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IssueReason

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2

2 Mirada Half Moon Bay +Seawalls exacerbate erosion and if our only response to erosion and sea level rise is hard armoring, we will lose our beaches and the recreational opportunities they provide. The vision set forth by the California legislature is that the Coastal Trail run the entire coast of California. If that’s the case, the entire coast would be subject to hard armoring. A good win for this beach and all of California!  +
2018 Sea Level Rise Science Update +As climate change and sea level rise bear down on the future of our coastlines, it is imperative that California stays ahead of the curve by proactively planning for changes at the local level.  +
22nd District Agricultural Association (Del Mar Fairgrounds) +The Commission allowed a huge parking lot, illegally created on a wetland, to continue for 10 more years with no mitigation. This is a terrible precedent. For the past 40 years, the Del Mar Fairgrounds repeatedly ignored and violated the Coastal Act by grading and filling a wetland for parking. In a legal deal with the Commission, the Fairgrounds admitted these violations. The Fairgrounds now seeks a year-round parking lot over the very wetland they admitted to illegally grading and filling. The wetland would recover if not constantly graded. Green groups, local elected leaders, and Commission staff all urged a minor concession to allow the lower 1/3 of the parking lot to revert to wetlands. Yet, the Commission grants a permit, allowing 10 MORE years of illegal parking lot use, but drops one small wetland recovery and mitigation clause.  +

A

AB 1129 – Coastal Access and Preservation Act +AB 1129 would help the Commission better enforce existing laws by allowing for penalties and fines for illegal development, including shoreline protective structures. The measure also ensures that emergency permits for any coastal development include a plan for removal. Coastal armoring fixes the shore in place and lead to loss of public beaches and can have detrimental impacts to shoreline habitat. Given impending impacts from sea level rise, all shoreline protective devices should receive extremely careful analysis.  +
AB 2002 +This bill aims to increase transparency around Commission lobbying. Since the firing of Dr. Charles Lester without any articulated justification, distrust of Commissioners has skyrocketed and the media has focused attention on the role of lobbyists in influencing Commission decisionmaking.  +
ATF Shoreline Armoring Goleta Beach +This project demonstrates the importance of adherence to the previously adopted Sea Level Rise Policy Guidance and that local projects can reflect issues of statewide significance. Hard armoring is currently, and unfortunately, the most prevalent solution to coastal erosion and means of protecting infrastructure against the effects of sea level rise, wave events, and storm surges. The armoring at Goleta Beach clearly demonstrates the issues created with hard armoring of our coast, the importance of planning for sea level rise and considering all project alternatives including the least environmentally harmful. Additionally, asking for forgiveness rather than permission with unpermitted shoreline protection must not be tolerated by the Commission as it may set a dangerous precedent of backwards permitting that undermines the Coastal Act at its core.  +
Amending Clause to Interim Executive Director Appointment +The ability to apply for the position of Executive Director of the Coastal Commission should be open to everyone. As much as there was concern addressed over whether Mr. Ainsworth’s position would discourage others from applying, there needs to be equal concern over not discouraging others from applying if they are already with the Commission; the person best qualified for the position can come from within or without the Commission, and the hiring process will hopefully, transparently, show that. The process should not start with setting the precedence of who to prohibit from applying.  +

