July 26.2010Mike Schaller, Project Planner 455 County Center, Second Floor Redwood City, CA 94063
Re: Initial Study and Negative Declaration for PLN 2010-00093: Fitzgerald MarineReserve/Preserve beach access improvements at Nevada and North Lake Street andimprovements to the Dardenelle Trail/California Coastal Trail between North LakeStreet and Cypress Avenue
Dear Mr. Schaller:I am writing to you on behalf of the Coastal Issues Committee of the Sierra Club, LomaPrieta Chapter. Our mission is to support the provisions of the California Coastal Act andthe Coastal Commission in its application. The Coastal Issues Committee concurs withthe Committee for Green Foothill’s analysis of the Initial Study in relation to the CoastalAct, the 2002 Master Plan for Fitzgerald Marine Reserve (FMR), and the San MateoCounty Local Coastal Plan.In particular we are concerned that the Initial Study and Notice of Intent to Adopt a Negative Declaration did not answer the question: What is the purpose of the proposed project? Is it to make improvements to the Dardenelle Trail/California Coastal Trail incompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? Or, is the purpose to prevent further degradation of the reef from overuse by restricting use as is outlined inthe Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Master Plan?This highlights the inconsistency in making changes to the existing trail that will creategreater use and access to the beach and reef area of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. We agreewith the comments that point out that the existing trail can be made ADA compliantusing permeable materials as required by the FMR Master Plan (p.60) for all public trails.In fact, the agenda for the July 12, 2010 meeting of the Midcoast Parks and RecreationCommittee included information about
as an alternate surface. Other paving suggestions have been made by trail experts from GGNRA, California StateParks, and the California Coastal Conservancy.Using asphalt would create a de facto street-wide road designed to carry walkers, hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, as well as persons using wheelchairs, walkers, and canes. Insteadof creating a safe trail for use by people with disabilities the County will have created ahazard, destroyed the natural setting of the trail, and impacted the riparian vegetation of San Vicente Creek by moving the bridge upstream.