Public Meeting ““ Coastal Property Amendments

Dear Coastal Property Owners Association of Santa Cruz County member:

A County of Santa Cruz Public Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for:

Wednesday March 13, 2019 at 9:00am
Board of Supervisors Chamber
County Government Center
701 Ocean Street, Room 525
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Once again it is important that we have a large attendance and participation during this meeting to voice our concerns and also suggest changes to the Planning Department and Planning Commissioners regarding the proposed amendments to our Local Coastal Program.

Unfortunately the Planning Commissioners did not honor their promise to us at the December 12, 2018 Planning Commission public meeting to conduct two public workshops during February 2019. Instead of the workshops we were presented with a summary of the proposed amendments during the regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting of February 13, 2019. At the conclusion of two hour presentation we were given two minutes per speaker to address state our concerns.

After meeting with the Planning Director Kathleen Molloy and Resource Planner David Carlson on February 5, 2019 a few of our proposed suggestions and suggestions from the public meetings have now been incorporated into the proposed amendments and can be view in the staff report (Exhibit X starting on page 151) at:


We feel very uncomfortable with this whole process that initially began with a lack of any reasonable public noticing during the time the amendments were drafted and now being denied the two public workshops which would have allowed an interactive conversation and better vetting of the amendments.

Some (not all) of the remaining items that should be addressed include:

1) Protection for existing legally construction shoreline protection that did not previously require permitting (vested rights). p 154
2) New requirements on existing legally permitted structures or armoring as a result of a (any) violation of County Code. p 155
3) A need to expand the time period definition of imminent danger (a requirement for obtaining shoreline protection permits) from 2 years to 10 years to avoid “emergency permits” and repetitive loss triggers. p 155 & 172 respectively
4) A new requirement on existing shoreline protection for a Monitoring, Maintenance and Repair Program. p156
5) The unfortunate removal of a County exception option for shorter expected life designs and setbacks. p 158
6) The required expanded recordation language on deeds base on “guidance from the Coastal Commission” as a condition of Coastal Development Permit approvals. This was only guidance and not regulation. It will limit the marketability of your home and financing options. p 160
7) A change requiring that all LCP policies and regulations be met to rebuild bluff top properties if coastal hazards (including earth quakes) damage more than 50% of major structural components. Previously the threshold was 75%. p 162
8) Require shoreline armoring applications to include design considerations to provide for public recreational access. p 165
9) Giving authority to the Coastal Commission to determine and amend sand mitigation fees as opposed to the County seeking public input for reasonable fees. p 168
10) All Required Monitoring, Maintenance and Repair Programs for new shoreline protection will expire in 20 years and will require amendment of a Coastal Development Permit to renew. This basically subjects all new shoreline protection to a 20 year life limit. p 168 & 169

Please review Exhibit X (starts on page 151) and communicate these and your other concerns to:

Our County Planning Commissioners at:

Michael Guth mguth@guthpatents.com
Melanie Shaffer Freitas melanief1@aol.com
Rachel Dann Rachel.Dann@santacruzcounty.us
Judith Lazenby judilazenby@aol.com
Renee Shepherd renee@reneesgarden.com

Our County Board of Supervisors at:

John Leopold john.leopold@santacruzcounty.us
Zach Friend zach.friend@santacruzcounty.us
Ryan Coonerty ryan.coonerty@santacruzcounty.us
Greg Caput greg.caput@santacruzcounty.us
Bruce McPherson bruce.mcpherson@santacruzcounty.us

The Planning Commission Agenda can be viewed at: