OCEANSIDE — City Council voted June 5 to set aside $650,000 to cart sand from the San Luis Rey River environmental cleanup project to the rocky beachfront at Wisconsin Avenue.
Funds will come from the sale of the Laguna Vista Mobile Home Park. Final proceeds from the sale are expected to be $4.7 million.
City Council approved funds to move the sand in a 3-1 vote in which Councilwoman Esther Sanchez voted no and Mayor Jim Wood was absent.
The river sand needs to be moved off the site as part of the environmental cleanup project.
“In order to plant vegetation we have to remove sand to lower the elevation,” City Manager Peter Weiss said.
The environmental cleanup project has already taken decades. There is still property mitigation to resolve and additional mowing, grading and restoration to complete before the sand can be moved.
The timeline depends in part on when the Army Corps of Engineers completes the second phase of mowing. This requires permits and chopping through unwanted brush with a massive vegetation mower.
“It is unlikely we will move the sand this year,” Weiss said.
The earliest sand is expected to be put on the beach is next spring. Before river sand is placed on the beach it must be tested and deemed to be beach-quality sand. The city hopes it can coordinate moving the riverbed sand with annual harbor dredging operations in spring.
“It has to be removed,” Councilman Jack Feller said. “We own the property, we own the sand. It will help the tourist cause.
“At least we’ll be ready at a moment’s notice,” Feller added.
Last year’s efforts to replenish beach sand were halted by an unexpected run of grunion. This left less sand on the Wisconsin Avenue beach.
“There is absolutely no sand there at all,” Weiss said.