Commentary is provided by ActCoastal partners. This blog represents the views of the authors, and does not necessarily reflect the positions of ActCoastal and its partner organizations.
October 31, 2023
Announcement - October Meeting Report Now Live!
The latest Coastal Commission meeting took place in Imperial Beach on October 11-13. On Wednesday, the Border Region transboundary pollution crisis took center stage and on Thursday we scored a vote chart for seawall repairs in Oceanside.
August 24, 2023
July 2023 Hearing Report
On Thursday, the Commission heard a land use plan amendment for the City of Huntington Beach Magnolia Tank Farm site. The amendment would change the 29-acre Magnolia Tank Farm from ‘public uses and infrastructure’ to ‘residential, commercial and open space’ and pave the way for a developer driven residential and hotel project.
August 23, 2023
August 2023 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission meeting took place in Oxnard on August 9-10. On Wednesday morning Commissioners and the public discussed the U.S.- Mexico border pollution crisis and the need for emergency action, discussed further below. The Commission adopted a new Sustainability Principles report as a framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the coastal zone. The Commission also offered an enforcement report and approved the Manhattan Beach LCP Update for coastal hazards - which resulted in a vote chart.
July 1, 2023
June 2023 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s June meeting took place virtually over two days on June 7 and 8. The shorter agenda packed several significant votes. The Commission voted to oppose SB 423, an affordable housing bill that would exempt certain coastal development from the Commission’s review, unless it is amended. The Commission also supported AB 80 which creates a working group for monitoring and research impacts to the ocean ecosystem related to offshore wind development. They also approved a correspondence letter from the Commission to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) elevating the need to address the toxic water quality crisis at the U.S.- Mexico border. Additionally, the meeting resulted in an enforcement item approval, penalizing Malibu homeowners for blocking beach access to Escondido Beach. The homeowners are now required to create a new access pathway and public parking along the Pacific Coast Highway. The meeting resulted in two vote charts on beach access in Malibu and SB 423.
May 24, 2023
May 2023 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s May meeting took place in Sacramento on May 10-12 in Sacramento. The agenda was jam-packed with important items including an in-depth panel presentation on offshore wind, certification of a guiding principles document on the public trust
April 27, 2023
March 2023 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s March meeting took place on March 8-10 in Half Moon Bay. The two-day agenda was on the lighter side with several of the controversial items postponed, including the Pacifica local coastal program update. The LHO Mission Bay Hotel redevelopment faced substantial community pushback and was withdrawn before the hearing.
April 27, 2023
April 2023 Hearing Report
The April meeting took place virtually over Zoom on April 12-14. On Wednesday, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy gave an informational presentation on their coastal access program and 2023 work plan and the Commission made changes to their 2023 meeting schedule.
March 2, 2023
February 2023 Hearing Report
The February Coastal Commission meeting took place virtually over Zoom. On Wednesday, incoming executive director, Dr. Kate Huckelbridge, reported on the 2022 Year in Review report and a summary of the emergency response to the devastation storms in January. The agenda was on the lighter side but featured several important votes regarding coastal preservation and public access. Del Mar was granted an annual free parking for qualified low-income individuals, implement an associated outreach program, and allow after-the-fact fee waivers for ticketed individuals who are eligible for free parking. The Commission also approved two seawalls in Pismo Beach and Muir Beach, these resulted in two vote charts.
February 28, 2023
December 2022 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s December meeting took place in Long Beach on December 14-16. The agenda featured several important items. On Wednesday, the Commission held interviews for the Executive Director position after Jack Ainsworth announced his retirement in November. By Thursday, the Commission announced its selection of Dr. Kate Huckelbridge to lead the agency. Kate will be the first woman to lead the agency in its 50-year history. Dr. Huckelbridge currently serves as the Commission’s Senior Deputy Director and has worked for the agency since 2009.
November 30, 2022
November 2022 Hearing Report
The November Coastal Commission meeting took place in Salinas on November 16-18. The Commission had a fairly busy agenda that resulted in two vote charts - the Capistrano Beach seawall and nature-based adaptation project, and the California American Water desalination facility in Marina.
