Vacationers visiting the California coastline may soon have more a few more economical lodging options if state lawmakers approve a bill proposed by San Diego Assemblymember Lorena González Fletcher.
Proposed in January and approved by the assembly last week, the bill would task the California Coastal Conservancy with establishing a program encouraging the development of affordable lodgings within a mile-and-a-half of the state’s coastline.
In some cases, the conservancy could purchase existing hotels, which would then be operated by state agencies or nonprofit and for-profit organizations. In others, new cabins, hostels, RV parks, and campgrounds could be established on public land.
The California State Parks Foundation supports the bill, arguing the measure would “break down the economic barriers that are preventing equitable access to California’s coast.”
A study by researchers at UCLA and San Fransisco State University recently found that more than 60 percent of Californians feel that limited access to the beach is a problem in the state. Seventy-five percent of those polled in the study said that the availability of affordable overnight accommodations was an obstacle to coastal access.
“Our beaches and coasts belong to all Californians, regardless of income,” González Fletcher said announcing the legislation. “We have some work to do to make these public assets accessible and affordable for everyone.”
The bill is now headed to the state senate.