Thursday, April 1, 2010

SB1001 - Giveaway of Public Beaches

According to a recent article in the Ventura County Star, new legislation, SB 1001, would lift some public-use conditions on a portion of San Buenaventura State Beach Park that was recently transferred to the city of Ventura.

As we reported last year, developers have had their eyes on the last undeveloped land between the Fairgrounds and the pier. The Embassy Suites Hotel was approved by our city council in March 2009. The Star reported 'Big Plans for Ventura Beachfront.'

What was not disclosed in the newspapers, was that in January 1993, State Parks deeded the property by the pier to the City of Ventura to facilitate the reconstruction of the pier in accordance with the State General Plan for San Buenaventura State Beach approved in 1979. Now it appears the city would like to lift the restrictions on this land to facilitate commercial development of the beachfront.

On April 13, 2010, the Governmental Organization Standing Committee in Sacramento will hear this bill. The Surfrider Foundation wrote a letter to the committee opposing this legislation:

April 1, 2010

Senator Roderick Wright (Chair)
Governmental Organization Standing Committee
State Capitol, Room 5064
Sacramento, CA 95814

Via e-mail to committee:

RE: SB1001 State property: San Buenaventura State Beach - OPPOSED

Dear Chair Wright;

I am writing on behalf of the approximately 1000 members of the Ventura County Chapter of the
Surfrider Foundation. For the past 20 years we have worked to protect and restore our local beaches. Surfers’ Point is one of the most popular beaches in Ventura County and we are concerned about the potential effects of SB1001.

According to the Bill:

Approximately 11.65 acres, being a portion of San Buenaventura State Beach, consisting of the public pier and that portion of the land located within the existing state beach commencing at the most westerly boundary of the state beach and extending easterly to a line to be established that is approximately 50 feet easterly of the east side of the pier. Under existing law, that parcel was transferred to the City of Ventura on the condition that it be used only for public recreational purposes and authorized the state to reenter the property if that condition was breached.
This bill would terminate the public recreation use restriction and right of reentry that is held by the state with respect to a specified portion of that parcel described above in order to provide for improved public access while allowing for compatible private commercial and recreational use.

SB1001 represents a gift of public lands to a private developer and we urge the Committee to reject this misguided legislation. It is not in the public interest to lift a deed restriction that was put in place to protect this valuable coastal resource.


Vince Kinsch
Chair, Surfrider Foundation - Ventura County Chapter

More info:

Information and Status of SB1001

Standing Committee

Edgewater Proposal