SACRAMENTO — AB 1426, by Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath (D-Encinitas), to enshrine in state law a settlement agreement protecting San Onofre State Beach from infrastructure development was signed by Governor Newsom. This marks the successful conclusion of what has been a nearly two-decade fight to save the iconic world class surf spot, Trestles, and the surrounding state park, which is enjoyed by more than 2.5 million yearly visitors.
AB 1426 prohibits any transportation agency or government entity from authorizing, funding, or constructing any new infrastructure that encroaches on the land currently protected by a combination of San Onofre State Beach and the Richard H. and Donna O’Neill Conservancy.
Ever since the early 2000’s, a broad coalition of conservation groups have advocated against the use of the park in a proposal to build a multi-lane extension from the Foothill south toll road in Orange County south to Highway 5. The signing of AB 1426 into law codifies the settlement reached in 2016 between the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA), the Save San Onofre Coalition, and the State that has prevented road construction to date.
“I am incredibly grateful to all of the amazing people who have kept the pressure up over all these years to bring us to this point,” said Assemblymember Boerner Horvath. “This new law ensures that the hard work of everyone who fought to save this park cannot be undone. This is a huge victory for the cause of conservation in Southern California and for the future generations of surfers, bikers, hikers, and fishermen who will be able to enjoy this special park just as we have.”