October 31, 2022
October 2022 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s October meeting took place in San Diego on October 12-14. The meeting featured a very busy agenda including the permitting of South Coast Water District’s Doheny desalination plant, a permit extension for nuclear waste storage at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, short term rentals in Half Moon Bay, denial of the Santa Cruz County LCP update for coastal hazards and approval of the Newport Beach Confined Aquatic Disposal Facility (CAD). The Santa Cruz LCP update and the Newport Beach CAD both resulted in vote charts.
September 22, 2022
September 2022 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s September meeting took place in Pismo Beach on September 7-9. The California Energy Commission Chair, David Hochschild, presented the agency’s plan for renewable energy and included some uplifting projections and lofty goals, worth checking out if you are experiencing climate depression. The Commission found substantial issue with a Dana Point permit for a new beachfront home in harm’s way and approved a seawall repair project in Oceanside.
August 25, 2022
2021 ActCoastal Conservation Report Card
The ActCoastal Coalition released the 2021 edition of the California Coastal Commission Conservation Report Card. This systematic survey, completed annually since 2002, tracks the performance of the California Coastal Commission in its legal duty to uphold the state’s statutory protections for the coastal environment and public access to the coast, as enshrined in the Coastal Act of 1976.
August 24, 2022
August 2022 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s August meeting took place in Calabasas on Wednesday August 10 - Friday, August 12. There were several important informational updates including Hollister Ranch Coastal Access Program and State Parks’ Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategy. Key votes included approvals of the Carlsbad Desalination Mitigation Work Plan and the Tomales Bay Oyster Farm. On Friday, the Commission held the Local Government Workshop on Sea Level Rise Adaptation.
July 21, 2022
July 2022 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission met in Fort Bragg on Wednesday, July 13 through Friday, July 15. The Commission heard several important informational updates including a progress report on CalTrans Eureka-Arcata Hwy 101 Corridor Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan and a planning briefing from the City of Fort Bragg. The Commission also found substantial issue with two noteworthy local permits involving shoreline armoring in Oceanside and Laguna Beach and approved a controversial cease and desist order involving Reservation Ranch in Del Norte County. The Reservation Ranch item resulted in a vote chart.
June 27, 2022
June 2022 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s June meeting took place in San Diego on June 8-10. The meeting featured several important, high profile agenda items including the BOEM proposed offshore wind lease sale for Morro Bay, the Del Mar Bluffs Railway Stabilization project, an informational update on the recently release Public Trust Guiding Principles & Action Plan and a new blufftop residence in Cayucos. The meeting resulted in two vote charts. Check out the full meeting report and vote charts here.
May 26, 2022
May 2022 Hearing Report
The May Coastal Commission meeting took place in Costa Mesa on May 11-13. The meeting included the much anticipated vote on the proposed Brookfield-Poseidon Huntington Beach Desalination Plant as well as a critical enforcement issue in Pacific Palisades, an update on the state’s Sea Level Rise Action Plan and a vote on coastal armoring in San Clemente. This meeting resulted in one vote chart - the Brookfield-Poseidon desalination agenda item.
May 7, 2022
April 2022 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission April meeting took place in Ventura and virtually on April 6-8. The meeting included several controversial items including the Point Reyes National Seashore Water Quality Strategy and Climate Action Plan condition compliance and the Humboldt Offshore Wind Energy Area federal consistency determination. The Commission also approved a new section of coastal trail in Humboldt County, a seasonal beach closure to protect sea lion pups in La Jolla and reconstruction of a precarious storm drain structure on Dockweiler Beach. The meeting resulted in three vote charts.
April 25, 2022
March 2022 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s March meeting took place virtually on March 9-11. The meeting included several important information updates including the Ocean Protection Council’s Sea Level Rise Action Plan, a Resilient Coastal Roads tool, Hollister Ranch Public Access Plan and a comprehensive enforcement report. Notably, the Commission approved a new hotel development in Santa Monica with innovative sustainability, low cost and employee accommodations measures with an outpouring of public support. The Commission announced that their first in person meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic will occur next month, April 6-8, in Ventura.
