Seal Beach's First Street Beach seems ideal for a memorial - at least, to the members of the Salon Meritage Memorial Committee.
Last September, the citizens committee examined the site for a possible memorial honoring the victims of the Salon Meritage mass killing Oct. 12, 2011.
The parking lot at First Street Beach - also known as Wind Surf Park and sometimes as River's End Cafe area - had recently undergone considerable upgrading and landscaping work. It's in a relatively isolated area, a spot where surfers and swimmers quietly make their way to and from the shoreline.
One committee member, Kathy Cunningham, shared her impressions of the site after visiting it in September.
"It was lovely," she said. "It was wonderfully peaceful."
A Costa Mesa firm, David Volz Design, has been selected to design a memorial, and the city Parks and Recreation Commission had been scheduled to review the plans before sending them on to the City Council in December.
But an unexpected glitch has delayed the selection process.
Tim Kelsey, the city's recreation manager who is coordinating the memorial project, said members of two households along the shoreline - known by locals as the Gold Coast - raised concerns about potential increased foot traffic at the proposed memorial site.
"There was some concern voiced ... from residents," he said.
Some said the proposed memorial - an estimated 20 square feet - was too close to the homes, and takes up too much sand space, Kelsey said.
Former Councilman Charles Antos, who represented the First District where the proposed memorial site is located, said one of the committee members wanted the memorial at Eisenhower Park near the pier. However, Kelsey said the committee has unanimously voted for the First Street Beach site.
The commission most likely will consider the issue in March, according to Kelsey, adding that the council will then take the final site selection.
On Oct. 12, 2011, a gunman stormed the hair salon at 500 Pacific Coast Highway and shot nine people, killing eight. It was the worst mass killing in Orange County history.
Naples canal seawall
California Coastal Commission analyst Chuck Posner said this week that restoration plans for the Naples Island canal seawall will not be decided based on cost factors.
The restoration of the Naples canal seawall could cost at least $18 million - or twice as much as the original proposal, according to a city feasibility study.
The city's original proposal was to construct a replacement seawall on the water side of the canal at an estimated cost of $9 million, but Coastal Commission staff requested that land-side options be evaluated.
Aside from the costs, the city's feasibility study of the land-side options show it also would affect 67 trees that would need to be removed.
It would also be more difficult to avoid potential damage to private property under the land-side restoration. Posner said that could have a bearing on the commission decision.