Project Overview

This project involves improvements to the parking lot and beach access from Neptune Avenue to Beacon’s Beach to mitigate the impacts of the area landslide.

Beacon’s Beach bluff, parking lot, and access trail have been subject to landslides throughout the past several decades. These land movements have impacted beach access safety and threaten the public parking lot stability. 

Project implementation is dependent upon approval by the California Coastal Commission (CCC), agreement with the California Department of Parks and Recreation, which owns the beach, and review by regional agencies such as the Surfrider Foundation. 


The project area is at risk of another landslide, which could be reactivated by such hazards as earthquake, wave uprush from heavy storm activity and sea level rise, and winter storm damage.  Landslides have occurred in this area several times in the past. The landslide encompasses virtually all of the coastal bluff below the parking lot down to the beach, including the public parking and public access.

Currently, the landslide is only marginally stable, and site conditions are becoming increasingly precarious with further decreased geologic stability.  Ongoing coastal erosion and the seismic setting of the site present risks that could trigger instability in the short term. Minor earthquake shaking is believed to be a likely landslide failure trigger.

The Beacon’s Beach project will relocate the bluff top parking lot outside of the mapped landslide failure plane and provide ongoing beach access.

Project implementation is dependent upon approval by the California Coastal Commission (CCC), agreement with the California Department of Parks and Recreation, which owns the beach.

Guiding Principles

  1. Protect health and safety of the public.
  2. Preserve access to Beacon’s Beach. 
  3. Maintain existing trail at current level of maintenance.
  4. Construct a permanent and safe stairway access to the beach.
  5. A sensitive low scale beach access solution that responds to the existing topography and place.
  6. Integrate soft materials into the project.
  7. Reflect the unique character of the Leucadia community in the design, as well as artful design details. 
  8. Incorporate a seasonal lifeguard platform.
  9. Work within the budget for the project.  
  10. Address regulatory agencies requirements.


Beacon’s State Beach Access project cost estimate is approximately $750,000 for design and $3.5M for construction (2017 dollars). 

City Council will consider funding for the Beacon’s State Beach projects in the 20/21 fiscal year.  The majority of the project funding has been reallocated to other projects for the 19/20 budget year, with a balance of $441,000 remaining to address emergency work as it arises.  Staff is actively seeking grant funding opportunities. 


The City Council initiated the preliminary engineering and environmental phase for this project in August, 2017.

  1. 50% Design Plans: June 28, 2018
  2. Citizen Participation Meeting: June 28, 2018
  3. Planning Commission direction to revise staircase design: July 19, 2018
  4. Public workshops: September 15 & 17, 2018 and October 15, 2018
  5. Planning Commission consideration of DR 18-185: December 6, 2018
  6. Approval sought from interested agencies and CCC: 2019
  7. Construction beginning: November, 2019

Important Documents

CEQA Determination
Draft Notice of Exemption
CEQA Landslide Assessment  - July 5, 2018
CEQA Memorandum - July 5, 2018

Draft Project Plans 
This project proposes a new beach access stairway connecting a series of pier-supported landings down the face of the bluff.   The design of the relocated parking lot will attempt to minimize the loss of parking spaces and the preferred configuration will allow for vehicles to exit to W. Leucadia Blvd.  The current parking lot configuration accommodates 25 spaces within the parking lot.  The reconstructed lot may accommodate approximately 16 parking spaces, with the actual number to be determined during design.  The current switchback trail is proposed to be maintained in place.  The project may include additional amenities currently under consideration, such as a permanent location for a lifeguard tower to be placed, a shower at the beach, and a water fountain.

Project Plans - June 28, 2018
Interim Parking Plan
Project Renderings - July 12, 2018  

Geotechnical Reports and Assessments- Various Dates
CEQA Landslide Assessment  - July 5, 2018
CEQA Memorandum - July 5, 2018
Supplemental Geotechnical Report - May 30, 2018
Project Alternatives That Were Considered - August 16, 2017
Geologic Update – June 15, 2017
CCC Responses – February 11, 2016
Beacon’s Alternative 4C Slope Rebuilding Soil Cement Buttress – September 4, 2015
Soil Cement Memorandum - August 28, 2015
Geotechnical Update – November 21, 2014
Geotechnical Investigation Beacon's Beach Access - April 17, 2003   Part 1   Part 2 
Beacon's Geotechnical Feasibility Study - September 21, 1990

Permitting Agency Information
California Coastal Commission Coastal Act
California Coastal Commission project review letter dates March 8, 2017
California State Parks General Plan for Leucadia State Beach
State Operating Agreement for Moonlight and Leucadia Beaches

City Council Meetings
August 16, 2017 City Council Meeting Video and Agenda Report
August 30, 2017 City Council Meeting Video and Agenda Report

Citizen Participation Program (17-263 DR)
Notice of Citizen Participation Program (CPP) Meeting – June 28, 2018
CPP  – PowerPoint Presentation – June 28, 2018
CPP draft whiteboard comments 
CPP meeting comment cards (transcribed)
Submitted emails
Beacon's Beach Staircase Plan and Proposal - prepared by Ari Marsh
Final CPP Report with attachments  July 12, 2018 

Citizen Participation Program (18-185 DR)
1) Pop-Up @ Beacon's Beach - Saturday, September 15 from 8:00am - 12:00pm     Exhibits
2) Workshop 1 @ Council Chambers - Monday, September 17, 2018 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm     Notice     Audio
3) Workshop 2 @ Council Chambers - Monday, October 15, 2018 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm   Notice   Video  Presentation
4) Open House - Wednesday November 7, 2018 6:00pm - 8:00pm      Flyer      Concept Plan and Renderings
Final CPP report with attachments  November 20, 2018

Planning Commission (18-185 DR)
December 6, 2018 - Project plans

Miscellaneous Documents

Notes from Meeting Between GSI, City, and AECOM - September 14, 2018
Beacon's Alternative 4C-FAQ
Trail Maintenance

Contact Us

For questions or concerns about the project, please contact the Project Manager by phone or email:

Jill Bankston, Project Manager
[email protected]