The California Coastal Commission on Wednesday, Sept. 7 approved a permit for Seal Beach to improve the city’s section of the San Gabriel River Bike Trail and the so-called River’s End Staging area.
Proposed improvements for the bike trail includes landscaping and rehabilitating the trail as well as improving the bathrooms in the parking lot near River’s End Cafe. The bike trail and River’s End area will get new asphalt paving.
Mark Persico, director of Development Services, said the city would have to meet 14 conditions before Coastal Commission staff would issue the permit.
Persico compared the Coastal Commission decision to a Seal Beach Planning Commission decision to issue a business a conditional use permit. He said the applicant couldn’t open the business the next day. First the applicant would have to show city staff that the permit conditions had been met. Persico said it works the same way for Seal Beach’s application to the state commission.
“I think Public Works is looking at a construction start date right around the end of October,” Persico said.
The 14 conditions include “commission approval for any future changes to the public’s ability to access the RESA from the ‘Driveway Parcel’ and ‘Bike Trail Parcel’ which aren’t owned in fee by the applicant,” according to the Coastal Commission staff report.
Part of the bike trail is on land owned by Bay City Partners.
The company went to court to have that fact acknowledged in the project description.
A settlement of two lawsuits between Seal Beach and Bay City Partners—each filed by one against the other—was reached on March 28.
As previously reported in the Sun, both sides said the settlement assured continued public access to the bike trail.
Other conditions imposed by the Coastal Commission include submittal of revised final project plans and commission approval for any future changes to the operation of the River’s End area parking lot.
“The project is located in the cities of Seal Beach and Long Beach, within the counties of Orange and Los Angeles,” said the Coastal Commission staff report.
“Improvements to the existing San Gabriel River Trail are proposed from its Southern terminus at the RESA, proceeding North (crossing Seal Beach/Long Beach City property), ultimately ending at the trail’s intersection with interstate 405 (I-405) in the Eastern Portion of Long Beach,” the report said.
“All portions of the project within Seal Beach are within the Coastal Zone. However, only a portion of the San Gabriel River Trail improvement in the City of Long Beach is located within the Coastal Zone,” the report said.
“The city of Seal Beach does not have a certified Local Coastal Program, but the City of Long Beach has a certified Local Coastal Program,” the report said.
“Based on Coastal Act Section 30601.3, the Commission may process and act upon a consolidated Coastal Development Permit application,” the report said.
“The city of Long Beach has given its consent to the city of Seal Beach to process a consolidated Coastal Development Permit with the Commission,” the report said.
As the Sun reported in February 2010, the state of California has approved $2 million for the project.
Sun Newspaper Editor Dennis Kaiser contributed to this article.