A local business-oriented political action committee is fighting to keep Trestles off the National Register of Historic Places.
At issue is a forthcoming California State Historical Resources Commission vote on whether to nominate the famous surfing spot for status as a historic landmark.
The South Orange County Economic Coalition sees the move as a further attempt to stymie completion of the contentious 241 toll road, which they deem vital to commerce in the county. The nomination was initiated with support from the anti-tollway Surfrider Foundation.
"For over 70 years, this stretch of coast has been associated with events and activities that have played a significant role in the evolution of surfing as a sport, which is an integral part of Southern California's identity as a beach culture," states the Surfrider Foundation website. "The physical isolation and absence of commercial growth encouraged the development of a society whose lifestyle and unique culture would later personify Southern California and influence surfing worldwide."
Surfrider encourages letter writing and signing a petition. Here is a link for more information.
(See the attached PDF document for the full annotated history of Trestles as outlined in the nomination form.)
In similar fashion, the economic coalition has urged those on its email list to write letters to the state commission, which will meet Feb. 8 in Sacramento, opposing the nomination. The group says landmark status would also "hamstring" future improvements to the vital rail corridor through the San Onofre State Beach park.
Wendy Bucknum of Mission Viejo, a board member of the South Orange County Regional Chamber of Commerce, said: “We’re just putting the word out to go ahead and do a letter-writing campaign to speak out about what we perceive as a veiled attempt at another approach at stopping the toll road. We see this as a direct threat. The completion of this toll road is something that business organizations and the South Orange County Economic Coalition have been following for the past several years because it’s important to the infrastructure of South Orange County.”
The following is a copy of the letter from SOCEC urging its members to contact the historical resources commission:
Dear Business and Civic Leaders -
You heard from us last week that special interests are attempting to stop economic progress and mobility in our region by listing Trestles as an "historic place." We like Trestles; it's a great beach. But this is nothing more than a backdoor attempt to stop infrastructure development in Southern California.
Here's the gist of this latest effort: exploit the National Historic Preservation Act to list Trestles on the National Register of Historic Places - a registry reserved for our nation's most iconic and significant sites, like Mission San Juan Capistrano, President Lincoln's birthplace and Antietam Battlefield.
There's no question that this would have far-reaching impacts to our local economy. Importantly, it would hamstring upwards of $280 million in improvements to the Coastal Rail Corridor, which is vital to moving people and goods in Southern California. This is the second-busiest rail corridor in the nation and its importance to our economy cannot be understated.
But you can help. The State Historical Resources Commission will consider this nomination on February 8 in Sacramento.
Please send a letter to the Commission today to tell them to protect the integrity and honor of our history and deny the opposition's attempt to list Trestles as an "historic place."
The South Orange County Economic Coalition
P.S. The OC Register reports that several thousand letters have been sent by special interests. But many of these are from around the world. Show the Commission that local leaders care about this issue and how it impacts our economy.