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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

State Lands Commission Staff Meets in Malibu

• Broad Beach GHAD Plan’s Impact Questioned Is by Environmental Groups

BY BILL KOENEKER

The California State Lands Commission staff met last week at Malibu City Hall, not the full commission as previously reported.
The commission is expected to weigh in on the matter at a full public hearing in Sacramento on Dec. 5.
Last week’s hearing was about the Broad Beach restoration project, proposed by the Broad Beach Geological Hazard Abatement District, which is the project applicant representing 114 homes, spanning from Lechuza Point to Trancas Creek.
The commission staff had completed what the state agency calls “an analysis of impacts to public trust resources and values” for the proposed project.
The staff wanted to hear comments from the public about the analysis and the project itself.
If the applicant’s request is authorized, the commission “would allow the Broad Beach GHAD to implement shoreline protection plan along Broad Beach for a period of up to 20 years, consisting of 1) initial beach nourishment; 2) dune creation and habitat restoration; 3)annual or biannual sand 'backpassing' to prolong nourishment; 4) authorizing the existing rock revetment buried under restored dunes and 5) one additional major renourishment event
The Broad Beach GHAD was formed in Sept. 2011 with the blessing of the Malibu City Council.
Some environmental groups wanted more information on how the project could impact the surf and wildlife.
Representatives from Heal the Bay, Surfrider Foundation and others wanted more details on the project.
The beach nourishment comes from dredging fine-grained sand from offshore of Broad Beach and transport of sand via slurry pipeline for discharge into training dikes and placement within the boundaries of the restored dune area, burying the existing revetment.
Then placing coarse-grained beach quality sand obtained from a off-shore borrow site from the toe of the dune area to the seaward extent of the beach nourishment area.
“The applicant has identified central Trancas offshore of Broad Beach as the site best suited for a fine-grained, dune renourishment sand source site. Dune sand would be dredged from an existing deposit of fine-grained sand located in a water depth range between 45 and 60 feet, approximately 0.25 mile offshore of the eastern segment of Broad Beach and Trancas Creek. This existing sediment deposit stretches from approximately 3.4 mile along the coast from Lechuza Point east to Point Dume is roughly one mile wide,” the commission report states.
Shopping center owner Zan Marquis, a member of the GHAD, did not speak at the one-hour meeting, but had said beforehand that would be the preferable way or it might be delivered by truck depending on which location is chosen. He said a location by Mugu Lagoon could be accomplished by trucking the sand.
He said the South Bay location that got so much press because a couple of council members,who objected is still a consideration.
The State Lands Commission notice calls for an alternative onshore sand source. The sand could be collected from a stockpile adjacent to Calleguas Creek in Ventura County located near the intersection of Los Posas Road and Hueneme Road and transport the sand by truck via Highway 1 to Broad Beach.
A reservoir of sand will be built to restore the dune habitat with native plant species.
The beach itself would be widened to provide enhanced public access and recreational opportunities along Broad Beach.
The document prepared for the public hearing may be viewed electronically in PDF format on the CSLC Internet website at www.slc.ca.gov and copies are also available at Malibu City Hall and the Malibu Library.
“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.
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.

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