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 https://ucsb.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bIq5VYOpors6CRo.

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.

CPOA’s Summary of the CCC Hearing on 10/14/22

The Commissioners voted (9:0) to reject the Santa Cruz County’s proposed LCP Amendments, and sided with the Surfriders, and recommendations on the CCC Staff Report. The CCC Staff report asserted that the LCP Amendments were poorly written, with many internal inconsistencies, were not consistent with the Coastal Act (1977), which generally prohibits any new shoreline armoring, and most existing armoring may need to be removed to allow managed retreat to preserve the public beaches as sea level rises.

CCC Hearing; Commissioners accepted staff recommendations and Denied Santa Cruz County proposed LCP Amendments

Coastal Commissioners accepted staff recommendations and denied the County’s proposed LCP Amendments at the CCC Hearing 0n 10/14/22. Specifically, they found the proposed LCP was not consistent with the Coastal Act, was poorly written, and did not adequately address the impact of sea level rise on public beaches, access to the coastline, surf and waves. There were opposed to modifying their definition of “Existing Structures” as of 1977, the proposed “Shoreline Protection Area”, and wanted a plan to address the effects of SLR on coastal erosion and loss of public beaches, that would require “managed retreat” in urban areas of the County. They also wanted a plan that was area specific, for each neighborhood. The Commissioners do not plan to send any more specifics beyond what was included in the CCC staff report of 9/30/22. They encouraged the County to continue to work with the CCC staff to identify and resolve the major differences and resubmit a revised LCP for reconsideration in 2023.

County letter to CCC re LCP Amendments for Hearing on 10/14/22

The County staff is committed to pursuing the clearest and quickest route to getting an LCP amendment certified by the Coastal Commission which is reasonable and feasible for the County to implement to address sea level rise, and to continue to meet with CCC staff and major stakeholders to reach consensus where possible. It is imperative that the LCP amendment effort which has taken over 6 years to get to this point, not be abandoned.