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BEACH: SAN CLEMENTE

City Council OKs Coastal Trail Study

July 18, 1998|LINN GROVES

Moving one step closer to a decision on a controversial trail, the City Council this week agreed to undertake a major environmental study of the proposal.

Council members said they want to know all their options for the proposed coastal trail before they make a decision.

"We should spend the small dollars to make sure we're doing it right," Councilman Patrick M. Ahle said.

The city has not determined how much the study will cost.

Residents and environmentalists, including Derail the Trail and the Surfrider Foundation, contend that building a walled trail along the shoreline will damage the environment and limit access to the beach.

The proposed trail would run along railroad tracks on a 1.4-mile stretch of shore from Ole Hanson Beach to the T Street Bridge.

Earlier this year, the Orange County Transportation Authority, which owns land around the railroad tracks, approved allocating $4.52-million in federal funds to begin building the trail locally.

If the project is approved, construction would begin early next year, with completion in about six months. The next stretch of trail would be built on a 0.8-mile stretch from T Street Bridge to Avenida Calafia.

The path could eventually be part of a 70-mile stretch of coastal trails, still in the planning stages, that would link Dana Point to San Diego.

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