02 • 14 • 2020
Protect the Pacific Grove Recreation Trail
Help the Monterey Chapter tell the Coastal Commission to deny Union Pacific's application to fence off nearly one half mile of scenic trail which accesses the coast and provides low cost recreation to locals and visitors alike.
Union Pacific Railroad has submitted an application to the Coastal Commission seeking to construct three 6-ft. tall chain link fences within abandoned railroad right-of-way, which would fence off nearly one half mile of scenic trail which accesses the coast and provides low cost recreation to locals and visitors alike.
The Monterey Chapter has heard from many distressed residents who utilize the Pacific Grove Recreation Trail nearly every day and would be severely detrimentally impacted by such a recreational and access cut off.
Coastal Commission staff has reccommended denial of the project for the reasons below:
- The Coastal Act requires that public recreational access be maximized, prioritizes recreational development over other types of development, and specifically protects public access as well as lower-cost visitor and recreational facilities;
- Evidence on record indicates that the Applicant has allowed the public to access the Right Of Way (ROW) since at least 1980;
- The above is why the 1989 Land Use Plan (LUP) identifies and designates the railroad ROW as “Open Space Recreational” and “Recreational Trail” allowing low- intensity day-use recreational and educational activities, such as walking, nature study, photography and scenic viewing.
- The LUP specifically prohibits any development within the ROW that would compromise its utility for recreational access.
Further, this inland trail serves as an alternative inland coastal trail similar to others in the coastal zone in California; e.g., the Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail and Scripps Coastal Meander and Upland Coastal Trail Loop, etc. The trail serves as an excellent example regarding the reasons for protecting public access for recreational uses scenic quality and natural habitat.
The Monterey Chapter has submitted a letter supporting staffs reccomendation and Surfrider staff will be speaking to the issue at the Coastal Commission meeting in Long Beach on Feb. 12-14.