Marin LCP Update

From ActCoastal

Month May
Year 2014
Summary The County of Marin proposed extensive changes to its existing Local Coastal Program (LCP)’s Land Use Plan (LUP). The process leading up to the Commission’s May hearing regarding the amendments was elaborate and lengthy—lasting nearly 5 years. The LCP update presented at the hearing focused on several important local issues including agriculture, biological resources, Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHA) protection, coastal hazards, water quality, public access, visual resources, community character, creating a category for “intergenerational homes,” public participation and the appeal process.
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Outcome Description The Commission voted unanimously to approve the County’s proposed LCP amendments. Some positive aspects of the LCP update include limiting “build-outs” per farm, establishing house-size limitation on agriculture lands to discourage non- agriculture rural estates, requiring development to be clustered in one location, and protecting visual resources along the ocean and in scenic coastal areas. Everyone agreed that providing “intergenerational” homes for farmers was important. However, Commission staff and local activists strongly disagreed with County staff and did not believe that the County policies as proposed could legally require that occupants of these new residential dwellings on agricultural lands be limited to those related to the landowner or engaged in a property’s agricultural operation. By making this new residential development a ‘principally permitted use,’ activists further argued that the Commission would lose its existing appeal jurisdiction. They argued that a public hearing at the local level would be more difficult to obtain and that residents would lose their ability to appeal to the Coastal Commission for most Coastal Zone areas.
Why You Should Care The change in public participation and the appeals process undermines the Coastal Act’s intention of fostering public involvement. Further, the redefinition of agriculture to include new residential “intergenerational” homes as a principally permitted use without being able to require that the occupants be related and engaged in the agricultural production could increase the potential for speculative development on coastal agriculture lands. Activists argued that these LCP changes allow for significantly more residential and commercial development on coastal agriculture lands without required public hearings or the right of appeal to the Coastal Commission. Finally, activists were concerned that no cumulative impact analysis has been performed during the LCP update process. It is imperative that the future Implementation Plan for the LCP, contain polices to enforce the intergenerational housing goals, allow an adequate appeals process and address cumulative impacts.
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Decision Type Local Coastal Program Amendment to Land Use Plan
Staff Recommendation Approval with modifications
Staff Report
Opposition to Project Local citizens and the Environmental Action Committee for West Marin submitted several comment letters and testified before the Commission in opposition.
Coastal Act Policies 30241, 30242, 30250, 30251, 30006

Voting Detail for Marin LCP Update

Individual vote detail for Issue: Marin LCP Update
Wendy MitchellBad Vote
Jana ZimmerBad Vote
Dr. Robert GarciaBad Vote by Alternate
Steve KinseyBad Vote
Dayna BochcoBad Vote
Greg CoxBad Vote by Alternate
Mark VargasBad Vote
Carole GroomBad Vote
Effie Turnbull-SandersBad Vote
Erik HowellBad Vote
Mary K. ShallenbergerBad Vote
Martha McClureBad Vote

Meeting Page

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