Did a developer steal this woman’s camera?


Posted by on Wed, July 13, 2005

 border=
Cheri Parr
Barbara Mauz is ankle-deep in eucalyptus cuttings, and shorter than this pile of chips.
 border=
Victoria Ortiz
It may be ephemeral, but the stream and the surrounding trees dwarf Barbara Mauz and Coastsider photographer Cheri Parr.
 border=
Cheri Parr
A little further downstream, you can see tracks where the bed is being used as a road.
 border=
Cheri Parr
The wood chips drift like snow among the trees. Yesterday, they were trees.
 border=
Cheri Parr

On Monday morning, says Barbara Mauz, men clearing land for a Miramar developer stole her camera while she was trying to take a picture of what they were doing.

Barb Mauz lives on the southern edge of El Granada, within earshot of Miramar. Recently, that area of Miramar has become a center for development in the unincorporated Midcoast.

The area is sensitive. It butts up against the urban/rural boundary and the Mirada Surf hillside area. It’s on the borders of three greenbelt open space areas:  Mirada Surf, Quarry Park and Peninsula Open Space Trust’s Wicklow property.

An ephemeral stream (a stream that flows only during and after it rains) winds through it. Although the stream is ephemeral and partially underground, you can see a well-defined channel and the willows, riparian plants that thrive on stream banks.  You can see the willows further downstream at the Quarry Park access road of Highway 1. It passes under the highway to feed the willows at Magellan as well.

Welcome to Miramar Heights

In the last few years, an entire neighborhood of mansions has sprung up almost overnight in Miramar east of Highway 1. Someday, they’ll call it Miramar Heights, but you probably don’t even know it’s there, because most of this development is just out of sight of the highway.

But as the development has moved east toward the hills, and north toward El Granada, it has become impossible for folks in this part of El Granada to ignore.

Barb Mauz has several concerns. First, they were filling the stream bed with wood and chips from the eucalyptus trees they had cut down. Second, in addition to blocking the stream, the eucalyptus could be lethal to plants and animals in its bed.  Third, she wants to make certain that whatever changes are being made are recorded, so that Coastsiders and the county understand what is lost in this development. And she wants to make sure that the urban/rural boundary and greenbelt open space areas are respected.

What Barb saw

Barbara Mauz is a small woman, but she’s also a fierce defender of her local environment. She’s fought many battles over the years with developers, the county, and the Coastal Commission.

She knew the development had been going on, but she wasn’t necessarily expecting anything Monday morning. She described what happened in an email.

I heard lots of saws and noise & when I went up from our house and looked down Moro to where my little stream is. All of the trees there were gone. So, I went over there with my little throw-away camera to document whatever was going on. I took a picture of some guy blowing Eucalyptus chips into the channel—those chips can kill any wetland plants and animals. The guy in charge came over and asked me what I was doing. I told him I was concerned about the stream and the area in general as it is a fragile and beautiful place directly adjacent to the Open Space areas.

I told this guy and the one in charge that it would be just plain terrible for people who walk past this area going up to quarry park & will now only see monster houses instead of the natural area. He appeared to be listening and said that he didn’t want people taking pictures of his truck and that he didn’t want anyone from the county coming over looking at what they were doing—then he snatched my camera; he gave me a $20 bill. I told him that I didn’t want his money and that I wanted my camera back.

But Barb wasn’t getting her camera coming back.

On Tuesday, my wife Cheri went to the site with Barbara Mauz to take more pictures. Our daughter and her friend tagged along.  The guys got into their truck and left the site at the sight of the two women and two girls armed with yet another camera.

Wednesday, Barbara Mauz filed a report with the Sheriff’s office. The deputy who took the report went over to the site, but the man whom Barb says took her camera denies having done it.

What are we to do?

Babara Mauz wants the stream protected. Right now, it isn’t recognized as a coastal resource by the Coastal Commission. She says, "Make the county and the owners restore the stream and plant sequoias for people who are using Quarry Park. Write letters asking the County Board of Supervisors not to permit building on this ephemeral stream—or other such streams & creeks such as Medio Creek which is also currently under threat"

Barb wants a movement.  The first step is to understand what’s happening in this place and to share that information.

