If litigation by the City of San Clemente and a local homeowners association succeed, hard won protections for San Onofre State Beach would be lost.
After 15 years of struggle, in November 2017, the Save San Onofre Coalition – of which EHL is a member – signed agreements with the Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) and State of California agencies which sites future toll road roads outside of heavily used San Onofre State Beach, the Richard and Donna O’Neill Conservancy, and adjacent wildlands. Even though the TCA has not chosen any alternative, and indeed is only just beginning the CEQA process, San Clemente and the HOA fear potential routes that pass through the City. They are thus attempting to put the toll road back through the state park by dismantling the settlement agreement. The fact that bisecting the park was deemed illegal by the California Coastal Commission has not deterred them. Other than to put the road back through the park, there is no point to the lawsuits.
EHL and the Coalition have no position on alternatives – toll road, arterials, transit, etc. – as long as the settlement agreement’s mapped “avoidance area” is respected. We urge the City and its residents to avail themselves of the ongoing public process and to stop targeting the park. Indeed, the City sits on the TCA Board of Directors.
The Coalition is prepared for a legal defense and has placed hard–hitting newspaper ads in local papers explaining our position and this threat to the park. We have corrected misrepresentations made by the City, and noted that the park provides great economic and recreational benefit to San Clemente.