March 21, 2022
February 2022 Hearing Report
The February Coastal Commission took place virtually on Wednesday, February 9 through Friday, February 11. The first monthly meeting of the Commission’s eleven annual meetings was relatively uneventful with a lighter agenda and not many controversial items. Still, a few developments did spark some public participation, one being the proposed coastal trail improvements by CalTrans at Mussel Shoals.
February 24, 2022
December 2021 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s December meeting took place December 15 - 17 and featured a jam-packed agenda. Key issues included several votes involving shoreline armoring in Pismo Beach, Solana Beach and San Pedro, as well as the Santa Cruz Rail Trail and the Farallon Islands Invasive House Mouse Eradication Project. The Commission also adopted the Local Government Working Group’s 2021 Work Plan for sea level rise adaptation. The meeting resulted in two vote charts regarding the Santa Cruz Rail Trail and one regarding shoreline armoring in San Pedro. Notably, the Coastal Commission held an election on Wednesday morning and Commissioner Donne Brownsey was elected to the Chair position and Caryl Hart was elected Vice Chair.
December 21, 2021
November 2021 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s November meeting took place on Wednesday, November 17 and Friday, November 19. The Commission’s November meeting was jam-packed with important informational updates, the Hollister Ranch Public Access Workshop and two emergency seawall permit extensions for Capistrano Beach (Dana Point) and Ocean Beach (San Francisco.) On Wednesday, the Commission received a report by Director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Institute at UC Santa Barbara, Dr. Charles Lester.
November 1, 2021
October 2021 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s October meeting took place on Wednesday, October 13 and Friday, October 15. Thursday’s meeting was scheduled for the Hollister Ranch Public Access Workshop but was postponed due to the Alisal Fire. The meeting contained several important informational updates including the Orange County oil spill in the Executive Director’s report and the state’s sea level rise education campaign - The Ocean is Moving In.
October 26, 2021
2020 Coastal Conservation Report Card Press Release
October 25, 2021
September 2021 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s September meeting took place virtually from Wednesday, September 13 to Friday, September 15. The meeting featured several important informational updates including a presentation from the US Geological Survey on new coastal groundwater rise modeling, an overview of the Coastal Commission’s draft critical infrastructure sea level rise guidance and an update from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on the status of offshore wind development proposals.
October 11, 2021
August 2021 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s August meeting took place virtually from Wednesday, August 11 through Friday, August 13. The meeting featured a full agenda with several important local coastal program updates.
August 23, 2021
July 2021 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s July virtual meeting took place over two days, rather than the typical three days, on Wednesday, July 7 and Thursday, July 8. The meeting included several important items addressing environmentally sensitive habitat areas including a local coastal program amendment to allow camping in the Santa Monica Mountains and two public works plans for the Counties of San Mateo and Santa Cruz. The meeting did not result in any vote charts.
July 16, 2021
June 2021 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s June meeting took place virtually on Wednesday, June 9 through Friday, June 11. The meeting featured several important items including a permit amendment for improvements to public access at Bayside Beach in Newport Beach, a permit for a new seawall in Solana Beach, and the reconfiguration and improvements to Fiesta Island in Mission Bay. Notably, the City of Del Mar’s Local Coastal Program update for sea level rise was withdrawn two days before the scheduled hearing based on a vote by the City Council.
June 16, 2021
May 2021 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s May meeting took place on Wednesday, May 12 through Friday, May 14. The meeting started off with a presentation that unveiled a new online map of the California Coastal Trail and a report that the 1,230 mile trail is 70% complete.
May 21, 2021
April 2021 Hearing Report
The April Coastal Commission took place on Wednesday, April 14 through Friday, April 16 with a special meeting on Thursday, April 22. Key Commission approvals from this series of meetings include the City of Ventura’s proposed Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for phase 2 of the Surfer’s Point Managed Retreat project, the City of Half Moon Bay’s proposed land use plan update and the National Park Service’s 2020 General Management Plan Amendment for Point Reyes National Seashore – a plan that drew tens of thousands of written comments and hundreds of speakers.
