoking at the fair in 2013 .
- a shuttle to move people from the fairgrounds to the cities of Del Mar and Solana Beach.
- production of an update and Time Line on the Coastal Commission Consent Order deliberations.
However, it becomes evident from the analysis of the Time Line document (but not noticed in the press) that the Fair Board undertook a wetland delineation survey of the east (EOL) and south (SOL) lots on March 14, only ONE WEEK after the Consent order adopted on March 8, 2012.
Concurrently with the wetland delineation survey and availing itself of what it perceives as a business as usual Consent Order authorization, the Fair Board continues to use these lots. Recent photographs show that during the months of March, April and May of this year, the period during which the wetland delineation survey was made, the EOL is frequently used for parking and both lots are subjected to grading and earth piling.
So now, there is a question: what possible evidence of wetlands can survive grading, driving and parking on the lots? It is very likely that the EOL and SOL (less so) will be found to be devoid of wetlands.
Photo from Gatun St. Del Mar on May 6 2012. On the left the South Overflow Lot (SOL). North of the River at center, the East Overflow Lot (EOL) with cars parked for
large Fairgrounds event. Photo © Jacqueline Winterer
The South lot (SOL) from the Boardwalk, looking north. December 25, 2010.
Appearance of the South Lot wetland when left undisturbed. Photo © Jacqueline Winterer
Riverpath Del Mar
The yellow flowers are in full bloom for a short time. Take a walk and see the yellow daisies, yellow Tree Poppy and purple Sea Lavender by the side of the river.
Photos © Freda Reid
PETER DOUGLAS 1942 - 2012
On June 15, 2011, when the California Coastal Commission met to discuss the violations of the Coastal Act perpetrated by the 22nd DAA, Peter Douglas, former executive director of the CCC, made an impassioned plea to the Commissioners to act on the complaint by demanding a correction of the violations before any new permits were issued. It was one of the last meetings attended by Douglas before his death from cancer on April 1st.
Please read the New York Times obituary of the man who said, "The coast is never saved. It is always being saved." here>>
Friends of San Dieguito River Valley: Board meeting, March 26, 2012
Some items of discussion:
- River Park Trail Dedication Day, March 17 2012 was held in spite of heavy rain. Attended by candidates running for office.
- Plans to monitor the Fairgrounds commitment to requirements of the recent Cease and Desist Order.
- Rancho del Mar (ex Hu) property. The decision of the San Diego Planning Commission, re the application of Prop. A to a proposed senior facility, is being opposed by a group working under the auspices of the Friends.
- The City of Del Mar has passed an ordinance providing resource protection for that portion of the Lagoon and River within Del Mar boundaries. The ordinance, drawn up in coordination with River Park and Fish and Game, provides two fishing sites, one adjacent to Public Works and another between Camino del Mar Bridge and Train Trestle. Swimming, motorized craft and fishing at other locations prohibited.
Citizen’s Advisory Committee Meeting of Friday April 6, 2012
At the recent CAC meeting there was a discussion on the San Diego Planning Commission decision to exempt a proposed senior center at the junction of Via de la Valle and El Camino Real from the Prop A. requirement for a public vote on land located in the City of San Diego Future Urbanized area (NCFUA).
The following motion was adopted unanimously and sent on to the JPA Board as a recommendation. The next JPA Board meeting is on April 15 2012 at 9.30 AM at the County Administration Center, San Diego
“Request that the JPA Board ask the City of San Diego Land Use & Housing Council committee to docket this issue for a future meeting to investigate the applicability of Prop A on this property/project and consider a moratorium on processing this and any other development proposals in the NCFUA until a joint Land Use &Housing/Planning Commission public workshop is held to review the status and procedures on remaining undeveloped Prop A lands.”
Friends of San Dieguito River Valley: Board meeting Feb.27, 2012
Items of discussion:
- The Board endorsed Dave Roberts for District 3 County Supervisor.
- Report on the Feb. 22 DAA meeting at which the Board accepted the Coastal Commission Cease and Desist Order. At a subsequent Del Mar City Council meeting Jacqueline Winterer was recognized for her tireless work on this issue. See http://fsdrv.org/homeNews.html . A history of her “campaign” was prepared by Bill and Mary Farrell.
- Widening of I-5. Final EIR not yet available for public comment.
- Polo Fields RFP still pending. Friends is expressing concerns to potential bidders for the lease.
