Seacliff fence comes down

Joe Parrot (center) of Santa Cruz County Parks uses a chainsaw to tear down a wood fence on Beach Road in the Seacliff area Tuesday to open up a section of walkway to the public. (Photo by Tarmo Hannula/LIFE)

SEACLIFF — A long-standing fence that has thrown off pedestrian traffic from a stretch of Beach Road in the Seacliff area of Santa Cruz County for decades has now been opened to the public.

On Tuesday, a crew from Santa Cruz County Parks showed up with hammers, crowbars, chainsaws and a dump truck to break down and haul away a stretch of fence to ultimately open the length of pathway to anyone ambling along.

“We’ve have made it clear that this is a public access point,” said County Supervisor Zach Friend. “The main things blocking public access are the wall and the fence and we are fully committed to reopening this to public access. We have made it abundantly clear to residents and the community that we needed to open this up. Enough is enough. We want to make a statement that this is a community-owned asset. And by the way, if you really believe that this was a privately-owned asset, why haven’t you been paying property taxes on it for the last couple of decades?”

Bob Johnson said he is a surfer and a regular visitor to Rio Del Mar State Beach.

“I’ve always been a big advocate of open public beach access,” he said. “Look, I’ve been coming to this beach for years and never knew this was open to the public. The idea of opening this up to the public is the right thing to do."


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