The California Historical Resources Commission voted unanimously Friday to make San Onofre State Beach, encompassing Trestles, a nationally recognized historical heritage site, despite protests by toll-road supporters.
The recommendation will be forwarded to the Navy Federal Preservation Officer (the park is part of Camp Pendleton and leased to the state) and the Keeper of the National Register, part of the National Parks Service, said the Surfrider Foundation's Mark Rauscher.
"We were extremely thrilled, especially given the sort of unexpected controversy in the past few weeks," Rauscher said. "The decisions for historical designation should be made without politics... it should be based on the value of the resource."
The Surfrider Foundation, which led the move to make the park a historic place, also led a successful effort several years ago to stymie a planned extension of the 241 Toll Road through Trestles.
Toll-road fans, including the South Orange County Economic Coalition and Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach, called the effort to get the site on the national register a cynical attempt to stop plans to connect the 241 to the I-5 Freeway.
But Rauscher said the crucial role Trestles and neighboring surf breaks played in forming the California surf culture led to the historic designation efforts.
"We were really able to make the case that Trestles... is really important, not just to Southern California surf culture but to American culture, because it really expanded into a nationwide phenomenon," he said.