Skip to main content

Coastal Cities Wrestling With 'Managed Retreat' Ramifications Of Rising Sea Levels And More Local News

Cover image for podcast episode

The California Coastal Commission has encouraged cities to include a strategy called “managed retreat” in plans to prepare for sea level rise. But the commission may be retreating from that position. Plus, a California appeals court has stopped plans to build houses on a 1400 acre ranch near Julian and the post office in Poway may soon be getting a new name in honor of the longest-living Pearl Harbor survivor, who died last year.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Thursday, August 1st I'm Deb Welch and you are listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. A California appeals court stops plans for a housing development near Juliet and the California coastal commission wants cities to plan for sea level rise, but one strategy local residents are resisting is called managed retreat. I believe it's a matter of public health and safety and I think it's incumbent on our local leaders to offer a way forward on it. That more coming up right after the break.

Speaker 2: 00:32 [inaudible].

Speaker 1: 00:33 Thank you for joining us for San Diego News Matters. I'm Deb Welsh, San Diego's coastal city struggling to come to grips with sea level rise, our discovery that their residents are not yet ready to confront the consequences. The California coastal commission has encouraged cities to include retreating from the coast as an option in the face of rising seas, but KPBS reporter Alison St Johns says the commission may now be retreating from that position.

Speaker 3: 01:01 North del Mar is a prime example of a city where a whole neighborhood is threatened by sea level rise. Delmar's mayor Dave Drucker explains how the houses along the beach are actually higher than the houses in the narrative

Speaker 4: 01:12 lanes behind them. The houses at the front row in some way are protecting all the houses east of there and that becomes problematic. If they retreat, then that basically allows ocean to take over the whole flood plain. That would wipe out about 600 houses in del Mar.

Speaker 3: 01:31 Buco says his city has a new local coastal plan to prepare for sea level rise. It starts with importing more sen to build up the beach. The strategy called managed retreat is not in the plan. Managed retreat could involve acquiring buildings in the path of the ocean and moving them inland.

Speaker 4: 01:48 First of all, the numbers of properties and the expense of purchasing those properties would be extremely expensive. The question also is, is where would those people move? Could they move anywhere else in Del Mar? There just isn't into space.

Speaker 3: 02:04 Houses in North del Mar can list it more than $20 million. Who would be liable for that loss if the city required property owners to retreat from the beach?

Speaker 4: 02:12 The state really needs, we believe to to weigh in on this and come up with these are the rules of the road.

Speaker 3: 02:19 Imperial Beach, councilman Ed sprigs had the same message for California coastal commissioners at a recent workshop for cities updating their local coastal plans or lcps. Sprague says even the words managed retreat evoke fear that people will lose their homes and that stops any rational discussion of preparing for sea level rise.

Speaker 5: 02:38 Once that has happened, it becomes very difficult in any coastal city where this becomes politicized. Are you going to be taking private property? Is this eminent domain? Once those discussions get started, you don't get people looking at objectively at what we ought to be doing to address sea level rise.

Speaker 3: 02:56 Sprague's advised coastal commissioners not to require cities to include managed retreat as an option in their local coastal planning documents. Berlin cavaliery coastal planning manager for the California Coastal Commission says planners are now accepting that it will take time for people to come to grips with the data coming in about sea level rise and what it will mean.

Speaker 6: 03:16 We have made tremendous progress on understanding the vulnerabilities that are along our coastline and our opportunities for responding to those and adapting to those. We will be able to move forward better when more people have an understanding of what the expected impacts are and what we can do about them,

Speaker 3: 03:39 but coastal commissioners, Sarah [inaudible] says, time is of the essence and she's disappointed by any move away from prioritizing managed retreat as a strategy to prepare for sea level rise. As we know, as time goes forward, we have less and less options. I believe it's a matter of public health and safety and so I'm really looking to all of you to make it politically viable. I understand that it's putting you on a difficult positions where your constituents don't want to hear the phrase and had a lot of very valid property rights concerns, but I think it's incumbent on all of us together to change the narrative. This is a matter of survival for these communities. Studies have shown that postponing plans to adapt to sea level rise only makes it more expensive. Mayor Druker says, del Mar residents are not denying that sea level rise will happen.

Speaker 4: 04:27 Okay, tell Martians we'll deal with it when they they see the actual impacts of global warming on a more weekly, yearly basis and until that happens, it's still theoretical. In October, the California coastal commission,

Speaker 3: 04:45 we'll consider del Moz local coastal plan to adapt a future sea level rise. It's not clear if the commissioners will certify the plan if it does not include managed retreat as an option. Late last year, the commission changed its recommendations on the possible sea level rise that all state agencies should prepare for by the turn of the century from six feet to 10 feet. Alison St John KPBS News,

Speaker 7: 05:10 a California appeals court has stopped plans to build houses on a 1400 acre ranch near Julian KPBS environment. Reporter Eric Anderson says the ruling overturns a county decision to let the development move ahead. The court ruled that a Colorado developers bid to turn the Hoskins ranch into 40 acre home sites ran a foul of the Williamson Act. The law gives a huge tax break to land owners who use their property for agriculture. The court decided this project did not meet that standard, save our forest and branch lands. Founder Duncan McFetridge says the ruling will serve as a precedent that could affect hundreds of thousands of acres.

