Pacific Grove LCP Update


November 1, 2019

The City of Pacific Grove proposed to update its local coastal program, originally certified in 1989. Notably, updates include new sections related to sea level rise, flood and hazard abatement, environmentally sensitive habitat areas (ESHA), wetland protection, water quality enhancement, and tribal/archaeological protections. The Surfrider Foundation objected to policies that allow armoring of the City’s coastal trail, asking the Commission to instead amend the update to prohibit shoreline armoring of the coastal trail and public access amenities that could be relocated inland. Surfrider also urged the Commission to remain consistent with their policy guidance documents and previous decisions by defining redevelopment as any cumulative development completed after January 1, 1977, instead of the date of certification of the LCP, as proposed. To do otherwise would set a terrible precedent as local jurisdictions across the state tackle their sea level rise plans and are looking at these early examples for guidance on acceptable adaptation policies. Unfortunately, the Commission did not incorporate these suggestions and unanimously passed the update as modified by staff.

Why You Should Care

Now and in the future, the coastal trail should be compatible with saving our coast from sea level rise, not serve as merely a way to view what we’ve lost. We should protect this crown jewel of the California coast and in doing so set an example for what can – and should – be done all along the state.


Pro-Coast Vote

Anti-Coast Vote

Commission Executive Director Jack Ainsworth commented that while this update is not perfect, it is a compromise that the City and staff reached. He said it was a give and take to “get to LCP across the finish line.” Commissioners agreed and unanimously passed the LCP update with staff’s suggested modifications.

Organizations Opposed

Surfrider Foundation, Asilomar Dunes Residents

Decision Type

LCP Certification

Staff Recommendation

Approval with Modifications

Coastal Act Policy