Grossman Seawall in Pismo Beach


February 1, 2023

An applicant was approved for shoreline armoring to protect their existing, pre Coastal Act home in the Sunset Palisades area of Pismo Beach. The armoring includes a combination of emergency and after-the-fact development. This includes the installation of shotcrete armoring along 150 feet of coast, several steel bluff tiebacks, removal of up to 20 cubic yards of the upper bluff, drainage infrastructure, landscape and other shotcrete fill. The staff report found that this development constitutes a new seawall and therefore subject to mitigation fees. Staff used the real estate valuation method to calculate the approximately $1.3 million impact to coastal resources that the applicant would have to provide to be used for coastal access improvement projects in the area. The applicant requested to withdraw their application but the Commission was unable to grant it due to permit streamlining act requirements. The Commission unanimously approved the staff recommendation, however, the applicant made their intentions to litigate apparent.

Why You Should Care

The mitigation fee using the real estate valuation method gives a rational basis for the extensive scope of impacts that the proposed seawall will have on the coast. The Grossman seawall will occupy an equivalent of about 2,500 square feet of public trust land - this is a takings of public resources that must be adequately compensated.


Pro-Coast Vote

Anti-Coast Vote

The applicant’s only comments at the hearing were in regards to their desire to withdraw the application and assertion that the application should be considered a permit amendment rather than a new CDP. Commission staff determined that the work was substantial enough to be considered an entirely new seawall and thus processed the application as a CDP subject to mitigation requirements. The Commission approved the staff recommendation unanimously.

Organizations Opposed

Surfrider Foundation

Decision Type


Staff Recommendation

Approval with Conditions

Coastal Act Policy