Monday, December 2, 2013

ROCKS

Under the authority of the "emergency" project permitted by San Mateo County and the California Coastal Commission, construction of the 963 foot rock revetment has commenced at Martin's Beach. 

The construction company hired by permit holders Martin's Beach, I LLC (the front for billionaire Vinod Khosla) and the Allen Cunha Family Trust began laying the rock a couple weeks ago.  Construction continues today despite permit conditions requiring the construction to be complete by October 3, 2013. 

Observers say that the current view of the revetment from the cabin side is a few feet above grade, but that the view from the beach back toward land is, well, a big, long pile of rocks.  Far from the scenic beachscape that visitors once flocked to.

Giant rock pile, as far as the eye can see
An application for regular Coastal Development Permit, which would seek to make this revetment permanent, is now on file with both the County and Coastal Commission.  Once the application has been deemed complete, both the County Planning Commission and the Coastal Commission will consider whether or not to grant a permit to the project. 

In addition to the obvious visual impacts the rocks have on beach vistas, the rocks may have an even more serious impact to the beach itself.  Hardened structures on the shoreline prevent beaches from naturally retreating, so as the sea advances, the beach between the sea and the revetment will diminish. 

What a shame it would be to gain access to the beach, only to have the beach disappear.

If you are horrified by the rock pile and want to protect Martin's Beach for future generations, CLICK HERE to send a letter to decision-makers.

"What about the cabins?", you might ask.  The unfortunate reality is that:
a) with the encroachment of the sea, the only way to protect the cabins and the beach over the mid- and long-term is to move the cabins, and
b) Khosla is highly unlikely to keep the cabins. Can you see a billionaire living in a rustic 1000 square foot cabin?  It's not out of the question, I suppose, but chances are good that Khosla has other plans in mind for his property fronting the public beach.  This revetment, although permitted to protect the existing road, is more than likely a foot in the door for Khosla to protect whatever development he intends to construct.

So, unless you just so happen to love large mounds of arranged boulders, destruction of beautiful beaches, obstructed views, and/or giving a billionaire an extra boost toward achieving his vision of a plebeian-free seascape, please consider sending a letter.

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