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Twin Lakes Improvement Projects

Location: East Cliff Drive from the Yacht Harbor to 12th Avenue


Project Manager: James Davies


Background and History: The goal of the Twin Lakes Improvement Projects is to provide for improved access to Twin Lakes Beach, the Harbor, and the Marine Sanctuary in the area adjacent to East Cliff Drive. Construction is expected to include stabilization of the roadside edge, and pedestrian, bicycle and parking improvements, while at the same time designing these changes to protect the beachfront character and natural surroundings.

Community meetings held between the fall of 2000 and the summer of 2001 focused on these general areas:

  • Lake and 5th Avenue Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements - Eaton Street to East Cliff Drive (Phase 1); and
  • Schwan Lake Pedestrian Improvements - East Cliff Drive along the lake side from 9th Avenue continuing around Schwan Lake connecting to the end of the existing sidewalks at 12th Avenue, along with an overlook and parking area at 11th Avenue (Phase 2); and
  • Twin Lakes Beachfront Roadside Improvements - East Cliff Drive from the end of 5th Avenue (at the harbor entrance), along East Cliff Drive to about the end of 9th Avenue (Phase 3).

Cooperation between residents, Port District, Harbor businesses, State Parks, Coastal Commission and the County is necessary in order to identify appropriate solutions for an overall plan that provides for and enhances this important coastal area.


Given the complexity of issues raised at the initial public meetings, the project has been broken into smaller stand-alone segments. Pedestrian improvements on Lake and 5th Avenues between Eaton Street and East Cliff Drive became a separate project completed in the fall of 2003.


With the completion of construction of Lake and 5th Avenues Improvements, the Agency is now working on implementing a conceptual plan for Phase 2 which focuses on pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle use along East Cliff Drive between 9th and 12th Avenues.  The Agency is also working on implementing a conceptual plan for Phase 3, with a similar focus along East Cliff Drive between 5th and 11th Avenues.


Schwan Lake Pedestrian Improvements Project: East Cliff Drive from 9th to 12th Avenues (Phase 2):

A community meeting to review conceptual designs for pedestrian pathway improvements along the Schwan Lake side of East Cliff Drive connecting 9th Avenue to the existing sidewalk on East Cliff Drive near 12th Avenue was held on June 3, 2004. The general consensus expressed at this meeting supported the proposed pedestrian pathway while also raising concerns about vehicle speeds on East Cliff Drive and access to the adjacent residential neighborhood.  A Route Concept Plan for pedestrian improvements along East Cliff Drive between 9th and 12th Avenues was approved by the Board of Supervisors on November 23, 2004. 


Simulated Photo: 

Bicycle Riders


Project Status:  

Engineering studies for the Schwan Lake Pedestrian Pathway are presently underway, and a development permit application has been submitted to the Planning Department.  A Coastal Development permit will be required.  Completion of the final design phase of work for this project will be contingent upon permit approvals.  Construction is anticipated for 2012.


Twin Lakes Beachfront Roadside Improvement Project: East Cliff Drive from 5th to 9th Avenues (Phase 3): 

The Agency held three community meetings for the development of a conceptual design plan for this phase of the Twin Lakes Projects area. The first on September 27, 2007,  the second on January 10, 2008, and the third on May 1, 2008.  These meetings were well-attended, and many comments were received from the public. 


Project goals include:

  • Maximizing pedestrian access and safety

  • Providing for safe bicycle access

  • Improving parking and vehicular access

  • Maintaining scenic qualities and natural character

At the third meeting on May 1st, a conceptual design plan was presented. Comments received from the participants at this meeting overwhelmingly approved of the proposed plan. The Concept Plan can be viewed by clicking here. The Concept Plan was then submitted to the Board of Supervisors and approved at its August 12, 2008, meeting. 


Project Status:

Engineering and other studies for the roadside improvements are presently underway, and a development permit application will be submitted to the Planning Department upon completion of preliminary design plans. 


Following County Planning Department permit approvals, plans will be submitted to the California Coastal Commission for additional permits.  Completion of the final design phase of work for this project will be contingent upon permit approvals. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2012.

Project Update:

A community meeting held October 28th, 2010, reviewed the Schwan Lake Pedestrian Improvements and showed the latest Twin Lakes Beachfront design plans. To view the visual presentation, please click here.