The Coastal Post - January, 1997

Sierra Club Meeting To Address Coastal Access

Since the enactment of the California Coastal Act in 1976, the California Coastal Commission has been required by law to exchange trails and easements for building permits in the coastal zone. The intent is to mitigate loss of access by requiring developers along the coast to provide vertical and lateral access. But these "offers to dedicate" (OTDs) do not belong to the public until a government agency or non-profit organization agrees to accept and open them.

Prop 13 put a damper on the acceptance of these OTDs by local governments. To date only 19% of the 1,200 have been opened. There is a 21-year limit to the offer, and nearly 1,000 OTDs will expire by the year 2005 if not accepted by an approved entity. This would be an immeasurable loss to California beach enthusiasts, coast walkers, surfers, birders and onshore fishermen. Marin County has 41 OTDs. Of these only seven have been accepted.

There will be a general meeting of the Sierra Club Marin Group January 15, 8 p.m. at Whistlestop, 930 Tamalpais Avenue, San Rafael, to show how you can help this non-profit foundation be a recipient of an OTD. Cela O'Connor will present a slide show of the Marin County Coastal Access Inventory, covering Dillon Beach, Marshall, Highway One, Pt. Reyes, Inverness, Bolinas and Stinson Beach. Linda Locklin, California Coastal Commission Coastal Access Program Manager will be on hand to explain the process and answer questions. Call 868-1617 for more information.