We’ll never know what’s happening in out-of-the way neighborhoods unless we ask questions, take pictures, and share information. If we’re going to do this, we have to assert our right to know what’s happening. That’s a big reason I started Coastsider.

We only have Barbara Mauz’s word for what happened on Monday. But I do know that despite her fears for her safety and privacy, and her doubts about the Sheriff’s interest, she took her complaint to the Sheriff’s office.

I also know that I have been the subject of aggressive behavior at construction sites that I have photographed for Coastsider.

I am beginning to learn how quickly the landscape in this part of the Coastside has been altered. Everyone should be aware of this, because it doesn’t take long to completely change place this size.

With the county’s Local Coastal Program about to be updated, what’s happening in Miramar could happen anywhere. Large parts of Montara are already in play in the LCP update.

What is essential is that everyone on the Coastside know what they’re missing behind a thinning screen of trees, in a buried ephemeral stream bed, on the film in a stolen camera, or in a windowless room in Redwood City.


I wonder if there is anything that can be adapted from Witness - http://www.witness.org/ - the organization (Peter Gabriel is involved) to put video technology in the hands of people to record human rights violations. You could imagine a similar effort to buy many disposable cameras and place them near hiking trails or adjacent to developments and encourage people to document what they are observing. Take the cost of the device out of the equation, and get the numbers of users way up and teach the thugs a lesson about bullying people.

Barb says
“Write letters asking the County Board of Supervisors not to permit building on this ephemeral stream—or other such streams & creeks such as Medio Creek which is also currently under threat”

I would like to know why our elected leaders on the Midcoast Community Council (MCC) appear to doing absolutely nothing while this sort of thing goes on.

I can understand the County Board of Supervisors ignoring environmental destruction because they are all in the pocket of the developer/real estate/builder community.

But you might think that our elected MCC members (who actually live here) would care enough to lodge an official complaint with the County Bozos and the California Coastal Commission. (Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.)

  The owner(s) of this property apparently have the necessary approvals to move ahead with their development, so why harass them? As you state, this land “isn’t recognized as a coastal resource by the Coastal Commission”. I think your issue is with the Coastal Commission, not with the land owner(s) or the poor guys trying to earn a buck.
  I think this story can also be viewed as harassment of some working class guys who were simply trying to do their job, by an over zealous zero growth advocate/environmentalist. These guys were probably hired, on a sub-contract basis, by the owner(s) to clear this land. The faster they get the job done the more money they make on an hourly basis. They may not even have health insurance and clearly must be unskilled workers. They could be of minority status or even here illegally and are just trying to get by. So while these guys are finishing up the (perfectly legitimate) job, they had their privacy violated by Barb who is taking pictures of them and their vehicles.
  I believe Barb when she says they took her camera, which they should not have done. Barb however shouldn’t be taking pictures of them without their permission. I wonder how Barb would feel if someone came around her home taking pictures and stating that they just wanted to document how terrible it is now compared to when it was in its natural state.
  We have a Coastal Commission to determine what portions can be developed and which cannot. I happen to think they have a tough job, no matter what they decide when trying to balance the needs of the community they will always make someone unhappy. The fact is that we do not have out of control development here on the coast. It is growing, but at a very slow pace. The reality is that it will continue to grow at some level into the future and we will all benefit from that growth.
  In sum, yes I agree that Barb needs a movement, I suggest a laxative!

What this contractor & his workers did was to significantly alter with Cut & Fill this well documented Ephemeral Stream thus, violating the LCP Policies shown below. They FILLED IN a large portion of the Stream with Eucaplyptus Chips which are toxic to wetland plants & animals.

LCP Policy 8.1 Definition of Landforms states:

Define landforms as natural topographic and landscape features which include, but are not restricted to, ridgelines, hillsides, canyons, coastal terraces, headlands, mountains, rock outcroppings, hills, cliffs and bluffs, sand dunes, beaches, wetlands, estuaries, STREAMS, and arroyos.

LCP Policy *8.17 (a) Alteraton of Landforms states:

Require that development be located and designed to conform with, rather than change landforms. Minimize the alternation of landforms as a consequence of grading, cutting, excavating, filling or other development.

LCP Policy 8.6 Streams, Wetlands, and Estuaries states:

(a) Set back development from the edge of streams and other natural waterways a sufficient distance to preserve the visual character of the waterway.

