The California Coastal Commission has jurisdiction over all property adjacent to the Pacific Ocean along the California coastline. Many cities have adopted the LCP (Local Coastal Plans) responsibilities that allow the City or County to grant a Coastal Develop Permit (CDP) which can eliminate the need for a Coastal Commission submittal or hearing. Understanding where these CDP opportunities exist and how to navigate them requires years of experience and knowledge of both the CDP process and the Coastal Commission’s expectations for property development.
In-fill properties are the least impacted by Coastal Commission challenges as long at the proposed development does not exceed City Zoning codes or impact environmentally sensitive flora, fauna and habitats. A variety of tools exist to help us determine the level of sensitivity present on a site. If environmental concerns are present an in-depth biological analysis may be required; which we help to secure and coordinate.
New construction on vacant land pose the greatest challenges and can sometimes require years to navigate the various governing agencies, last of which is usually the California Coastal Commission. Some properties require Fuel Modification studies, Biological Study and historical research. When reports of this nature are required it is critical to collaborate closely with the engineering and scientific professionals to make sure they don’t ‘over-think’ the conditions but rather address them fairly. We have seen parcels deemed undevelopable that may not have been if collaboration existed to compare subject parcels to neighboring parcels. Knowing how to approach a challenging situation is key to securing success in a timely manner and cost effectively.
The basic premise is that the Coastal Commission’s charge is to protect the Coastal Resource and Public Access to our coast. When you understand the objectives and know the key elements that might be of concern approvals are simply a matter of patience.
Brion Jeannette Architecture has over 40 years of experience addressing the California Coastal Commission, coastal cities and HOAs. We have secured approvals for hundreds of projects along our coastline.