An Historic Day for the Unrestored Cottages on the North Beach!
March 8th, 2017 was an incredible milestone for everyone that loves Crystal Cove. The California Coastal Commission unanimously approved a coastal development permit for the restoration of the 17 remaining unrestored cottages on the North Beach at Crystal Cove State Park. As joint applicants on the project, Crystal Cove Alliance (CCA) and California State Parks (CSP) were eager to see the project get the green light to proceed.
For the past 4 years, CCA and State Parks have been working diligently with the California Coastal Commission on this permitting process. These cottages represent the capstone project for CCA under its mission of Preservation, Education and Conservation. All 17 cottages are identified as part of the overnight rental program in the previously approved Preservation and Public Use Plan (PPUP). Cottage #20, will be designed as a dorm unit where students will have an opportunity to spend 36 nights per year in an overnight education program. During the hearing, commissioners and the public both lauded Crystal Cove as a real public access success story and a crown jewel in the State Parks system.
“We look forward to raising awareness about the importance of finishing this last restoration project at Crystal Cove, ensuring the cottages live on for generations to come,” CCA Founder and Vice President, Laura Davick said. “To accomplish this, we’ll need support from the entire community. Once completed, this project will be self-sustaining and will also provide additional revenue for CCA’s growing education and conservation programs.”
Once funds are secured, the project will be completed in two stages. First, work will be done on the infrastructure and site preparation including underground utilities, sewer system, retaining walls, boardwalk installation and additional requirements to manage sea level rise. This stage of the project is estimated to take 2 years. The second stage will include the actual cottage restoration – a process that will ensure that each cottage is then restored back to the period of 1935 to 1955. Through this process, which is estimated at approximately 3 years, each cottage is evaluated and restored on a case by case basis.
When people visit the park, there are two questions that are most often asked: “How do I get a reservation for a cottage?” and “When are you going to finish the rest of them?”. The answer to both of these are uniquely tied together. More cottages equal more rental opportunities! Once complete, the North Beach restoration project will effectively double the number of rental units available to the public, creating an additional 47,815 rental opportunities every year ranging from $35 (dorm-style, shared room) to $245 (large cottage) per night. As far as when they will be completed, that truly rests in the hands of all Crystal Cove lovers. You see, the timing for completion is tied to our ability as a community to help raise these funds. CCA firmly believes this is our responsibility, and the time is now.
California Coastal Commission, a long-time dedicated partner on this project has provided $5 million in mitigation funding for the North Beach restoration project. Of this, $4 million will be used for the actual project, and $1 million will be used to create a permanent education endowment for Coastal Engineering Education Programs in partnership with University of California of Irvine (UCI), and California State Parks. In addition, an anonymous donor has also made a donation of $3 million to support the project. CCA and CSP are currently in the process of re-estimating the project and should have final costs for the project and the future campaign by this June.
The North Beach restoration will move CCA ever closer to fulfilling its vision of a fully restored and sustainable Crystal Cove State Park, open to the public, advancing education and conservation for generations to come. If you are interested in learning more about how you can help to become part of the Legacy of Crystal Cove, please contact Laura Davick, Founder and Vice President of CCA at (949) 887-0062.