(b) Prohibit structural development which will adversely affect the visual quality of perennial streams and associated riparian habitat, except for those permitted by Sensitive Habitats Component Policies.

Just exactly what makes this contractor & his hired thugs exempt from complying with these Local Coastal Plan Policies or, the County from enforcing these Policies and punishing those who violate them, Steve?

Barb Mauz (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))

Barb - what is your deal? Why are you addressing your comments to me? You seem to be making up out of thin air some implication or statement that I never made.

If anything, my comments were in support of your efforts, so why go on the aggressive here?

Confused.

Sorry Steve, Barb’s mad at me.

Barb, After reading the policies you quoted, I don’t see how you think they apply to an ephemeral stream. In LCP policy 8.6 (a) it refers to “perennial streams”. Perennial: Lasting or active through the year or through many years.

You know environmentalists can be thugs too.

Two words: Chill, Pill

I agree these guys probably weren’t breaking any law before they stole Barb’s camera.

Barb’s on the edge—of development and of coastal law as well.  It’s people like her who are responsible for getting us to think differently about what the law ought to protect. I know that makes people uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable.

Once features, such as trees and streams are eradicated, it’s impossible to bring them to mind without documentation.  Preferably documentation of how they were originally and how they were removed. I’m a big believer in privacy, but this was a public act with profound implicatons for public policy on the Coastside.

But that’s not what this is about.

Go back and take another look at the picture of Barb and think hard about the courage it took for her to take those pictures and then think about the variety of courage it took to take her camera away.

 

Gone,

This Stream feeds willows&wetlands; - base of Quarry Park Trail&SR1; where it flows through a culvert under SR1 & feeds the willows&wetlands; on the Mirada Surf Bluff at Magellan&SR1; year around-proof that this Stream IS perennial.

I’m including Ken Lajoie’s BOS presentation letter re: this Stream. This is meant to assist you/others in understanding the importance of this Ephemeral Stream & the need to preserve it & others; they not only feed willows/wetlands but, they also replenish aquifers, a vital function!

Barb Mauz

February 27, 2001

San Mateo County Board of Supervisors

Re: PLN 2000-00493
APN 047-330-010

Dear Members of the Board,

I am Kenneth R. Lajoie, a geologist recently retired after thirty years service with the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park,CA. While with the USGS, I conducted extensive research and published several reports on the geology of coastal San Mateo County.

I am writing this letter in support of a citizen’s appeal regarding the definition of a riparian wetland habitat along a small, unnamed stream near the southern boundary of land parcel 4776 between El Granada and Miramar in coastal San Mateo County (please see enclosed map). Residents from El Granada recently informed me that part of this wetland had been damaged by road construction and home building in the area.

I understand that the wetland along this stream is not recognized as an environmentally sensitive habitat by the County Planning Department or by the Coastal Commission mainly because the stream, itself, is not delineated by a blue line on the USGS 1:24,000 topographic maps (Half Moon Bay and Montara Mountain) covering that area. I should point out that most small, intermittent streams are not delineated on any USGS topographic maps at this scale. Consequently, these maps are virtually useless for locating or defining riparian habitats, or any other wetlands for that matter.

At the request of two El Granada residents, I have inspected three sets of stereoscopic aerial photographs (1943, 1956 and 1974) presently in the archives of the USGS library to ascertain the nature of the disputed stream course (please see enclosed photocopies of these photographs)

Additionally, I inspected the site in the field with local residents on Friday, February 24, 2001.

On all five aerial photographs, which span 67 years, a small stream course clearly delineated by riparian vegetation (most likely willows) extends from the mouth of the hillside watershed above land parcel 4776, across the flat coastal terrace and into the ocean. The stream course is also clearly delineated by the 10’ contour lines on the large-scale 1962 CalTrans ortho-photographic map. On the 1962, 1974 and 1995 photographs part of the stream course is obscured by a grove of eucalyptus trees, but is still visible.

A small culvert allows the stream to flow beneath a dirt road along the southern boundary of land parcel 4776, and a second, larger culvert allows it to flow beneath Highway 1. Prior to severe sea-cliff erosion in the 1960’s, a low concrete bridge allowed the stream to flow beneath Mirada Road and into the ocean; presently the stream enters the ocean through a deep gully east of the damaged bridge. Additionally a small culvert beneath the dirt road allows drainage from Magellan Ave. to enter the stream.

The evidence from the aerial photographs, the culverts and the bridge clearly attest to the presence of a stream course along the southern boundary of land parcel 4776, even though it is not delineated by a blue line on the USGS maps. The presence of water-loving vegetation along the stream clearly attests to the presence of a riparian wetland, which by any environmental standard is a sensitive habitat.

I understand that the Planning Department of San Mateo County is presently updating the Coastal Resources Map of the Local Coastal Plan for the urban Mid-Coast. The aerial photographs I have inspected here and many others that are already available would be extremely useful in delineating environmentally sensitive wetland habitats in the Mid-Coast area. I would be happy to work with your staff to demonstrate the effectiveness of using aerial photographs for this purpose. A useful means to field check potential wetlands delineated from aerial photographs is a book by Phyllis M. Faber entitled Common Wetland Plants of Coastal California (Pickleweed Press, 1996). This field guide is designed specifically to provide students, coastal planners and public interest groups with a useful tool for identifying and delineating sensitive coastal wetlands.

Please feel free to have your staff contact me concerning any questions they might have regarding the information I have presented here. I look forward to working with them in identifying coastal wetlands, the first step in preserving these sensitive and rapidly dwindling natural environments.

Sincerely,
Kenneth R. Lajoie, Ph.D Geologist

I’m amused by the “stream” of unsupported assumptions trying to justify what the workers did. In particular, what is “legitimate” about hiring illegal aliens—people who are breaking the law to be here? What “right to privacy” could such criminals possibly have? Sure, this kind of manual laborer tends to be sincere and hardworking, but what does that have to do with the price of eggs? And the benefits they are not getting—if this is so, it’s the fault of some sleazebag developer/contractor who is hiring them at cheapo wages—maybe to undercut the bids of contractors who hire legitimate workers, pay going wage rates, pay workman’s comp, pay benefits, etc.?

Every extension of development on a coastside that is already developed beyond sustainability hurts us all.

Carl May

Comment 10
Fri, July 15, 2005 10:35pm
chuck
All my comments

in reponse to the mysterious mal.comX, who asked: ...“I would like to know why our elected leaders on the Midcoast Community Council (MCC) appear to doing absolutely nothing while this sort of thing goes on.  ... you might think that our elected MCC members (who actually live here) would care enough to lodge an official complaint with the County Bozos and the California Coastal Commission. (Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.)”

The MCC has lodged, oh maybe several hundred formal complaints about this sort of thing, many specifically about development along this particular watercourse and concerning development impacts in the Miramar area. They spend more hours than most people work each week following these issues with County staff and the Board of Supervisors. Individual members of the Council have spent thousands of dollars of their own funds filing appeals of Conty project approvals (and with a pretty good track record of getting them overturned, too, I might add).

So I wonder if maybe you’re really paying any attention? If you think there is room for improvement, there is vacancy on the Council you might want to apply for, or maybe run for one of the four seats up for election this year. Or the MCC committees always have room for interested community members to join in. Hope to see you there soon!

Chuck Kozak

All this hand ringing over what amounts to a runoff ditch and the plants that grow around it is simple amazing. Equally amazing is the extrapolation of terms like “perennial streams” and “riparian wetland habitat” to somehow make them applicable to a runoff ditch, oh excuse me I should say “ephemeral stream”.

The bottom line for me is that the governmental bodies we have in place to control growth, have determined that this “ephemeral stream” does not qualify for protected status and development can go forward. Okay, so you lost this battle, get over it. Your issue should be with the governmental agencies, not with the developer or the workers. But no! What you will do is watch these guys very carefully and try to find fault with whatever they do that may in your interpretation, be a violation of some regulation. Oh yes, you have to make sure you gather photographic evidence of these, real or imagined, violations and in general make their lives miserable for doing their jobs.

Should construction workers unite and begin a strategy of harassment of hikers who utilize protected lands? They could hand out leaflets explaining their point of view, engage in heated arguments, yell and scream, photograph people who use the trails?

All of this is just ridiculous and we should all have better things to do.

GC

Construction workers could harass hikers on protected lands, but they’d have to get off their dirtbikes and ATVs to do it.  I’d be happy to see see this but I’m betting it’s not likely.

