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California beach gets permission to build Eruv

A Shul has won permission to to put up an Eruv along the beach from Santa Monica to Marina del Rey after promising to take care to protect rare bird nests. The eruv will also stretch inland through parts of Santa Monica and Los Angeles. The beachfront Eruv, granted for three years, will be the first of its kind in California, officials said.

“It’s a relief and it’s very exciting for us,” said Rabbi Ben Geiger of the Pacific Jewish Center, which faced resistance from Coastal Commission staff over the safety of a protected bird and opposition from neighbors about fears of obstructed ocean views.

The Eruv will run along Ocean Front Walk from Ballona Creek on the south to the Santa Monica Freeway on the north.

The roughly square border will stretch east to the San Diego Freeway.

Other Eruvs wind through sections of the Westside and the San Fernando Valley.

But the beachfront version has presented unusual challenges because it will pass through the ecologically fragile nesting area of the protected least tern.

The Shul agreed to place metallic streamers on portions of the fishing line near the nesting area to stop the birds from flying into the wire and hurting themselves.

At a hearing Thursday, coastal commissioners imposed another condition, requiring the Shul to work with its staff to develop a system for monitoring the impact on the least tern.

Shul leaders will get their permit once they work out the monitoring details, which they hope to do within weeks or months at the latest.

The Shul must still raise money and obtain construction bids.

The three-year permit, the official said, will allow time to evaluate the impact of the Eruv.

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