Sandstony Cliffs of Sunset

The December 7 meeting of the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Council was canceled due to storm-related power outages in the Point Loma area.

On the agenda was a presentation by City Associate Engineer Paul Jacobs. Jacobs was to update the park council on the “comprehensive drainage study” performed in advance of further development of the park.

At the next meeting, Jacobs will present more than one solution for erosion control in the park. Sunset Cliffs’ soft sandstone is highly susceptible to erosion. Protecting the natural aspect of the park while providing effective drainage is the challenge.

The three major causes of erosion in the park are; storm runoff from uphill development, upslope landscape irrigation seeping through the ground, and uncontrolled pedestrian foot traffic.

The park council has tried to advocate “soft” solutions, such as designing curbing on streets to direct runoff, resloping parking lots and streets, incorporating bio-swales and detention basins, and trail building and management. The goal is to control runoff entering the park from the upslope neighborhood streets and the PLNU campus and convey it safely through the park.

These issues and others will be under discussion in the coming year as implementation of the Sunset Cliffs Master Plan moves forward. Park council meetings are held on the first Monday of each month at the Cabrillo Recreation Center (3051 Cañon Street).

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