CCC to rule on extension for County to respond to requested changes to the LCP until 8/11/23

Santa Cruz County has requested to Extend the Time Limit for Acceptance of
the Commission’s Certification (with Suggested Modifications) of Santa
Cruz County Local Coastal Program (LCP) Amendment Number LCP-3-
SCO-20-0067-2 (Safety Element). If approved by the CCC, this would extend the deadline for the County to respond and accept the CCC recommended changes until 8/11/23. The LCP under consideration does NOT include the sections of the Safety Element Section 6.4 (Land Use Plan) for Coastal Beaches and Bluffs, which will not be reviewed until August of 2022 according to Kevin Kahn, District Manager, Central Coast Division, California Coastal Commission. For more information, please refer to, Thursday, agenda item 13b.

Rio Del Mar, Beach Dr. Property Owners win lawsuit against the County

Property owners of 200 – 300 Beach Dr., (29 properties) won law suite against County of Santa Cruz for unlawful seizure of walkway in front of the homes. The judge ruled that the County did not hold title to this walkway, had previously declined claim of public right of way, and did not provide any maintenance or improvements to protect the public right of way. Therefore, the County could not claim any rights to the walkway.

CCC to hold public hearing on 2/11/22 on the Santa Cruz County’s proposed Amendments to the LCP, Safety Elements, policies and regulations

The California Coastal Commission Central Coast Regional Office will hold a public hearing on 2/11/22 @ 9:30 a.m. via Virtual Hearing, on the majority of the LCP’s safety Element policies and corresponding procedures. Safety Element 6.4 (Land Use Plan) for Coastal Beaches and Bluffs, has been omitted from the LCP amendments under consideration and will not be discussed at the 2/11/22. However, many of the corresponding policies and procedures in the Geological Hazards sections (Implementation Plan chapter 16.10) have been included in the 333 page Safety Element Update, Exhibits 1 – 4 for the 2/11/22 public hearing. CCC has recommended to Certify the Safety Elements Implementation Plan chapter 16.10, as modified. The CCC modifications appear to be minor with some impact on Coastal Property Owners (ocean front properties).

Coastal Encroachment Program, approved by the County may force property owners to remove fences, walkways, patios and landscaping which encroaches on public access to the beaches

Since the Live Oak Parking Program was abandoned in 2019, the Coastal Commission has required the County of Santa Cruz to develop a Coastal Encroachment Program, which was approved by the Board of Supervisors, to identify and address any existing or proposed encroachments to public right- of-way, roads and easements which provide access to the public beaches. As a first step, a survey conducted by the County Parks Department, has identified access encroachments along 24th, 25th and 26th avenues off of East Cliff Drive, where property owners have built fences, patios, and installed landscaping which is encroaching on public roads, limiting parking and access to the public beaches. Letters were recently sent to the property owners along these streets, to request they remove the improvements, or pay the County Parks Department and “Encroachment Fee” of $5,000 – 20,000 or more each year. A special meeting between the property owners and Supervisor Manu Koenig will be held in January, 2022 to review the survey’s findings and possible solutions for property owners.

CCC issues final report on Guidelines for SRL – Critical Infrastructure

The goal of this Guidance is to promote resilient coastal infrastructure and protection of coastal
resources by providing local governments, asset managers, and other stakeholders with policy and
planning information to help inform sea level rise adaptation decisions that are consistent with the
California Coastal Act. The Guidance addresses two main types of critical infrastructure: transportation
and water. While other infrastructure types, including power plants, gas pipelines, and desalination
facilities, are not explicitly addressed, many described adaptation approaches could broadly apply to
these types of infrastructure as well, because they share common characteristics with the infrastructure
discussed in this Guidance, such as provision of public services, and a large, complex, and often cross-jurisdictional scale. CCC expects Coastal Hazard Zones to incorporate these guidelines into their LCP. CCC will finalize the document on November 17, 2021 at the CCC regional meeting.

Coastal Commission to Extend deadline to review Santa Cruz County’s LCP

The CCC has placed a consent item on the CCC October agenda to extend the time frame to review and comment on the County’s proposed amendments to the LCP for Coastal Bluffs and Beaches until February 2022. According to Kevin Kahn, the CCC plans to provide written feedback to the County by the end of the year (December 2021), and will also consider additional input from major stakeholders such as the County, CPOA and the Surf Riders Association.

County of Santa Barbara withdraws their LCP from submission to the CCC

Santa Barbara County withdraws it amended LCP to address Sea Level Rise due to significant disagreements with the CCC regarding requested modifications: 1) definition of ‘existing structures,’ the Commission has interpreted this term, in the context of Section 30235, to mean structures that were in existence when the Coastal Act was enacted” (i.e., January 1, 1977), 2) new structures or redevelopment within coastal hazard will not be entitled to new shoreline protection under Public Resources Code Section 30235 or any analogous provision of this LCP, 3) new or modified developments (structures) that are reliant on existing shoreline protection should be moved/relocated to provide more setback and shoreline protection removed, 4) require that Coastal Development Permits for shoreline protective devices expire after 20 years, after that the CDPs may be extended but must include mitigation measures to minimize impacts to shoreline sand supply, public access, biological resources, or other coastal resources be reassessed in 20-year increments.