Cheaper camping options could be coming to the popular Dockweiler State Beach if Coastal Commission approves an application from Los Angeles County to add 19 spaces for tent-campers.

County Supervisors recently approved rate increases for a variety of services across County owned coastal property. The August discussion isn’t directly related to those rate increases and while the County will require Commission approval for increased parking rates at the existing RV parking spots.

In August, the County is applying for an expansion of the Dockweiler campsite. The property currently has 118 spaces with full electrical, water and sewer hookups. Fees for the existing spaces range from $55 – $65 per space, per day and the County will return to Coastal Commission in the future to discuss raising those prices by $10 per day.

At the August meeting, discussion will focus on 19 new campervan sites that will only have electrical hookups. The county is proposing a fee of $45 for the newly established spaces that will range from 220 – 300 square feet and will include a pad and barbecue.

New construction will include picnic tables on the sandy beach areas adjacent to each campervan site, two Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible picnic tables, a 125-square-foot modular restroom building and new waste disposal area within the existing footprint of the RV Park, a space for food service (e.g. food truck), and an outdoor wash basin.

“The expansion includes removal of a volleyball court net and an approximately 110-square-foot enclosed dog run, and the construction of a new asphalt drive loop off the southern (downcoast) end of the existing RV Park,” said the staff report. “In addition, the applicant proposes to enhance approximately 0.86-acre of southern foredune habitat area adjacent to and surrounding the camper van site, which will include: the removal of non-native vegetation on a regular basis to allow native vegetation to re-establish throughout the dunes; the removal of an old bicycle path to the south west (seaward) of the proposed camping area; the installation of an approximately four-foot tall wooden split-rail fence to protect the dune enhancement/restoration areas from pedestrian foot traffic; and educational signage to identify the dune areas and help inform the public of the sensitive habitat area.”

Commission staff are supporting the proposal with conditions that protect the nearby ecosystem citing the need for low cost access to the beach.

“Commission staff has worked closely with the County, and after discussions and numerous revisions to the proposal, is supportive of the proposed project description and proposed fee structure,” said the staff report. “The proposed project, as conditioned, will serve to provide important public recreational improvements as well as dune restoration in a location where both are critically needed.”

The Commission will meet on August 7, 8 and 9 in Eureka. The Dockweiler proposal is scheduled for August 9 and will be available to watch online at www.coastal.ca.gov.

editor@smdp.com

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