From ActCoastal

Year 2023
Month February
Location Virtual
Description 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.

Issues voted on at this Meeting

Click on an issue to read full description

Issue Summary Outcome
Blufftop house in Muir Beach On Friday, the Commission heard an application for a new 3,000 sq.ft. home, septic system protected by buried piers, fronted by unpermitted armoring, on vacant bluff-face property in Muir Beach, Marin County. The site slopes steeply down from Sunset Way to the beach and ocean, and staff determined that the proposed development would lie seaward of the blufftop edge. As a result, it is impossible to meet LCP blufftop setback requirements because essentially the entire site is a bluff face and does not have blufftop space to accommodate the LCP-required development setback from the blufftop edge. The base of the bluff at the site contains unpermitted riprap and concrete/grouted rock retaining walls that also function as coastal armoring. The Applicant's proposal relies on the presence of shoreline armoring, which is prohibited by the LCP for new development. In short, although fundamentally LCP and Coastal Act inconsistent, staff recommended approval with conditions in this case to avoid a potential legal takings case. The applicant refuted the Commission’s bluff edge and setback determination, however, Commission staff geologist clearly substantiated the findings. Commissioners debated the reasonable building envelope and ultimately made a small amendment to the staff recommendation to allow for minor deviations beyond the seaward “sting line” with immediate neighboring houses at the discretion of the executive director. The application was approved according to the staff recommendation with a minor change. Green Dot.png
Grossman Seawall in Pismo Beach An applicant was approved for shoreline armoring to protect their existing, pre Coastal Act home in the Sunset Palisades area of Pismo Beach. The armoring includes a combination of emergency and after-the-fact development. This includes the installation of shotcrete armoring along 150 feet of coast, several steel bluff tiebacks, removal of up to 20 cubic yards of the upper bluff, drainage infrastructure, landscape and other shotcrete fill. The staff report found that this development constitutes a new seawall and therefore subject to mitigation fees. Staff used the real estate valuation method to calculate the approximately $1.3 million impact to coastal resources that the applicant would have to provide to be used for coastal access improvement projects in the area. The applicant requested to withdraw their application but the Commission was unable to grant it due to permit streamlining act requirements. The Commission unanimously approved the staff recommendation, however, the applicant made their intentions to litigate apparent. Green Dot.png

Vote Chart for this Meeting

Coastal Commission Vote Chart

February 2023 Meeting

Green Dot.png = Positive Conservation Vote         Red Dot.png = Negative Conservation Vote

Commissioner Blufftop house in Muir BeachGrossman Seawall in Pismo Beach
Nl12c hart.jpg Caryl Hart Good Vote Good Vote
DBochco.jpg Dayna Bochco Good Vote Good Vote
Donne.gif Donne Brownsey Good Vote Good Vote
EffieT-S.png Effie Turnbull-Sanders Absent for Vote Absent for Vote
Rice.jpg Katie Rice Good Vote Vote Unavailable
Escalante.jpg Linda Escalante Good Vote Good Vote
MeaganHarmon 2020 0116 color corrected.png Meagan Harmon Good Vote Good Vote
Mikewilson.png Mike Wilson Good Vote Good Vote
RU.jpg Roberto Uranga Good Vote Good Vote
Saraa.jpg Sara Aminzadeh Good Vote Good Vote