March 26, 2021
February 2021 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s February meeting took place on Wednesday, Feb.10 through Friday, Feb. 12. The meeting was busy with a number of important issues on the agenda and resulted in four vote charts.
March 1, 2021
March 2021 Hearing Report
The March Coastal Commission meeting took place virtually on March 10-12 with a special meeting on March 18. On Thursday, the Commission approved a utility pole replacement project and habitat restoration near Temescal Ridge Fire Road in Palos Verdes, a follow up permit to a previous enforcement action. The Commission also approved the Long Beach Grand Prix event permit. On Friday, the Commission denied a permit for a new mixed-use development in Pacifica.
January 1, 2021
January 2021 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s January meeting took place virtually on Wednesday, Jan. 13 and Thursday, Jan. 14. What was anticipated to be the meeting’s most controversial item, the Point Reyes National Seashore Management Plan Amendment, ended up being postponed from Thursday’s agenda. The plan amendment received tens of thousands of public comments and will be rescheduled at an upcoming meeting.
December 21, 2020
December 2020 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s December meeting took place virtually from Wednesday, December 9 through Friday, December 11 with an additional Special Meeting on Thursday, December 17. The last meeting of the year resulted in several important votes. The Coastal Commission approved permits to retain shoreline armoring at Capistrano Beach and the Pacific Grove Coastal Trail. The Coastal Commission also concurred with a consistency determination for the Department of Navy’s Military Readiness Activities in the Point Mugu region.
December 21, 2020
Local Government Public Workshop on Sea Level Rise
The Coastal Commission’s Special Meeting featured a public hearing and joint workshop with the League of Cities, California State Association of Counties, local government officials to discuss sea level rise and implementation of the Joint Statement on Adaptation Planning, which was adopted by the Coastal Commission in November 2020.
November 13, 2020
November 2020 Hearing Report
The Coastal Commission’s November agenda took place virtually from Wednesday, November 4 to Friday, November 6. The Commission had a fairly dense agenda with several important coastal preservation items. The Commission approved two managed retreat projects in Goleta and Gleason Beach. The Commission also approved the California Coastal Commission Strategic Plan 2021-2025 as well as the Shared Principles For Adaptation Planning - a joint statement with the California State Association of Counties and the League of California Cities on guiding principles for sea level rise adaptation planning. The meeting resulted in one vote chart with the Ritz’ Carlton illegal seawall resolution and managed retreat project.
October 23, 2020
October 2020 Hearing Report
The October California Coastal Commission meeting took place virtually from Wednesday, Oct. 8 to Friday, Oct. 10. The Commission deliberated on several important items with coastal resource implications, heard from its sister agencies about the future of Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area and discussed a presentation from county supervisors on sea level rise preparation efforts throughout the state.
September 21, 2020
September 2020 Hearing Report
The September California Coastal Commission meeting took place virtually from Wednesday, Sept. 9 to Friday, Sept. 11. The Commission deliberated on several items with coastal resource implications including a seawall application in Solana Beach and an appeal regarding a major Santa Cruz residential construction project.
August 18, 2020
July 2020 Hearing Report
The July meeting took place virtually from Wednesday, July 8 to Friday, July 10 as well as an additional day on Thursday, July 16. The agenda built on the Commission’s progress of transitioning to the virtual platform; notably, participants were able to submit video as well as audio testimony. ActCoastal partners commented on several items including the City of Laguna Beach’s parking program, Oceano Dunes Public Works Plan Update and Dust Control permit, and the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Inspection and Maintenance Plan. The meeting resulted in one vote chart, the denial of the Laguna Beach Parking Program.
August 17, 2020
August 2020 Meeting Report
The August Coastal Commission meeting took place virtually from Wednesday, Aug. 12 to Friday, Aug. 14. The Commission deliberating on several important items with coastal resource implications including a land use plan amendment from the City of San Clemente on the definition of major remodel, a consistency certification by SANDAG for the Del Mar Bluffs Emergency Repair Project and an appeal of a CDP in Encinitas for construction of a new blufftop home. The meeting did not result in any vote charts.