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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Broad Beach GHAD Rebuffed During Effort to Secure South Bay Sand Source

• Manhattan Beach Requests That SLC Reject Proposal

 BY BILL KOENEKER

The Broad Beach Geological Hazard Abatement District, which is attempting to secure a source of sand for its beach replenishment program, got some negative press last week when it tried to secure sand offshore of Manhattan Beach.
The Manhattan Beach City Council sent a letter to the State Lands Commission, stating the city could not endorse the homeowners’ plan to dredge the sand just offshore of the South Bay city and deposit it on Malibu’s shoreline and “strongly urged” the state agency to reject the request.
What was lost in the media shuffle with such phrases as Manhattan telling Malibu to “pound sand” or how the South Bay and Malibu were engaged in a “sand fight” is that Manhattan City Manager Dave Carmany is a former city manager for Malibu.
Carmany assumed the post this year after a stint at Seal Beach as city manager. Numerous state agencies will have to sign off on the application to take the sand from the offshore waters of the coastal town, which does not actually own the mineral rights, according to media reports..
Ken Ehrlich, the attorney who represents the GHAD, was not immediately available for comment.
The proposed action stems from the overall plans proposed for Broad Beach where experts have determined there has been a significant change in the width of the beach since 1946.
Broad Beach has experienced variable, but declining beach width at a rate of about two feet per year, according to experts.
“Between 1974 and 2009 approximately 600,000 cubic yards of sand was lost at Broad Beach, a majority of which has moved east to nourish Zuma Beach. On average, the shoreline moved inland 65 feet,” a report from Moffatt and Nichol in April 2010 concluded.
“The sand rate turned negative in 1974 and the loss rate accelerated to approximately 35,000 cubic yards per year during the last five years.  Recent higher erosion rates during the 2009-2010 winter season necessitated that emergency precautions be taken to protect residential structures and onsite wastewater treatment systems located seaward of the residences,” the report went on to state.
Consequently, the homeowners obtained emergency permits for the installation of a rock revetment about five feet high and 25 feet wide, to protect the existing homes along the beach, city officials noted.
The property owners are now working on getting permits to allow a permanent buried rock revetment along with the periodic sand nourishment.
The California Coastal Commission is the permitting agency and will oversee the project.
The Broad Beach GHAD spans the entirety of Broad Beach and a portion of Victoria Point concluding with 6525 Point Lechuza.
GHADs, according to the planning staff, are a political subdivision of the state and are formed in specific geographic areas to address potential geological hazards. The purpose of a GHAD is to prevent, mitigate, control or abate defined geologic hazards through maintenance improvements or other means.
Financing of a GHAD is accomplished through an assessment of only those property owners who own real estate within the boundaries of the designated district, issuing and serving of bonds, notes or other debentures is also authorized under a GHAD. The assessment was based on an engineer’s report, which was prepared by ENGEO, Inc, according to city planners.
The assessments and associated financing of the GHAD improvements would be overseen entirely by the GHAD board.
The project has received criticism from local water quality activists who have raised questions about the impact of the proposed plan on turbidity, tidepool and nearshore habitat and the newly established State Marine Conservation Area.

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