|Location||Half Moon Bay|
|Description||The Coastal Commission’s November hearing took place in Half Moon Bay at the Oceano Hotel and Spa on Wednesday, Nov. 13 through Friday, Nov. 15. A number of controversial items dominated the agenda over the three days of hearings with the California American Water Co. Monterey desalination project being at the top of that list. The meeting resulted in two vote charts. The first is the proposed permit extension for the Ocean View Plaza Cannery Row development. The permit extension, which includes a desalination plant, was denied due to changed circumstances including new desalination regulations and the need for coastal hazard sea level rise analysis. The second is the City of Pacific Grove Local Coastal Program update. The update was certified with staff’s modifications but failed to incorporate suggestions made by ActCoastal partners.|
Issues voted on at this Meeting
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|Ocean View Plaza||Monterey developers requested a permit extension for a previously approved permit in 2008 for a major redevelopment of Cannery Row. The project would include retail, restaurant, condominiums, parking garages and more along both inland and seaward sides of Cannery Row. Given changes in the State Water Resources Control Board’s policy on ocean desalination, the desalination component of this project could not be approved today. As such, without a self-supplied source of water, the project has no identified water supply. Additionally, the Commission’s understanding of the extent of future sea level rise has changed substantially. Existing Conditions and Issues Report shows that the area in which the project site lies will be impacted by sea level rise-induced inundation by or before 2060, within the economic life expectancy of the project. The Commission denied the permit extension request.|
|Pacific Grove LCP Update||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.