Shrinking Shorelines Prompting New Fees

“Recreation Mitigation Fee”

That is what the California Coastal Commission (CCC) has asked cities to attach a value to the recreational activities that disappear when the sand on the beach disappears.

Solana Beach is the first city to confront this new requirement. The community is passing the cost along to the property owners who apply for sea wall permits. Sea walls protect the earth behind them, but not the beach leading up to them which eventually leads to the beach eroding.

Solana beach has to create a separate fee and formula to calculate the costs of lost recreational opportunities because of the sea walls not exposing new earth to sustain the coastline. This comes in addition to the sand replacement fees that is already in place.

Under the current proposal, new Solano Beach sea wall applicants would pay a one-time recreation fee of $870 per linear foot of sea wall, with that rate jumping to $1,311 per foot in 2026. Solana Beach sea walls are generally around 50 feet long, so that’d cost applicants tens of thousands of dollars.

Environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Surfrider Foundation support the fees, which will go before the Solana Beach City Council and then the CCC for approval.

More on Solana Beach’s looming recreation fee can be found here.