Blips on the Radar: Santa Barbara to upgrade gangway
What Happened: The California Coastal Commission approved a request from the Santa Barbara Waterfront Department to install a new gangway at the city’s harbor. The new gangway would be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Commissioners approved the request at its April 15 meeting in Santa Rosa and required Santa Barbara to maintain responsibilities over construction and debris removal, perform proper inspection and maintenance, provide proper public access, and do not install future shoreline protective devices for structures.
What’s On Tap: Santa Barbara plans to install a new gangway with concrete abutment, an expanded floating dock, and wooden boardwalk.
The wooden walkway would be 277 feet long and located near the Sea Landing venue.
“The wooden walkway will provide alternative access for the public visiting the harbor when the concrete walkway is temporarily fenced off, thus allowing cruise ships to continue using the harbor, without interrupting public access,” Coastal Commission staff stated in a report. “The Waterfront Department is proposing to add an 80-foot ADA compliant gangway. The proposed gangway will improve access and circulation for passengers being loaded and offloaded at the Sea Landing facility.”
Port of San Diego to install new Smart Meters for public parking
What Happened: The Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners approved on April 14 changes to its new Smart Meter public parking program. Commissioners hope the changes would help improve the boater experience on San Diego’s waterfront. Changes were also made to parking rates and enforcement.
“New developments and attractions along San Diego’s waterfront have increased demand for parking. The port is working to be part of the parking solution by delivering reasonably priced, convenient parking, based on supply and demand principles,” port staff stated.
Parking revenue, according to port staff, helps the city support its park system, Harbor Police law enforcement, environmental conservation, public art, and access to the bay and waterfront businesses.
What’s On Tap: Port officials will oversee the installation of 180 new Smart Meters at Embarcadero Marina Park North and Embarcadero Marina Park South, replacing coin machines.
“The rates in those parks will change from $1 per hour to a flex range, matching the range of rates for the Smart Meters along the North Embarcadero, of $1 to $2.50 per hour,” port staff stated. “The rates will flex with demand. Enforcement hours will change to 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and meter enforcement will go from six to seven days per week.
“This is the first meter rate change at these locations in more than 22 years,” port staff continued.
Changes will go into effect May 15.
Senate bill on eelgrass restoration passes in Senate committee
What Happened: A bill in the State Senate proposing to restore eelgrass as a measure to mitigate climate change’s effect on the state’s coastal environment cleared a legislative committee on April 20.
Senate Bill 1363 (SB 1363) will move on from the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality after its members voted 5-2 in favor of the legislation.
The bill proposed to require Ocean Protection Council to coordinate with the State Coastal Conservancy to, according to Sen. Bill Monning’s staff, “establish a program to restore eelgrass in order to mitigate the impacts of global warming on the ocean and on California’s coastal plant and animal species.”
California lost about 90 percent of its eelgrass acreage since the 1850s and what remains continues to be threatened, Monning’s staff stated.
What’s On Tap: SB 1363 will continue to be heard by both legislative houses in Sacramento. If ultimately passed and signed by the governor SB 1363 create a program to help restore and protect eelgrass beds.
Coast Guard reviewing final rule for Marina del Rey anchorage
What Happened: The U.S. Coast Guard is reviewing public input it received in response to a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking about the future of an anchorage at Marina del Rey. Coast Guard officials originally proposed shutting down the anchorage area in 2014 but revised plans after receiving public input in support of the open water boat parking lot.
“In response to comments received we published a supplemental [notice of proposed rulemaking on Feb. 29] to retain the special anchorage, but amend the shape and reduce the size of the anchorage to remove the anchorage area from a location where it could endanger vessel traffic,” a Federal Register notice stated.
The public was allowed to submit comments for or against the proposed anchorage revisions through April 30.
What’s On Tap: Coast Guard staff will update the public of comments it received and the status of its final ruling on federalregister.gov.
More information about the proposed rulemaking can be found online at 1.usa.gov/1Nu15Mm.