South Casa Stairway closed indefintely for repairs due to erosion

The stairs to South Casa Beach are closed indefinitely. Photo: Dave Schwab

Beachgoers won't be able to get to South Casa Beach now that the stairs are closed. Photo: Dave Schwab

By Dave Schwab
Staff Writer

South Casa stairway in La Jolla remains closed indefinitely by the city of San Diego after being closed in mid-December for repairs to fix erosion damage.

“They’ve (stairs) been deemed unsafe,” said Stacey LoMedico, director of the city Park and Recreation Department. “It was an emergency closure. We’re in the process of having engineering staff review them to let us know what’s needed, and then we’ll go into the process of securing funds and repairing.”

In a letter dated Feb. 8 to the California Coastal Commission, LoMedico noted city park and rec staff, while performing routine maintenance at South Casa Stairway in December, noticed the stairs were more damaged than at the last check.

“Staff noticed further erosion from the base,” said LoMedico, adding, “It’s going to be closed for a while. There needs to be some reconstruction of the stairs. We should have more information within the next few weeks.”

On Jan. 28, city staff met with the city’s Risk Management Department, which concurred with the decision to close the stairway until repairs can be made.

City Engineering and Capital Projects Department staff have begun laying the groundwork for stairwell reconstruction, preparing repair documents and obtaining the necessary building permits.

LoMedico’s letter stated the stairwell will likely be closed for at least the summer season.

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Posted by Dave Schwab on Feb 16, 2011. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

4 Comments for “South Casa Stairway closed indefintely for repairs due to erosion”

  1. npk32

    Close North Beach too.

  2. SD Native

    And because of the closer seals have been born there as well, now we have 2 beaches lost to the public…

  3. bigdipper

    According to §126.0708 (a) a coastal development shall not encroach on any public right of way, especially one cited as coastal access in a Local Coastal Plan such as the La Jolla Community Plan Subarea E:,e. "South Casa Beach. Small pocket beach accessible by concrete stairway. Part of Coastal Boulevard Park."

    That means a permit to close the stairs would have to be an emergency permit under §126.0718. Were we not assured it was an emergency permit? Ha. Coastal permit 798115 was NOT an emergency permit. It never mentioned the closure and only justified the repairs. It was not posted during any hearing or appeal period so it slipped under the radar. Had the City gotten the required emergency permit, it would have had to get that "vertical access to the shore" reinstated in 30 days. Why do that? – just send a note to the Coastal Commission to look the other way.

    I brought this to the attention of Parks and Rec on 1/25. The eventual reply on 2/24 was…. "There is a budget for the repairs and permits are being approved. This was moved to the top of our list and we will have the repairs completed as soon as possible. I do not currently have the cost of repairs." Bull. The permit was approved on Feb 11.

    Meanwhile, when the tides are favorable, harbor seals find the nice apparently abandoned beach. By a funny coincidence the stairs coastal permit was filed the same day the rope to cordon off Children's Pool was installed, 12/15. San Diego will soon have built another seal colony and lost another public beach. Then it may never have to repair the stairs. A fine cost savings move.

  4. npk32

    God forbid wildlife has a place in the community. If there's anything San Diego lacks, I doubt it's public beaches. It's amazing how short-sighted this community has become.

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