Speaker 8: 05:49 If you don't have these kind of limitations, speculators, well, we'll simply use this as a tax break and just plan to develop

Speaker 9: 06:00 the ruling and can be challenged. In the California Supreme Court. Attorneys for the developer and the San Diego County did not return calls seeking comment, Eric Anderson, KPBS news

Speaker 1: 06:11 unsealed search warrants are providing new information about what led up to the deadly shooting at a Poway synagogue. In April, one person was killed and three wounded after a gunman opened fire. KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman has more on what was revealed. Wednesday,

Speaker 9: 06:27 one of the guns used in the shooting was purchased at San Diego guns near Mission Valley Superior Court records show a $963 Smith and Wesson ar 15 rifle was bought there before the attack. We reached out to the owner of San Diego guns who says he's not commenting on the purchase investigator. Say a handgun was also used during the attack, but it's unclear how the suspect got that firearm. Investigators found the suspect purchased tactical equipment including a vest helmet and GoPro camera on Amazon. Investigators served search warrants on the suspect's home were laptops, cell phones, hard drives and other equipment was recovered. His school records, emails, social media accounts and bank records were also requested. We know from the warrants that investigators had been looking to see if the suspect worked with anyone else to plan the shooting. Matt Hoffman, Cape UBS News,

Speaker 1: 07:12 money for affordable housing maybe on San Diego is ballot. In November, 2020 KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says a bond measure took a step forward on Wednesday

Speaker 10: 07:23 $900 million. That's how much the proposed bond would raise for affordable housing geared toward veterans, seniors, people with disabilities and low income families. Supporters like Steven Russell of the San Diego Housing Federation, say San Diego is lack of affordable housing, is a crisis that's pushing more and more people out of their homes and onto the street,

Speaker 9: 07:45 but we as a community also have a chance to do something about this crisis. The solutions starts here and it starts today. It is the homeless homelessness and affordable housing bond.

Speaker 10: 07:55 The city council's rules committee voted three to to move forward with the measure. If it makes it on the ballot, it would need support from two thirds of voters to pass. Andrew Bowen KPBS news.

Speaker 1: 08:06 A new law in California will require presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to appear on the state's primary ballot Capitol Public Radio, Scott Rod reports. The law is the first of its kind, but will likely face a challenge in court.

Speaker 11: 08:22 The legislation signed by Governor Gavin Newsome. Doesn't name president Trump, but he's been at the center of the debate. The law requires all primary candidates to release five years of tax returns. Newsome insists it's constitutional and we'll provide voters with essential information when casting their ballots, but elections experts say a lawsuit in federal court is all but certain on New York law signed earlier this month that would require the release of Trump's tax returns to the state legislature remains tied up in court. Opponents did the California requirement unfairly targets president Trump and that removing his name from the ballot would amount to voter suppression. The law also applies to candidates for California governor in Sacramento. I'm Scott Rod,

Speaker 3: 09:02 the post office in Poway may soon be getting a new name KPV as report or Lynn Walsh says, a bill being considered by California lawmakers may soon on are the longest living Pearl Harbor survivor who died last year.

Speaker 12: 09:16 Ray Chavez was born in San Bernardino, California in 1912 he joined the navy and had just finished a mind sweeping mission when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred after his service in the military, he spent most of his time sharing firsthand accounts from his time in the war. Now, congressman Scott Peters wants to honor that service by naming the post office on Middle End Road. The Ray Chavez post office. His daughter Kathleen says this honor would surprise her dad.

Speaker 3: 09:43 He's probably looking down from heaven right now saying, Gosh, I don't know why they're making such a big deal. I was just doing my job.

Speaker 12: 09:52 Rayesha has died in November of last year at the age of 106 Lynn Walsh KPBS news,

Speaker 3: 09:58 the fast and the furious is expanding its movie franchise by presenting a new film, spinning off some supporting characters. KPBS film critic Beth like Amando as this review of the latest franchise injury, Hobbes and Shaw, the fast and the furious hit the road in 2001 but didn't really take off until Justin Lynn started pushing it further and further into a giddy cartoon realm where physics got thrown out the window. But the action left you breathless. Now the fast and the furious franchise presents Hobbes in shot placing Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham in the lead roles. I had such high hopes for this being the big, dumb, fun action film of the summer with Johnson and state them joined by Idris Elba as the villain, bad guy and the director being former stunt man, David Leitch. The film delivers on big and dumb, but comes up short on the fun instead of the fast and the furious. It feels more like the slow and lackluster as Johnson and state them fight like an old married couple for more than two hours. Even when the fate of humankind does that stay?

Speaker 13: 10:59 Oh my three sure. What no one tells me. What's it do?

