Private Bluff Fence in Laguna Beach


April 1, 2023

The Commission denied a City of Laguna Beach permit on appeal for a perimeter fence on a residential coastal bluff lot off of Coast Highway. The chainlink fence was constructed around the property and down along the bluff face, ten feet from the public beach. The City’s CDP inappropriately identified the bluff edge and required setback for permitting the fence which would set a negative precedent for future bluff development. The applicant asserts that the fence is necessary for safety reasons, however, development on a bluff face is prohibited by the local coastal program because of adverse impacts to public recreation, views and natural resources. The Coastal Commission denied the application in a 9-2 vote with 1 abstention..

Why You Should Care

Coastal bluffs are protected from development under the Coastal Act. Safety and crime should be dealt with by law enforcement, not by undermining the Act.


Pro-Coast Vote

Anti-Coast Vote

Commissioners agreed that the fence was inconsistent with the Coastal Act and that the City’s permit did not adequately consider alternatives such as native landscaping.

Organizations Opposed

Mark and Sharon Fudge, Surfrider Foundation

Decision Type


Staff Recommendation


Coastal Act Policy