- California Coastal Commissioners
Stop the State Parks proposal to implement fees along 60 miles of the Sonoma Coast
State Parks (SP) has a proposal before the California Coastal Commission (CCC) to charge for access to 11 undeveloped lots along 60 miles of the Sonoma Coast.
This current proposal is too sweeping to be approved and a violation of public access and environmental provisions of the Coastal Act because:
- The Sonoma Coast is completely dependent upon vehicle travel to be accessed..there is no public transit available so charging to park means charging to access the coast.
- By placing such a large number of fees in one permit, access will be severely limited-those who cannot afford the fees will be forced to access the coast from the remaining more dangerous free locations. Public access means safe access for ALL-not just those that can afford it.
- This decision sets Statewide precedent: …what happens in Sonoma County will subsequently happen from the Oregon to Mexico border where gravel, non ADA compliant lots with a maximum of pit toilets and seasonal trash collection will be subject to fees.
- The entire proposal (including all future plans for the newly added 3,332 acre Willow Creek access) is being conducted under a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) which is a very limited environmental review process that basically says there are no significant impacts to the environment or the users and does not allow any public hearings. This method by State Parks will not come close to the analysis required for the scope and impacts of the project especially considering that the conversion of Willow Creek has been added and all existing lots proposed for fees are non-ADA compliant and will require a great deal of grading and paving.
- As of this date, there is no existing study/data available as to how new fees in a car dependent coastal access location affects public access. Also State Parks has yet to submit (although they were required as part of the CCC conditional permit going on three years ago) any studies as to how the higher fees imposed in Southern California reduced public access opportunities and which populations were most effected….These studies need to be conducted by Parks and evaluated by the Commission before further fees are approved.
- There have been no revenue/budget/cost analysis presented to even support that this will generate enough fees to allow for any of the money collected to improve services at these locations…it goes to the general fund in Sacramento with no guarantee that it goes to Sonoma Coast Parks or any Parks for that matter
- California Coastal Commissioners
Please stop the proposal to implement fees along 60 miles of the Sonoma Coast at undeveloped parking areas currently free. This decision sets a bad precedent for rural coastal areas that are completely car dependent for access and will prevent people of limited means from accessing the few safe beach access points along the rugged Sonoma Coast forcing them to more dangerous parking locations along Highway 1 increasing public safety concerns and environmental impacts
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