Speaker 3: 11:07 Sure. There were a couple of good fights and Ryan Reynolds makes a hilarious cameo, but the banter gets old fast. It's hard to imagine anyone could fail at such low hanging fruit, but legion as writers do, I'm sure it'll still make a ton of money based solely on the genuine charisma of Johnson state them and Elba, but it should have been so much more entertaining. Beth like Amando KPBS news tweets touting Wednesday as National Avocado Day may have been misleading people about San Diego approach as the state's top avocado producing county KPV as reporter Eric Anderson has details,

Speaker 11: 11:43 one tweet circulating Wednesday offers a bold statement, celebrate the green fruit because San Diego county produces 60% of all the avocados grown in California. Problem is, that's

Speaker 7: 11:54 not true. The San Diego Farm Bureau says the high cost of water has forced a lot of San Diego county farmers to give up on the crop, although those that remain are getting higher yields per acre. The value of the local avocado crop was $121 million last year. That's down from an avocado crop worth $145 million just 10 years earlier and Tura County's latest numbers list an avocado crop of $118 million in 2017 and in 2012 the State Agriculture Department, so that San Diego and Ventura county grew a combined 65% of the state's avocado crop. Eric Anderson KPBS News

Speaker 1: 12:37 San Diego is one step closer to reforming the community review board for the city's police department. KPBS reporter Prius for either explains Right now the Community Review Board examines investigations of officers by the department's internal affairs unit. One Charter amendment approved by the City Council's rules committee would allow the Review Board to conduct its own investigations specifically into officer involved shootings and deaths of people in police custody. Andrea Saint Julian is a lawyer who wrote the amendment

Speaker 14: 13:09 key to effective policing is the community's trust and law enforcement and the law enforcement and the community's belief that law enforcement is accountable to residents for its actions.

Speaker 1: 13:22 The proposal will now head to the council's public safety committee. Priya Sri, they're k PBS news. Debra Zay K was still a teen in 1940 when she and her new husband, Edmond Aka opened a health retreat into Katia Mexico called Rancho La Puerta. Then in 1958 say k started the golden door spa in the final installment of our California Dream Collaboration Series on health seekers and southern California. Zika. Spoke to KPV as reporter Ameesa Sharma recently about how she got into the spa business.

Speaker 6: 13:56 We have to go way back to Brooklyn, New York. My mother was vice president of the New York Vegetarian Society and we were vegetarians because of the depression. The only thing available was bananas and a full time Diet and bananas was somewhat monotonous and came the depression and my father lost his money in the stock market like everybody else and he was very, very depressed and we were not kind of rich Jews, but moderately well off duty. I had a nanny, my brother had a nanny, but when you lose everything, it's not quite all. And one day I'm came home and said, we are leaving Fatih Hedy in 16 days. And my father said, where's that? And she said, I don't really know, but here are the tickets. And then we stayed in TD for five years. We had a wonderful, the kind of fairytale existence. Then Dad went home, made a lot of money and we went to the bay area.

Speaker 6: 14:59 There have to. Well, when we went to heating, my mother met the man who was to be my husband, Edmund Saiki, went to Guadalajara and mum and he correspondent and he said, come by and visit. We started health camp there and Mexico and we got there and his secretary was packing because his father died and he was called back to England, so mom said we can't leave him with nobody here. And I had just graduated from high school at 16 and let's stay and help until he could find the secretary. He couldn't find one and I was his secretary and the end of the year on the train going home, I'd become the indispensable secretary and I got married at 17 and we started rental up where time. Why did you choose that area to open Rancho [inaudible] my head soon with an enemy alien, he was Hungarian. There was a war and we had been told by the u s government if he was found in the United States, June 1st, 1940 he would be returned to his country of origin.

Speaker 6: 16:14 And so it wasn't very attractive for Judy to be returned to your country of origin. And so we went to Mexico and to God, he had the best climate. So when we got there, there was nothing, and I mean nothing. We're talking about no electricity, no running water. We had outhouses, it was camping. And so we set up a summer camp and the first few years it was just a summer, but each time few people wanted to stay. He had coming to the ranch and number movie stars. The two main ones were Kim Novak who stayed a lot. And Burt Lancaster, Burt Lancaster, he practically lived at the ranch. Anyhow, in those days, nobody had personal trainers, nobody had massage, you know, and when they had a movie, they would come and stay at the ranch. When people were rent to rental apartments, what did they do all day? Climb the mountain lived according to what my husband called the natural and cosmic laws to return to what was our sort of original.

Speaker 6: 17:16 Why did you decide to open the golden doors spa? Well, because I'm moving doll ladies said, I wish you had a place just for us and also close to Hollywood and a number of came together with their coach and they would be learning their lines and exercising and eating properly and not drinking or anything and it caught on. I read a quote by you where you said, I've come to believe that the ranch has a special quality one that's really does describe that quality. I think it's the happy guests, everyone something. I always tell my guests that when you first get out of bed, you don't turn on the radio or TV or pick up the newspaper or this or that, but the first 1520 minutes silence just you and yourself as a kind of special piece in some ways, a love affair with oneself.

Speaker 1: 18:10 Zika is a KPBS donor. Thanks for listening to San Diego News matters. If you're not already a subscriber, take a minute to become one. You can find San Diego news matters on apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

San Diego News Matters podcast branding

San Diego News Matters

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.