B

Bannasch Living Trust sea cave-notch fill +In 2003, Surfrider successfully won a lawsuit that determined the applicant needed to conduct a “project specific” Environmental Impact Report (EIR) before erodible concrete could be used. It has been more than 10 years, and this applicant still has not conducted an EIR. In 2002, the City of Solana Beach submitted a monitoring report regarding its use of erodible concrete and concluded that it does not erode at the same rate as the bluff. At a public hearing in January 2014, the City’s own Engineer questioned whether “erodible” concrete erodes. ''The most concerning aspect of this vote is how the project undermines the <u>definition</u> of maintenance under both the Coastal Act and Local Coastal Program''. The project is considerably more than maintenance—expanding sea caves an additional 92 feet on '''unarmored''' bluff is the functional equivalent of building a new seawall which is barred by the deed restriction the homeowner agreed to in 1991. At that time, the applicant agreed to special conditions to avoid bluff hazards. The conditions included “planned retreat” (i.e. moving the home when it’s threatened by erosion) and as mentioned, waiving their right to a seawall. '''The Commission’s vote sets a poor precedent of “piecemealing expansion of sea caves” that technically function as a seawall and weakening the definitions of maintenance and development under the letter of the law.'''  +
Batiquitos Lagoon Public Access Trail +This is another example of the Commission’s recently granted administrative penalty authority granted under section 30821, which consistently has brought violators quickly to the table to negotiate consent agreements. Improving public access to and along the Batiquitos Lagoon will go a long way toward fostering public appreciation of our statewide network of marine protected areas.  +
Bay City Partners LLC Development +Commission Staff recommended denial of the project because the property had been designated to be 70% visitor-serving and 30% overnight visitor-serving accommodations. Since Seal Beach does not have a certified LCP, the standard of review was the Coastal Act. While the project was slightly improved during the hearing, certain sections of the Coastal Act were woefully overlooked. Section 30213 was a critical Chapter 3 policy that was overlooked, and it states: “Lower cost visitor and recreational facilities shall be protected, encouraged, and, where feasible, provided.” As noted in past vote charts, the Commission has spent considerable time focusing on, and has directed staff to spend significant amounts of time to find creative ways, to improve and protect lower-cost accommodations. Unfortunately, project approvals like this where the thorough, thoughtful staff analysis was undermined by the Commission vote weakens the purported support for protecting and improving access to lower-cost accommodations.  +
Bay City Partner’s Appeal of Executive Director Determination +The project site is located where the San Gabriel River meets the ocean and, as such, is an ideal place to provide recreational opportunities for visitors. The City of Seal Beach does not have a certified Land Use Plan or a Local Coastal Program. Visitor serving uses are high on the Coastal Act’s list of priorities and can be provided on lands subject to the public trust. Private homes cannot be built on public trust lands and are not favored by the Act. Considering that southern California is largely developed, the public cannot afford to lose more public land and visitor serving resources to large-scale homes. It was critical that Staff and Commission found this application incomplete considering what is at stake. California’s public lands should remain in the public interest, and any plans for the property should be for visitor-serving accommodations, open space, and not for the development of residential homes. The onus is on the Applicant to produce an application that is thoroughly complete and meets Coastal Act requirements and also passes muster with SLC.  +
Big Lagoon Park +This case is a great example of an applicant and Coastal Commission Staff working as a team in a forward looking project. As Chair Kinsey put it, “This is a good example of a community thinking ahead.” Having an applicant acknowledge and embrace the area’s changing coastline and proactively prepare for it through planned retreat is commendable – particularly as “planned retreat” is often found on the battlefield of perceived “take”.  +
Black Hill Villas +As mentioned by Commissioner Shallenberger, these are exactly the types of projects that incrementally deteriorate coastal resources—impacting sensitive habitat and perpetuating more development along our coastline. Commissioner Howell made an important point about analyzing traffic saying, “This town is not Los Angeles and we need to make sure traffic is analyzed and mitigated.” Finally it is important to note that development of these 15 new homes negates the Commission’s attempts at increasing ‘affordable’ housing. While the project proponent will construct two affordable housing units, this is simply not enough considering home prices along the California’s coast and when contemplating the Commission’s attempt to encourage affordable housing.  +
Broad Beach +As Commissioner Shallenberger stated, “Seawalls kill beaches.” This is well articulated in Stanford Law School’s 2015 California Coastal Armoring Report: Managing Coastal Armoring and Climate Change Adaptation in the 21st Century, that coastal armoring (a seawall is one type of armoring mechanism) increases erosion by cutting off the sand supply and affects not only the beach on which the armoring is located but also increases erosion at adjacent beaches. This project centers on a large revetment (another armoring mechanism) which is having just this effect—cutting off sand supply to the beach and promoting erosion. Historically there coastal dunes on this beach, and these dunes provided a natural barrier against storm surge and wave events—the service provided by this ecosystem is even analyzed and supported in the staff report by a third party. This fact is ignored. The revetment will stay and sand from an inland quarry will be dumped on the beach. So what the public is left with is a beach that will continue to quickly erode, and little protection of public access as the beach continues to erode over time. Coastal Commission Staff had recommended that if, in the future, the beach eroded within 10 feet of the revetment (on the seaward side), a pedestrian path on the landward side of the revetment should be automatically opened for the public to ensured continued access to the beach. This recommendation reflected a reasonable compromise that would have protected both private property and public beach access. However, the Broad Beach property owners refused to enter into a proper easement and the Commission ultimately backed down and approved a project that compromises public access to the beach. A “back up path” will only be triggered if the Executive Director determines that the beach has eroded 10 feet or more seaward side of the revetment in three out of “any five-year period.” As the use of the rock revetment combined with the sand replenishment project are unknown, it is challenging to guarantee public access in light of large storms and rising sea levels. Commission Staff also doubts the efficacy of the revetment saying: “There is substantial uncertainty about how the Revetment will perform.”  +
Brown After-the-Fact Permit +Hard armoring is currently, and unfortunately, the panacea to coastal erosion and means of protecting infrastructure against the effects of sea level rise, wave events, and storm surges. Additionally, bad actors should not be able to get away with “asking for forgiveness rather than permission” – unpermitted seawalls and development must result in substantial penalties for the law to be effective. What they actually result in, as is discussed in this report (http://law.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/CalCoastArmor-FULL-REPORT-6.17.15.pdf), is an increased rate of beach loss and increased erosion to neighboring properties due to the loss of sand that would naturally be replenished if not for the presence of hard armoring (such as a seawall or revetment). This directly translates to loss of public land. Loss of beach is a loss of beach access. This project factors in both the loss of sand replenishment as well as calculates the loss of beach access, resulting in a fee to be paid by the applicant. Hard armoring cannot be seen as a quick and easy fix. Moving forward, people – and most importantly, Commissioners – must understand the science and dynamics impacting their properties and infrastructures – and if they don’t, they’ll certainly understand the impact to their wallet.  +

