Coastal Commission Delayed review of Santa Cruz County LCP Amendments

The Proposed Santa Cruz County LCP Amendments for Coast Beaches & Bluffs have been filed with the Coastal Commission, who is scheduled to meet with County officials in the next few weeks to discuss identified issues and timing for changes. The CCC Hearing on the County LCP Amendments will most likely be delayed from this Fall until Early Winter 2022. For more information, contact Kevin Kahn, at CCC: kevin.kahn@coastal.ca.gov

Response from CCC on their review of the County’s proposed LCP

CPOA requested an update from the California Coastal Commission’s on their review of the proposed amendments to Santa Cruz County’s Local Coastal Program relating to coastal bluffs and beaches (land use plan section 6.4) and geologic hazards (implementation plan chapter 16.10). No date has been set for CCC hearing as of yet on the proposed amendments.

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.

Planning Dept. Responses to CPOA Questions regarding the approved LCP documents

At the CPOA Annual Zoom Meeting 11/12/20, David Carlson from the Santa Cruz County Planning Dept responded to questions raised by CPOA members regarding the recently approved Local Coastal Plan documents. A recording of this Zoom meeting with discussion from the 11/12/20 meeting will be posted on the CPOA website shortly.

Examples of vertical seawalls, with public pathways

Examples of vertical seawalls, with stairs and horizontal public access pathways to increase public access, blend in with the environment and shore up eroding cliffs and beach bluffs. The estimated cost is between $800,000 – $1,200,000 per parcel depending on the size of the lot and vertical slope. According to the County’s approved LCP, the coastal bluffs from Soquel Point to the Capitola City border will be designated as a “Shoreline Protection Exception Area”, with the goal of constructing a uniform vertical seawall with horizontal public pathway and increased public access from 41st Ave to the Capitola City border. If approved by the Coastal Commission, the property owners would be able to form a Geologic Hazards Assessment District (GHAD) to help finance the costs of this uniform seawall along Opal Cliffs.

CPOA-SC ANNUAL MEETING via Zoom on Thursday, November 12, 2020 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

We will be discussing the latest approved version of the Local Coast Plan documents. Please plan to participate. We have invited County Supervisors John Leopold, Zach Friend, Kathy Molloy and David Carlson from the Planning Department to participate.

County Board of Supervisors vote to approve the Local Coastal Plan and send it to the CCC

The Board of Supervisors approved the proposed LCP, which will be sent to the CCC for review and comment. It is expected that the CCC will request significant changes and send it back to the County to accept or reject the CCC requested changes. At that time, there should be another opportunity for public comment, before the Board of Supervisors finalizes the LCP. This process is expected to take 90 days to one year to complete.

Letter from the Coastal Commission to the County of Santa Cruz re proposed changes in the Public Safety Element/Coastal Hazards LCP

The CCC has submitted a letter to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors regarding agenda item #7 (9507) requesting the County make substantial changes in the proposed LCP. Further limit any new development, redevelopment or replacement structures along the coastline. All structures substantially modified or replace since the Coast Act of 1977, should be considered “new”. Any further major redevelopment or replacement structures should not rely on existing coastal shoreline protection or armoring devices. The County must guarantee continued or increased public access to the beaches and shorelines, and force property owners to accept the obligation to modify or remove their shoreline armorment to allow for continued public access with sea level rise.

CPOA comment letter to the Board of Supervisors re agenda item #7 (9507), 9/15/20

CPOA urges the Board of Supervisors to delay the vote on proposed amendments to Santa Cruz County’s Local Coastal Program relating to coastal bluffs and beaches (land use plan section 6.4) and geologic hazards (implementation plan chapter 16.10. These documents are not ready to be submitted to the California coastal Commission for review and certification. There are still many flaws and inconsistencies in the documents which could lead to misunderstandings and potential law suites against the County. If the Board of Supervisors chooses not to delay the vote on proposed amendments to Santa Cruz County’s Local Coastal Program relating to coastal bluffs and beaches (land use plan section 6.4) and geologic hazards (implementation plan chapter 16.10, CPOA has asked for certain amendments. See CPOA Comment letter for more details