|Summary|| The Crystal Cove Historic District is a beachfront community of 46 historic cottages (from 1930-40s) that at one time were leased as private residential vacation cottages. There is a long history of attempts to keep this area privatized. Through the collaborative efforts of the California Coastal Commission, State Parks and the Crystal Cove Alliance, this project would restore lower cost accommodations and public access to Crystal Cove.
The project proposal is primarily for the restoration of the last unrestored cottages remaining in the Historic District: the 17 cottages on North Beach.
While the project is not consistent with Coastal Act Section 30253(b) to avoid new development in hazardous locations and to not rely on protective devices that result in significant alteration of landforms such as bluffs, the Coastal Commission’s public access and recreation policies concurrently warrant approval of the proposed development.
The project uses Coastal Commission mitigation funds to establish new lower cost overnight accommodations. Cottage #20 is proposed as a dorm style cottage and would contain 11 beds, to be rented individually per bed. The proposal also includes establishment of an overnight educational program for approximately 200-300 under-served youth per year to have 2-night stays in Cottage #20 throughout the school year, using a portion of the mitigation funds held in an endowment for the program.
The Coastal Development Permit was approved unanimously.
|Outcome Description|| Coastal Commissioners spoke in support of the project. Commissioner Donne Brownsey requested that the applicant look into coming up with an equitable reservation system for folks who may not have access to the internet to make a reservation, perhaps by conducting outreach to inland communities or reserving certain weekends where they can sign up manually or over the phone. The applicant agreed to look into this option.
Commissioner Gregory Cox moved to approve the project. He commended staff, State Parks and the Crystal Cove Alliance for their efforts. He did express concern that this is not necessarily the most efficient use of mitigation funds for, but conceded nonetheless that it is an exciting project and will serve the state very well. Commissioner Randy Pestor (Commissioner Mary Shallenberger’s alternate) seconded the motion. He suggested adding an electric vehicle charging station to the parking lot.
|Why You Should Care|| The “Coastal Access in California” report also found that, “since 1989, according to the California Coastal Commission, more than twice as many economy rate hotel rooms have been lost along the coast compared to all other hotel rooms at all other price points combined.”
We see State Parks and the Coastal Commission as key partners needed to stop the decline in the supply of lower-cost accommodations and increase that supply over time. This is a great example of the type of collaboration that will achieve those goals. The motion to approve the project passed with a unanimous yes vote.
|Decision Type||Coastal Development Permit|
|Staff Recommendation||Approval with conditions|
|Opposition to Project||None|
|Coastal Act Policies||Chapter 3|
|Mary K. Shallenberger|
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