The California Coastal Act is a regulatory regime with many layers and complexities. Generally, however, the Act requires development within a designated coastal zone to obtain a coastal development permit. This permit may be issued by the local jurisdiction, the California Coastal Commission, or in rare cases, by both the local jurisdiction and the Coastal Commission. Even if the local jurisdiction has the authority to issue the permit in the first instance, the California Coastal Act may allow an aggrieved party to appeal the local jurisdiction’s decision to the California ...
Sea level rise is a critical issue facing public agencies and property owners throughout the United States. In California alone, this phenomenon could impact thousands of residences and businesses, dozens of wastewater treatment plants and power plants and hundreds of miles of highways, roads and railways. Last year, the California Legislature introduced a number of bills that proposed to address, or anticipate, or mitigate the impacts of sea level rise in California. Almost all of those bills, however, failed to make their way to the Governor’s desk. This year, the California ...
Yes, but the sea might beat them to it. In 2015, the California Coastal Commission adopted the Sea Level Rise Policy Guidance. This Guidance document discusses a number of potential measures for responding to sea level rise, including "managed retreat." As explained in the Guidance document, "[r]etreat strategies are those strategies that relocate or remove existing development out of hazard areas and limit the construction of new development in vulnerable areas." Examples of retreat strategies include the acquisition and buy-out of "threatened" properties. While many ...
In a recent published decision, the California Court of Appeal had the opportunity to address this issue when the property owners of a beachside residence in the City of Los Angeles challenged a setback condition that the California Coastal Commission imposed on their proposed home remodel. (See Greene v. Cal. Coastal Com. (Oct. 9, 2019) Case No. B293301.)
Under the Coastal Act, property owners are required to obtain a Coastal Development Permit for “development” within the coastal zone. “Development” is defined very broadly in the Coastal Act, and includes ...
We've been tracking the impacts of sea-level rise in California, and previously reported on a potential recommendation by the California Coastal Commission to utilize eminent domain for "managed retreat" -- buying or condemning threatened homes and relocating them or tearing them down, which would thereafter free the coastline and preserve the beaches. That recommendation has been met with widespread opposition. According to an article in the San Diego Reader, "Don't say retreat when talking about sea rise in California," some local cities in San Diego are taking that option off ...
The California Coastal Act establishes another layer of regulation governing development in the Coastal Zone. Development under the Coastal Act is defined to encompass essentially everything and anything. For example, under the Coastal Act development includes such things as a lot line adjustment, releasing fireworks on the 4th of July, or putting up a No Trespassing sign. While there are certain limited exemptions, in most cases individuals undertaking any development in the Coastal Zone must obtain a Coastal Development Permit. In certain instances, the local agency’s ...
In September 2014, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District issued a surprising decision, finding that even if an applicant maintains that it is accepting imposed permit conditions "under protest" and expressly asserts that it plans to challenge those conditions in court, it waives any such challenge by building the approved project. (Lynch v. California Coastal Commission (2014) 229 Cal.App.4th 658.) In reaching this conclusion, the majority found that the protest procedure provided in the Mitigation Fee Act was inapplicable because that Act does not ...
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