- Miles Markers Update: Del Mar Farmer’s Market donated $1,000 to the Friends earmarked for the Miles Markers program, bringing the total to $3,000. The Markers, designed by the Friends, will be placed at ½ and one mile locations along the Coast to Crest Trail from the Ocean east to the San Pasqual Valley. The Markers will identify the trail as part of the San Dieguito River Park, provide information for first responders in an emergency and include educational information. The cost of Phase One of the project (approximately 32 miles) will be split equally between the Friends and the Conservancy with half of the Mile Markers having the Friends name and logo and the other half with the Conservancy name and logo. JPA is responsible for installing and maintaining the Markers. It was moved, seconded and unanimously passed to approve the attached contract laying out the specific terms and conditions of the project and to be signed by the Friends, the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and the San Dieguito Joint Powers Agency.
- Trails Committee: Stu Smith reported that the Committee was appreciative of the Trail Markers Project, in particular the map developed by Bill Farrell that lays out the calculated locations along the first western half of the Coast to Crest Trail. He also reported that a study of the Reach the Beach options was available on the Park website, dedication on March 17 of the Mesa Loop Trail now renamed the Dust Devil Trail in recognition of the volunteers who have and will continue to maintain the trail; Horse Park Trail delayed due to work in re-establishing turf in an alternate location before trail can be established.
Lagoon Committee Summary Minutes for February 15, 2012
- San Dieguito Drive Revetment project, Marathon Construction/SCE. Initial clearing done, erosion control work will be phased. Early July finish projected. Recycle lot leased from NCTD for staging. The three Del Mar lots will be cleared of non-natives and hydroseeded.
- Reach the Beach. The alignment suggested by the feasibility study will not be voted on by the JPA Board until funds become available. Other local actions will impact the decision.
- Discussion about possibility of horses on the beach.
- Discussion on official name of the committee.
- Lagoon protection ordinance. Del Mar 3/7/12: Signage by JPA and Fish and game.
- Amendment to Del Mar LCP setting usage for the Fairgrounds.
- Lagoon health bacterial levels of lagoon waters are low, the highest levels being at a station near to the horse stables west of El Camino Real. New tidal basins also low. Return of sand in the river-way east of CDM bridge due to tidal action and mild storms.
Complete minutes available at Del Mar City Hall
Jacqueline Winterer Day in San Diego County!
Supervisor Pam Slater Price presented a proclamation from the County Board of Supervisors to Jacqueline WInterer at the Feb.21 meeting of the Del Mar City Council. This was to honour her volunteer work over many years in addressing problems related to unpermitted actions by the DAA Fairboard. Recent cease and desist orders from the Coastal Commission are viewed as landmark legislation.
Text of Proclamation here>>
Photo Pamela Slater-Price and Jacqueline Winterer © Stu Smith
Photo Jacqueline Winterer © Stu Smith
Photo Dawn Rawls, Jacqueline Winterer, Bill Michalsky, Ann Gardner,
and Jan McMillan © Stu Smith
CCC Cease and Desist order here>>
WEST ENTRANCE TO THE RIVERPARK TRAIL
Look for new signs on Jimmy Durante Blvd. in the near future. Placed by the San Dieguito River Park to mark the Boardwalk entrance.
photo © Jacqueline Winterer
San Dieguito Lagoon Committee: Minutes summary for Jan. 2012
• Mitigation for extra two days of Fair. Ad campaign to encourage public transportation, shuttle.
• Office space for JPA rangers
• Adjustment of Fire Station lease
• Changes in JPA member assessments to River Park.
• Revetment on river bank east of J. Durante bridge: Marathon construction has been awarded the contract for the river bank revetment, and is expected to begin prep work next month. Three City lots along river will be used for staging and then afterward will be re-vegetated to appropriate wetland/coastal sage scrub species. Will start work in late March or April.
• Horses on the beach?
• Amendment to LCP for river and lagoon: Jan 23rd Council meeting will review this amendment; the suggested wording is now cleared by State Lands Commission relating to access to navigable waters. This amendment will include language about not crossing sensitive habitat to get to navigable waters. Birnbaum said he would consult with DF&G about nesting season prohibitions.
• Lagoon water quality is good. River mouth moving to the south.
CEASE and DESIST !
The California Coastal Commission has issued a Cease and Desist order and a Restoration order to the 22nd Agricultural District (Fairgrounds) after negotiations with the DAA Board.
