PLANNED BLUFF STABILIZATION AND THE DESTABILIZING EFFECT OF CHAIN LINK FENCING
For over 100 years, the public has used the trails on the iconic Del Mar bluffs (“Bluffs”). Despite decades of dangerous bluff collapses, SANDAG and NCTD have failed to take action to relocate the train tracks installed in 1910. SANDAG has finally commenced efforts to relocate the tracks by seeking alternative, inland train routes. In the meantime, NCTD and SANDAG propose to stabilize the Bluffs by grading the Blufftop, erecting concrete structures in the Bluf and making other changes, many irreversible.
Even though the fragile sandstone bluffs are fast eroding, NCTD plans to further destabilize the Bluffs by erecting nearly two miles of six foot chain link fencing along the Bluffs. This fencing project will require extensive drilling of postholes, to be filled with cement to support the fence. The holes will create more than 1,500 new sources of water intrusion and add 317 tons of weight which accelerates erosion of the already stressed Bluff edges. While NCTD claims extensive two-mile fencing is required to avoid “trespassers,” NCTD’s data shows that all pedestrian and vehicle accidents occur at or within a third of a mile of the crossing at Coast Blvd and that extensive fencing is unnecessary in addition to destabilizing.
CITIZENS REQUEST THE COASTAL COMMISSION ACT TO SAVE THE BLUFFS
We, the residents of San Diego County, want to ensure that the iconic Del Mar Bluffs are preserved. Therefore, we Petition the Commission to carry out its mission under the Coastal Act to protect Del Mar’s fragile Bluffs. We strongly urge the Commission protect the fragile Del Mar Bluffs by taking the following steps:
- obtain a firm commitment from SANDAG and the NCTD on relocation of the tracks within a specific, definedtime frame that includes periodic milestones for SANDAG to apply for and obtain fundingfor relocation and construction of an alternative route through Del Mar;
- demand and ensure that alteration of the Bluffs be the minimum necessary to ensure safety until relocation, that wherever possible, structures required for stabilization not be permanent, that the focus of stabilization be only on the most vulnerable areas as required for safe track operation, and that mitigation of the effects of the alteration be ongoing, approved by the Commission and subject to review by Del Mar;
- reject NCTD’s proposed fencing plans and avoid further damage to and erosion of the Bluffs by requiring that any drilling and fencing imposed on the Bluffs be limited and targeted to those areas near the coast crossing, where the historical 10-year data shows the train accidents occur.