|Summary|| In December, 2017, the Commission denied a permit application to install a 90-foot long preemptive “erodible” concrete seawall. The applicant claims this decision merits reconsideration on the basis that the Commission committed three errors of law: (1) failure to adopt findings in support of the denial; (2) failure to apply the Certified Land Use Plan for the City of Solana Beach; and (3) improper treatment of the Commission’s Sea Level Rise Policy Guidance as a regulatory document and basis for the denial.
Coastal Commission staff recommended denial of reconsideration since no new relevant evidence was presented and there has been no error of fact or law which has the potential for altering the Commission’s decision. Revised findings in support of the Commission’s denial were also approved at the March hearing.
The Commission used Chapter 3 of the Coastal Act as the standard of review for this application and, although the Commission may use the Solana Beach Land Use Plan as guidance, it is not bound to apply the LUP as the standard of review in a jurisdiction that lacks a fully-certified LCP and that the denial nevertheless was consistent with the LUP policies. The Commission also properly used its adopted 2015 Sea Level Rise Policy Guidance as guidance and a source of best available science in this matter.
Nevertheless, Commissioners voted to approve the applicant’s request to continue this item at a future local hearing in order to receive further testimony from local stakeholders. Continuing the reconsideration for this item is a waste of public resources and staff time, given the Commission already denied the project, approved the revised findings and the staff report found no merit on which to continue or reconsider this item.
|Outcome Description||Unfortunately, at the request of the applicant, Commissioner Chris Ward, alternate for Commissioner Steve Padilla, motioned to continue this item and Commissioner Ryan Sundberg seconded the motion, both stating they “saw no harm” in hearing this at a local meeting. The motion passed 6-4.|
|Why You Should Care||Wasting our limited public resources and Commission staff time on the reconsideration of this item takes time and money away from the myriad other issues facing California’s coast. The Commission made a clear decision on this item in December and there is no new evidence that warrants additional time on this at a subsequent hearing.|
|Staff Recommendation||Denial of Reconsideration|
|Opposition to Project||Surfrider Foundation|
|Coastal Act Policies||Chapter 3|
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