|Summary|| The Silver Shoals development item had previously appeared in front of the Commission as a project, but had been returned to Staff with substantial issue. This housing development will occur along the Coast Highway – a section of the highway that is a critical viewshed south of San Francisco and North of Gaviota. The 3.7-acre blufftop development would impede upon public access to the rare viewshed. The question came down to how much of the viewshed would be impacted. The conditions added to the proposed development would limit the height of the homes to 15-foot above natural grade (protecting 80 percent of the viewshed), in contrast to the 25-foot proposed by the applicant (which retains only 68 percent).
Commissioner Vargas moved to amend special condition 1 resulting in changes to 1a, 1b, and 1g. This would change special conditions providing for additional parking as well as the proposed building restrictions. Amending the conditions set forth in 1a, 1b, and 1g would permit the 25-foot building height, provide for only a half cul-de-sac and optimizing parking on only the north side of South Silver Shoals Drive (as opposed to the original special condition which called for parking on both sides of the road).
|Outcome Description|| Commissioners Groom, Luevano, Shallenberger, Bochco and Chair Kinsey voted against these changes, with Commissioners Groom and Shallenberger clearly stating their support for protecting as much of the viewshed as possible, not just some of it. However, Commissioners Cox, Howell, McClure, Turnbull-Sanders, Uranga and Vargas voted for the amending motion removing the building height restriction and the additional provision of parking.
With the amending motion passed, a majority of the Commissioners then approved the project with Commissioners Shallenberger and Groom voting against it.
|Why You Should Care|| This project was particularly interesting with the case of substantial issue and the point of substantial issue being a significant item of discussion during the workshop with local decision makers the following day. Substantial issue as discussed in a February 2015 Staff report for a Coastal Development Permit in Half Moon Bay, is not defined in the Coastal Act and thus is difficult at times to make a case for or against. Staff offer this discussion in the report, “The term “substantial issue” is not defined in the Coastal Act or in its implementing regulations. In previous decisions on appeals, the Commission has generally been guided by the following factors in making substantial issue determinations: the degree of factual and legal support for the local government’s decision; the extent and scope of the development as approved or denied by the local government; the significance of the coastal resources affected by the decision; the precedential value of the local government's decision for future interpretations of its LCP; and, whether the appeal raises only local issues as opposed to those of regional or statewide significance.”
At the November hearing workshop, the CCC discussed how to deal with or avoid the complications of substantial issue elicited the guidance that LCPs need to be up-to-date and as detailed and defined as possible, as well as working with Commission Staff as early on as possible. When there is specific and detail oriented language included in local planning regulations- such as in LCPs- then the ambiguity of interpreting regulations can be avoided through referencing a solid formal institutional framework that can be consulted to support development in accordance with the Coastal Act.
|Decision Type||Coastal Development Permit|
|Staff Recommendation||Approval with Conditions|
|Lobbyist/Agent|| Susan McCabe, McCabe and Company
Richards Watson Gershon, Attorneys at Law
|Opposition to Project|| Letters submitted by: Edward and Christine Henry; Marilyn Hansen; Marge and Jim Harris
Petition signed by 33 neighboring residents, documented on page 129 of Staff Report
|Coastal Act Policies||30210, 30211,30212(a), 30213, 30220, 30221, 30222, 30223, 30252|
|Mary K. Shallenberger|
View Meeting Page for the meeting where this issue was discussed/voted on.