|Summary|| This project was appealed by Commissioners Mary Schallenberger and Esther Sanchez due to not conforming to the City of Encinitas’ certified Local Coastal Plan. The proposed project is a bluff top residential development. The permit for the development, approved by the City, would allow for a two-story home plus basement with only a 40-foot setback from the bluff edge and include the installation of piers along the bluff edge to support planter boxes and an above-ground spa.
Upon review by the Commission’s geologist, it was determined that the factor of safety was not accurately calculated. Most significantly, the erosion factor for the site is anticipated to be .49 feet per year rather than .4 feet per year, which means a setback of 60 to 62 feet is what’s actually required to protect the home.
|Outcome Description|| Commissioner Shallenberger moved for a “yes” vote in support of approval with staff’s recommendations, required assumption of risk, acceptance that no future bluff or shoreline protective devices shall ever be constructed, the home be located no less than 60 feet landward of the bluff edge, that all grading/excavation shall be prohibited within 40 feet of the bluff edge, and that the 17 piers be eliminated.
Commissioner Greg Cox suggested that requiring such conditions and finding substantial issue with the permit would undermine the City and that LCPs “ought to stand for something.” Commissioners Roberto Urganga and Martha McClure said that these findings were new and not easily understood. Staff pointed out that in the staff report, “The language of Policy Section 30.34.020(D) of the LCP is very specific: This slope failure analysis shall be performed according to geotechnical engineering standards, and shall: - Cover all types of slope failure. - Demonstrate a safety factor against slope failure of 1.5. - Address a time period of analysis of 75 years.”
Staff further clarified that this policy language did not include an “either – or” but was all-inclusive.
|Why You Should Care||This case is particularly important due to the precedent-setting nature – how an LCP is interpreted and how new development is viewed when sea level rise and coastal hazards are taken into consideration. Having a certified LCP is critical for protection and management of local coastal resources, but even more important is how an LCP is interpreted and implemented at the local level. Effective communication and clear access to information and guidance on adhering to the Coastal Act and an LCP are also necessary to ensure this.|
|Decision Type||Coastal Development Permit|
|Staff Recommendation||Substantial Issue and Approval with Conditions on De Novo|
|Lobbyist/Agent||Axelson & Corn, P.C.|
|Opposition to Project|
|Coastal Act Policies||Chapter 3 policies as well as the certified Local Coastal Program|
|Mary K. Shallenberger|
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