California toll road proposal voted down
Supporters of the proposed six-lane road through San Onofre State Beach vow to fight on.
In a major victory for environmentalists, the California Coastal Commission rejected a proposal to build a six-lane toll road through the San Onofre State Beach park, a popular nature preserve known for its wildlife and world-class surf breaks.
The vote, which was greeted by an enormous cheer, followed 12 hours of public testimony from the crowd, of whom 2,500 made formal requests to speak, the largest number for a hearing in the commission's more than 30 years of operation.
Some arrived by bus, brought by surf-industry companies opposed to the project. Others came as members of construction unions that support it. Some in the crowd carried surfboards as a symbol of protest. Others dressed as if attending a long-awaited football game.
The noisy crowd sat in rows of chairs and banks of bleachers at the rear of Wyland Hall at Del Mar Fairgrounds to participate in a long-awaited showdown over a road proposal that has generated intense public interest across the state.