OCEAN BEACH, CA. There may be a Santa Claus after all – if you like fire pits and rings at the beach. The California Coastal Commission has just informed the City of San Diego that it will need a permit from the state to remove the the fire rings in Ocean Beach, and the other beaches – Mission, PB and La Jolla Shores.
Mayor Jerry Sanders has proposed removing the 186 fire pits in order to save bucks on their maintenance as he grapples with a 179 million dollar deficit.
The last-minute hero that bonfire fans are looking to this time is the California Coastal Commission, the state agency charged with protecting the coast and recreational opportunities there for the public.
The 186 fire pits have been a colorful aspect of the city’s growing budget woes since Mayor Jerry Sanders proposed removing them late last year to save on maintenance. The coastal regulator has not previously intervened, even though at one point the city rolled out heavy machinery to start extracting them.
The commission has now informed the city that it will need a state permit before removing the concrete squares that warm marshmallow-roasting families and late-night partyers in Mission Bay, Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla Shores.
Coastal Commission decisions can become drawn-out, bureaucratic affairs. But city officials said they have involved their lawyers in the belief that no permit will be needed and that, if a permit is necessary, approval will be quick and easy. Go here for the remainder of the story.