CPOA Comment Letter to Board of Supervisors 2/13/24 re Integral Consulting Contract

CPOA urges the County Board of Supervisors to direct staff to re-issue Request for Proposal (RFP) #23P3-011 Santa Cruz County Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment and Local Coastal Program Amendment, and ensure that the RFP reaches the appropriate contact people at each of the major Coastal Consulting firms and extend the deadline to respond to the RFP by 30 days.

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.

Santa Cruz County to finalize Coastal Sustainability Project, requests public input

Santa Cruz County Planning Department has held a number of Public Hearings to solicit public input on their Coastal Sustainability Project. This project includes a review of the impact of Sea Level Rise on Coastal Beaches and Bluffs, housing, public infrastructure and public beach access, as well as erosion of inland properties due to climate change, more severe and frequent storms and fires.

Casa Del Mira HOA, San Mateo vs CCC regarding denial of Seawall Protection

The Casa Mira Homeowner’s Association is suing the California Coastal Commission over the denial of coastal development permit to construct a 257- foot seawall to protect a collapsing bluff that fronts Casa Mira townhomes built in 1984. Casa Mira worked tirelessly with CCC staff for three years and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop a proposal that met every one of staff’s seemingly endless objections. Coastal staff had recommended approval, but the Commission over ruled and denied the permit. The Trial is set for October in San Mateo Superior Court.

CA Coastal Bluff Erosion Study

Study on the stability and erosion of California Coastal Bluffs was recently conducted by researchers at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography indicated cliffs along California’s northernmost coast have been eroding faster than the more populated bluffs of Southern California. See article recently published in the LA Times.

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.

Sea Level Rise Legislation

This year, the California Legislature is doubling-down, having introduced more than a dozen bills intended to address sea level rise in some form or fashion. From a “takings” perspective, it appears the proposed legislation has been crafted broadly and in such a way as to avoid inverse condemnation or regulatory takings liability, but the real question will be how local jurisdictions implement the various programs (assuming the legislation is adopted).

County proposes changes to the Live Oak Parking Program

The County has held two Zoom meetings on 2/3 & 2/17, to review proposed changes to the Live Oak Parking Program. 1) Expand the area covered to include all streets within two blocks of the ocean between the Harbor and Capitola City border (includes Opal Cliffs), 2) Extend seasonal permit from March to October (previously May to September), 3) Eliminate stickers and use Digital Parking App to obtain permits (seasonal and day use), 4) Seasonal permit fee $75 for residents and non-residents, 5) Temporary permit $2/hr for day use on Weekends and Holidays, 6) Residents will be allowed to register up to 5 vehicles but may only park one on the street at a time during restricted hours 11 a.m – 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays March – October, and 7) increased parking enforcement. The Live Oak Parking Program Application is expected to be submitted for Coastal Permit on March 1st, and to the board of Supervisors for approval on April 13th. New parking season begins on May 1st.


Petitioners are five property owners with a private driveway easement on Geoffrey Drive,
Santa Cruz, located on a bluff above Twin Lakes State Beach. Petitioners challenge the Coastal
Commission’s jurisdiction to (1) reverse the County’s exemption determination on their
application for a Development Permit to install a gate and fence on their easement; (2) require
Petitioners to either remove the gate and fence or apply for a Coastal Development Permit
(CDP); and (3) impose civil penalties if Plaintiffs refuse to remove the gate and fence to allow
public access to Twin Lakes State Beach. The CA Superior Court ruled that the CA Coastal Commission does not have the authority to impose unreasonable fines and fees to an approved application for Coastal Development Permit, after it has been approved by Santa Cruz County in accordance to it’s approved Local Coastal Plan.