CCC Reluctantly Approves a Seawall Replacement, New Public Access and Stairway at Pleasure Point

The Coastal Commission reluctantly approved in a vote of 6:4 a proposal submitted by three separate Pleasure Point property owners (parcels located at 3000, 3006 & 3020 Pleasure Point Drive) to repair the Sewer Peak public access and stairway, replace damaged pre-existing seawalls, remove debris and revetment rocks, and install a new seawall with a public pathway at the foot of the seawall and stairs down to the ocean bedrock and tide pools.

CCC Unanimously Approved LCP $780,000 Grant to Santa Cruz County

On September 6, 2023 the Coastal Commission awarded $780,000 in Local Coastal Program (LCP) Local Assistance grant funds to the County of Santa Cruz to complete a series of technical studies on sea level rise (SLR) hazards, economic impacts, and adaptation pathways that will culminate in an LCP amendment on SLR. The County will now send out requests for proposals (RFPs) and award the contract by November, 2023. The contractor, once selected will meet with all of the major stakeholders, complete a coastal vulnerability study to identify those areas at greatest risk of flooding and coastal erosion with triggers and timelines for adaptation strategies, which will result in recommended revisions to the County’s LCP. As a result, It appears the County will have to delay the approval of the revised LCP until December 2025.

CPOA to Investigate Funding Options in Support of 2024 County Elections

COA is investigating the feasibility of establishing a Political Action Committee and other funding alternatives to allow CPOA to raise funds and contribute to our chosen candidates for the County Board of Supervisors in our next election.

County Approves Submission of Grant Application to CCC for sea level rise vulnerability assessment and preparation of related Local Coastal Program General Plan

The County Board of Supervisor’s just approved the submission of a grant application to the Coastal Commission to fund $733,000 to fund a sea level rise vulnerability assessment and preparation of related Local Coastal Program General Plan, which is expected to be awarded by CCC this summer. Then the County will select a Coastal Engineering Consultant to complete the Vulnerability Study and begin work on revising the LCP this fall.

CPOA Members asked to participate in joint USC/UCSB 2023 California Coastal Adaptation Needs Assessment.

CPOA members have been asked to participate in the in the 2023 California Coastal Adaptation Needs Assessment sponsored by the University of Southern California (USC) Sea Grant and the Ocean and Coastal Policy Center (OCPC) at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB. The link to complete the survey is

Storm Surge Accelerates Bluff Erosion Along Opal Cliffs

The recent January storms have accelerated the costal bluff erosion along the Opal Cliffs. In some locations, 3-4 feet of the bluffs edge has collapsed, compared to a seasonal average of one foot of bluff loss. The proposal for a uniform seawall along Opal Cliffs was opposed by the Surfriders, and rejected by the Coastal Commission. Yet the County and Costal Commission will not grant Emergency Permits to shore-up bluffs or repair existing seawalls and restack revetment rocks. Dangerous debris and concrete continue to fall down Opal Cliffs to the bedrock below, causing unsafe conditions for surfers and beach goers. CPOA has asked the County if they will continue to support the proposal for a uniform seawall given the recent storm erosion and opposition from the Coastal Commission.

Superior Court of CA Rules Against the CCC’s interpretation of “Pre-existing Structures”

Superior Court of CA has ruled against the CCC in their interpretation of “Pre-existing structures which are entitled to shoreline protection”. In the case of Casa Mira Homeowner’s Association (San Mateo) vs the CCC, the Court ruled the CCC exceeded the authority and limitations of the Coastal Act in their interpretation of section 30235, that only “Pre-existing Structures present before the passage of the Coastal Act (1977) were entitled to any shoreline protection”. The Court finds that CCC has mis-interpreted an ambiguous section of the Statue, and is attempting to add new language restricting any new shoreline protection for existing costal structures. The Court further stipulated that any existing structure (present tense) is entitled to shoreline protection if it is in danger of coastal erosion, provided that the shoreline protection device does not restrict public access to the beaches and shoreline.

Recent Storm Damages in Aptos Rio Del Mar and Beach Dr.

The heaviest damages sustained in Santa Cruz County were in Aptos, Rio Del Mar, and along Beach Dr. Dozens of homes along a roughlymile stretch of road at Beach Drive in Rio Del Mar were badly damaged after rising seas and massive piles of debris tore apart concrete walls and rushed through front yards and living rooms. Five homes have been red- tagged, including one which was pushed off it’s foundation onto Beach Dr. 19 other homes sustained heavy flood damage and were yellow tagged according to the County Building inspector. The sidewalk and railing along the beach front was also damaged. Property owner’s have begun the tedious process of clean-up and repairs. Please help and support these property owner’s with any thing you can.

Recent Storm Damages in Capitola Village

Recent storm damages in Capitola included a lost section of the Capitola Pier, Zelda’s restaurant sustained heavy damages, and minor damages to the other restaurants. The beach sand bar was washed out, but will likely return after the winter storm season is over. No damages were reported along Capitola Creek

County Board of Supervisors to Delay Public Hearing on new Revisions to the LCP Section re Coastal Beaches and Bluffs to 12/12/2023

BOS item 57 (13633) on 12/6/22, to defer and set a Public Hearing for 12/12/2023 on the new proposed amendments to the Amendments to the LCP Safety Element 6.4 (Land Use Plan) for Coastal Beaches and Bluffs, and the Geological Hazards sections (Implementation Plan chapter 16.10). On October 14, 2022 the Coastal Commission denied a portion of the amendments addressing development on coastal bluffs and beaches. The
timeline for these updates is estimated to include most of 2023. Therefore, staff is
recommending this item be deferred to December 12, 2023.