These Orders address claimed violations of the Coastal Act. The Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley and the Del Mar Lagoon Committee have followed this closely for several years and have thoroughly documented unpermitted activities. These include illegal use and illegal fill of the wetlands adjacent to the river, unauthorized events particularly on the south and east parking lots and the erection of large signs near the freeway.
The Coastal Commission will meet in Chula Vista on March 7, 2012 for final approval.
The 28-page Orders specify in detail expected environmental restoration within short time frames and required applications for coastal permits for past unpermitted activities.
Complete text of the DAA-approved
version of Consent Orders here>>
Unauthorized Grading, Fill, and Uses of
Wetlands, and Unpermitted Development of a
Concert Stage/Bandstand here>>
Also see the Sandpiper coverage here>>
Del Mar City Council increases protection of the San Dieguito Lagoon
On Feb.6 2012 the Del Mar City Council approved a city code amendment prohibiting boating and fishing in the San Dieguito Lagoon and along the shoreline in identified sensitive habitats. Those areas include all the lagoon, starting from the east side of Camino Del Mar bridge. The City will work with the Fish and Game Department to identify sensitive areas and provide signage. This amendment only applies to the portion of the lagoon located in Del Mar. Efforts should be made to protect areas in the lagoon that are not within Del Mar borders.
Friends Board Meeting of Jan. 23 2012
Some points of discussion:
- There will be no Coastal Commission approvals for past and future projects at the Fairgrounds until its inquiry into alleged DAA illegal activities has been concluded.
- Widening of I-5. The River Park (JPA) claims that a proposed vertical bank will impact a nearby portion of the Coast to Crest trail. They will claim mitigation funds.
- San Diego Planning Commission has made a decision which would allow the planned Rancho del Mar senior facility on Via de la Valle to proceed without a city-wide vote. This is strongly contested by local planning groups in the community.
- Jenny Craig’s plan to build seven estate homes on her property along San Dieguito Drive is a concern of the PRC. She has agreed to allow the Coast to Crest Trail to traverse the property.
- The Mile Marker project on the Coast to Crest Trail is moving forward.
San Dieguito Lagoon Committee: Minutes summary for Dec 2011 meeting.
At the Dec 2011 meeting of the Lagoon Committee the following agenda items were discussed:
- Del Mar fire station lease agreement.
- Fairgrounds alleged business and fiscal violations.
- DAA Master Plan update
- JPA Board meeting report including questions re contributions of each member agency.
- CAC meeting report.
- Coast to Crest Trail “Reach the Beach” progress
- Pilings from old 101 bridge. Remove (by whom?), retain as historical artifact, potential danger?
- Del Mar Local Coastal Plan amendment re Fairgrounds.
- Lagoon Day is April 22 2012 with Reinhardt Flick addressing climate change, sea level rise and possible effects on the San Dieguito lagoon.
- Lagoon Water Quality. Excellent but return of sand to river way east of 101 due to storm and tidal action.
Complete minutes available at Del Mar City hall.
DAA approves new segment of the Coast to Crest trail.
At the Jan.10, 2012 meeting of the 22nd DAA the board unanimously approved a plan for construction of a new segment of the Coast to Crest Trail south of the Horse Park property.
This involved working with the San Dieguito River Park planners and requires the reconfiguration of some turf rings used for horse shows. It also minimizes the impact on the San Diegutio River and its adjacent wetlands.
The alignment will provide a continuous trail from the Del Mar Board Walk area to east of the Polo Field property, approximately 4 miles.
The construction will be paid for with an existing $350,000 State grant.
Old Camino del Mar Bridge appears!
These photos of the old (~1920s) bridge pilings west of the Camino Del Mar bridge were taken on December 23 at about 4:30 PM (tide at -0.2ft). Low tide (-2.0ft) was at 2:30 PM and the later high tide (+3.9ft) was at 9:00 PM, as measured at the SIO pier. There were a lot of pebbles, which are not usually visible, exposed in the river bed. The old San Diego Historical Society photo shows this original bridge.
photo © Stu Smith
The pilings are next to Dog Beach. photo © Jacqueline Winterer
photo © Stu Smith
photo © Stu Smith
photo © Stu Smith
The Camino del Mar Bridge at the river mouth during the 1927 flood. Photo from the SD Historical Society