Danielle Radin

Battle Brews at Beacon's Beach in Encinitas Over Iconic Trail

The Beacon's Beach stairs are causing a stir between surfers and city workers

At the popular surf spot, Beacon's Beach, in Encinitas, the stairs that surfers take to get down to the water are stirring a debate. 

The City of Encinitas wants to place a concrete staircase at the iconic winding trail to promote safe public access to the water.

The city would encourage beachgoers to use the new staircase instead of the current switchback stairs. 

But surfers and beachgoers said Thursday it would ruin the look and possibly the ecosystem of the trail. 

"This is one of the last natural accesses of its kind aesthetically: it's very organic," said Anne Julian, a beachgoer. "I just don't know if they've looked at it comprehensively as far as what the environmental impacts would be." 

The Encinitas City Council approved over $4.1 million in the 2018-2019 budget for the project. 

Reconstruction at Beacon's Beach has been a topic of discussion of the city council for years. A landslide in 2001 caused part of the bluff to collapse. Since then, the city has been making efforts to curb effects of erosion. 

"The bluff is unstable and global warming is real," said Nancy Self, who has lived in Encinitas since 1996. "We need to secure the access so that we can still go there." 

City of Encinitas Spokesperson, Jenny Windle, said Thursday they have held a community participation meeting about the reconstruction plan in a public outreach effort. 

Windle said on July 19, the planning commission will consider whether or not the project should move to the next stages. There will be public comment at this meeting. If approved locally, it will go to the California Coastal Commission for approval. 

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