C

CEMEX Cease and Desist +The sand that is extracted by the mining operation is permanently removed from the littoral cell, altering natural shoreline processes and the local shoreline sand supply. The effects include significantly contributions to erosion within the beach and dune system, which has led to increased shoreline retreat, dune erosion, reduction of habitat, loss of beach sand, and decreased public access. The sand mine is located in an area with some of the highest erosion rates in the state. This settlement agreement will preserve 400 acres of open space and opens up the potential for public access. Future access of this property will link up over 7,000 acres of contiguous open space and coastal dune habitat.  +
Cabrillo Power I LLC Dredging Project +This vote marks a paradigm shift in how Cabrillo Power will manage future dredging activities. The permit condition adopted by the Commission will change a half a century of practice in order to explore more appropriate ways to use the dredged sand and avoid impacts to coastal resources, including recreation as well as coastal ecosystems. The fate of dredged sand is also important when viewed in light of California’s responses to sea level rise, which will likely hasten erosion within the coastal zone. Although deposition of dredged sand on beaches – often euphemized as “nourishment” – often causes negative impacts to coastal resources, it could contribute to an appropriate suite of sea level rise adaptation measures in some situations. It is important for the Commission and permit applicants begin considering such situations proactively, and to avoid unnecessary deposition of sand where it will have greater negative impacts on coastal resources.  +
Camino Del Mar - Del Mar Seawall +We’ve said it before - hard armoring is killing our beaches. When we meet rising seas with seawalls and revetments, we lose our beaches, the recreational opportunities they provide and the benefits our coastal economy brings to the entire state.  +
Carr Cabana Appeal +This was a critical vote because the Commission avoided a negative precedent of allowing historic Landmark status to trump applicable coastal policies. Further, it is critical that the CCC address existing non-conforming structures, like this mid-bluff cabana, in a manner that does not extend their life via the approval or improvement of shoreline protection devices.  +
Cayucos Del Mar Hotel +This project has the potential to set a dangerous precedent for community character and visual resources in Cayucos. Additionally, the applicant openly has plans to develop a residential component on this lot that was previously part of the project proposal. This is illegal as piecemealing under CEQA because the project will not be reviewed for impacts in its entirety. Piecemealing has the potential to provide a loophole for getting development projects approved that are not otherwise consistent with the Coastal Act.  +
Cayucos Sanitary District Chevron Outfall Repurposing +This is a great opportunity for Cayucos and neighboring communities to move forward with designing smart water plans that will make the best possible use of water supplies – instead of dumping it into the ocean.  +
Cease and Desist Order OceanAire Apartments Pacifica +The Coastal Commission’s enforcement division is effectively leveraging their administrative penalty authority - acquired in 2014 - to issue fines for public access violations. The Commission’s use of administrative penalties is an effective and fair tool and means of protecting the public’s interest and right to access our magnificent coast.  +
City of Dana Point LCP Amendment - Strands Beach +The presence of gates, whether open or closed, can give the impression that the accessways are not available for public use. Public access and recreation are among the Coastal Act’s highest priorities. The legislature expressly stated in Section 30001.5 of the Coastal Act that one of the state’s primary goals in the coastal zone is to “[m]aximize public access to and along the coast and maximize public recreational opportunities in the coastal zone.” Limiting such uses must be very carefully considered and only the minimum limitation necessary to protect public safety or to serve some other valid purpose should be allowed.  +
City of San Diego Local Coastal Program Amendment Regarding Children’s Pool +In the 1990s, harbor seals began to regularly “haul out,” at Children’s Pool Beach in large numbers. As a result, there has been ongoing conflict about how the seals, and their habitat, should be protected and how seals and people should share the beach. This LCP Amendment creates a balance of human and marine life use and will be revisited in five years to analyze the efficacy of the seasonal closures. Less restrictive methods to protect the seals such as a partial rope and public education have failed. During the hearing, Commissioners were provided with videos of humans intentionally and unintentionally harassing the seals and pups. Hopefully the closure during pupping season will cut down on the harassment of seals and the conflict about public access will lessened.  +
City of San Diego Secondary Treatment Waiver +By approving the Secondary Treatment Waiver, San Diego will be able to pursue the Pure Water San Diego wastewater recycling project in the near future .Wastewater recycling is a cost effective solution with multiple benefits to water quality and water supply needs for the region. The waiver requires at least 83MGD of wastewater recycling by 2035.  +
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