County Board of Supervisors approved Contract Award to Integral Consulting for the coastal Vulnerability Assessment and to recommend changes to the LCP, despite opposition from CPOA and Public Comments. In our opinion, the County’s RFP process was flawed, did not reach some of the major Coastal Consulting firms, did not provide for any public input, and would not be in the best interests of the County, Public and Coastal Property Owners. CPOA is investigating legal options to ensure that an unbiased Vulnerability Study and Recommended Changes to the LCP are provided by the Integral Consulting Team. CPOA has already initiated a dialogue with David Revell, Principal of Integral Consulting. CPOA has been assured that we will have a seat at the table and be included as a major stakeholder throughout the process.
CPOA Testimony for the Board of Supervisor’s Meeting on 2/13/24 re Contract Award to Integral Consulting
CPOA urges the Board of Supervisors to direct staff to re-issue RFP, ensure it reaches the appropriate contact people at each of the major Coastal Consulting firms, and to extend the deadline by 30 days.
CPOA urges the County Board of Supervisors to direct staff to re-issue Request for Proposal (RFP) #23P3-011 Santa Cruz County Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment and Local Coastal Program Amendment, and ensure that the RFP reaches the appropriate contact people at each of the major Coastal Consulting firms and extend the deadline to respond to the RFP by 30 days.
Santa Cruz County recommended Integral Consulting to Conduct Coastal Vulnerability Study & Recommend Changes to the LCPd
County staff had recommended Integral Consulting be awarded a grant in the amount of $692,608 to complete a vulnerability assessment of the Santa Cruz County Coastline and to recommend changes to the Local Coastal Plan (Land Use & Implementation Plan) to address coastal erosion and loss of public beaches due to sea level rise for the next 50 – 100 years. We are very concerned that Integral Consulting may have strong ties to the Coastal Commission and would not necessarily best represent the interests of the County and the Coastal Property Owners. CPOA Members are urged to Contact Supervisors Koenig, McPhearson, and Friend to get them to vote on February 13th to put the Vulnerability Assessment and recommended LCP changes for Santa Cruz County back out to bid. We do not want Integral Consulting to get the award!
California Ocean Protection Council Releases a Draft of the CA State Sea Level Rise Guidance for 2024
CA OPC Released a Draft of the proposed CA State Sea Level Rise Guidance document for 2024. Public Comments are due by March 4, 2024 to Ben.Dorfman@resources.ca.gov with the subject line “Sea Level Rise Guidance – Public Comment”. A copy of the 105 page Draft CA SLR documented can be found at:
CCC disagreed with Court’s decision, that the 37 foot wide walkway along the beach in front of the “Island” properties was private, but that is irrelevant. The Rio Del Mar Island HOA and property owner at 202 Beach Dr. are in violation of their initial 1980 Coastal Development Permit and subsequent Amendments, which require the homeowners restore and allow for public access to the beach along the pathway in front of the homes in accordance with the Coastal Act. Cease & Desist Order is effective 12/23/23, the Rio Del Mar Island HOA must remove the barriers at both ends of the walkway, remove the non-native ice plant, pots, other debris and obstacles within 8 feet of the revetment rocks to allow for public access. The CCC also levied fines of $4.7 M which they felt should have been closer to $28 M. Property owners plan to appeal.
CPOA endorses Manu Koenig (District 1) and Kim De Serpa (District 2) who have committed to supporting “the rights of coastal property owners” to protect their structures and properties from coastal erosion, and to guarantee that CPOA will have a “seat at the table” in every step from the Vulnerability Study to the proposed revisions of the Local Coastal Plan – Safety Hazards for Coastal Beaches and Bluffs (Land Use and Implementation Plan). Please contribute to their campaigns.
The Coastal Commission reluctantly approved in a vote of 6:4 a proposal submitted by three separate Pleasure Point property owners (parcels located at 3000, 3006 & 3020 Pleasure Point Drive) to repair the Sewer Peak public access and stairway, replace damaged pre-existing seawalls, remove debris and revetment rocks, and install a new seawall with a public pathway at the foot of the seawall and stairs down to the ocean bedrock and tide pools.
On September 6, 2023 the Coastal Commission awarded $780,000 in Local Coastal Program (LCP) Local Assistance grant funds to the County of Santa Cruz to complete a series of technical studies on sea level rise (SLR) hazards, economic impacts, and adaptation pathways that will culminate in an LCP amendment on SLR. The County will now send out requests for proposals (RFPs) and award the contract by November, 2023. The contractor, once selected will meet with all of the major stakeholders, complete a coastal vulnerability study to identify those areas at greatest risk of flooding and coastal erosion with triggers and timelines for adaptation strategies, which will result in recommended revisions to the County’s LCP. As a result, It appears the County will have to delay the approval of the revised LCP until December 2025.
COA is investigating the feasibility of establishing a Political Action Committee and other funding alternatives to allow CPOA to raise funds and contribute to our chosen candidates for the County Board of Supervisors in our next election.