Encinitas New Blufftop Home (Hurst)


April 19, 2019

Coastal Commission staff recommended denial of a coastal development permit application to construct a new home in Encinitas. The application consisted of demolition of an existing home and construction of a significantly larger home including a basement on a blufftop lot. The proposed project is a new development in a location currently threatened by an actively eroding cliff that will be subject to increased wave attack with future sea level rise, which directly contradicts 30253(a) of the Coastal Act. Additionally, its safety would partially rely on an aging sea wall with only 4 years remaining in its design life - which directly contradicts 30253(b). The Surfrider Foundation supported staff’s recommendation of denial and the Commission unanimously agreed.

Why You Should Care

The decision is a step in the right direction for finding balance between the rights of homeowners and the rights of the beach going public.


Pro-Coast Vote

Anti-Coast Vote

After extended debate, the Commission voted to deny the permit application for the proposed home in Encinitas. The Coastal Act requires new development to be set back far enough from bluff’s edge or the beach so that it will not require coastal armoring in the future. It is the intent that as pre-coastal act homes need to be demolished and rebuilt due to age, they will migrate landward, eliminating the need for protective structures and eventually restoring the coast to a natural state. By following the staff recommendation for denial in this instance, the Commission took an important step forward in upholding the intent of the Coastal Act.

Organizations Opposed

Surfrider Foundation

Decision Type

CDP Appeal

Staff Recommendation


Coastal Act Policy