Flooding on Seacoast Drive during king tide
Flooding at the south end of Seacoast Drive in Imperial Beach during a king tide. Photo by Chris Helmer / City of Imperial Beach

The Greater San Diego Association of Realtors said Wednesday that nearly $1.1 million has been granted to nonprofit group to help defend property rights in coastal communities as the sea level rises.

Smart Coast California, which is organized as a nonprofit business league, was founded in 2019 in response to climate change policies impacting coastal communities and property owners. 

Carla Farley, who is president of the local Realtors organizaiton, also serves as the 2021 president of Smart Coast .

“The Greater San Diego Association of Realtors is not only the voice for real estate professionals, but also for property owners throughout San Diego County,” said Farley. “We helped to form Smart Coast California to ensure a strong, unified voice was in place up and down California’s coastline in defense of property rights and of our coastal communities.” 

Funding for the group has come from the California Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors.

“Few individuals are aware of some of the controversial policies being advanced by the California Coastal Commission, including managed retreat, which would require the removal of needed protective devices, such as sea walls,” said Farley. “These policies are an affront to property rights and would prevent our coastal communities and property owners from defending their homes and neighborhoods from rising seas,”

She said Smart Coast plans to monitor the actions of the Coastal Commission and advocate for “balanced coastal management policies” that protect homeowners and community character.

“We’ve been tremendously active up and down the coast over the past 18 months, including weighing in on 16 local coastal plans as well as several related California Coastal Commission actions and state legislative proposals,” Farley said.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.