I’d be equally happy to dispose of words like “perennial” and “ephemeral” as it would make it that much easier to equate a “runoff ditch” with a (protected) creek.  After all they serve the same function no?

Bottom line is Barbara was well within her rights and the law to document the place and event.  It was not lawful for the worker, whatever his circumstance, to abscond the camera.

Regardless of what your opinion on growth/develeopment is, do you really beleive this fellow is above the law?

Twinsdad,

No, this guy should not have taken the camera.

Yes, Barb is well within her rights to do what she did.

I’m just saying the battle is over, so why get in the face of a laborer cutting down trees? Your gripe is not with him, he has nothing to do with the decisions that have been made. So Barb acts within her rights and said and did what she did, and got a bad reaction. That’s life! You know sometimes that is going to happen, pick your battles and your adversaries.

Barb was within her rights, but I think this is poor behavior, take the fight upstairs. If one wants to harass laborers in this kind of situation, fine, just know that you may get an unexpected reaction sometimes. If you can’t handle it don’t do it.

FYI,
I personally love the protected lands and enjoy hiking whenever I can. If the runoff ditch in question had been judged to be a protected creek, that would have been fine with me. For God sake, fight the good fight, if you win, cool! If you lose, move on and win the next battle.

GC

Barbara had every right to take a photograph, no matter what the circumstances. She was harming no one and just wanted to document what she believes is a violation of the land, this is her right. If this worker took her camera he should be punished to the full extent of the law. Whatever next? I would like to hear the Sheriffs official take on this. I thought there was a law against stealing someone elses property?

Point taken GC. 

I took Barb’s photographic documentation in conjunction with Mr. Lajoie’s letter as a good and legitimate effort collecting the evidence necessary to take the fight upstairs for the next battle. 

We both agree that the construction worker saw it differently and, according to Barb’s account, acted illegaly.  But I’m not sure what it is we’re supposed to get over.  I guess we part ways in the conclusion.  I think it’s good to document where you can to show the environmental costs of development.  If not for today’s battle, then for tomorrow’s.

To K.Stokes -
What can the sheriff do?  It was (2) days later and the man denied taking the camera.  Is there enough evidence to justify probable cause and search his truck?

Barry sums it up best:  Barb is on the edge.

Twinsdad: I was not aware that it was reported until two days after the event. Then of course that is way too late. She should have called the Sheriff immediately, maybe then something could have been done.

At the very least, this incident points to a lack of oversite of this area and may help prevent such actions from happening again. - Jack McCarthy

Lack of oversight???  How about active malice?  Check out the wording of staff’s comments here:

http://www.co.sanmateo.ca.us/tm_bin/tmw_cmd.pl?tmw_cmd=StatusViewCase&shl_caseno=VIO2005-00135

Comment 19
Sat, October 8, 2005 3:45pm
Ry
All my comments

Hi!

I live in El Granada.  My house is adjacent to a parcel deemed by the county as part of the “Montecito Riparian Corridor”.  This parcel (047-076-220) has recently changed owners.  The current owner is of a mind to ask for forgiveness instead of permission.  The guy is hacking into the foliage in an effort to create the impression that this is a buildable lot.  He’s cleared a substantial amount of environmentally sensitive habitat.  The county has yet to take sufficient action to bar this person from destroying this area any further.

I’m frustrated by a lack of justice.  Can you guys help?  Time is of the essence…  The guy’s on a rampage…

Thanks,

Ry

 

Ry

Unlike Barb’s ephemeral stream (probably sucked dry from the Euc forest in and around its path) the Montecito Riparian Corridor is a documented, protected stream.  Any massive vegetation removal needs a permit.

We just has such a massive vegetation removal in Moss Beach along a perennial stream.  We called in state agencies as well as the County.  But start with the County.

Barb is correct, it is essential totake photos and document, document, document.  Send them to the county a.s.a.p - attn:  Lisa Grote <[email protected]> Planning and to
Supervisor Gordon
(Richard Gordon<[email protected]>)  Bring them to MCC Planning and Zoning committee on Wed, Oct. 19 (at the HMB airport, 7:30 p.m.) Let us know their responses.  You can reach me via e-mail at <email>[email protected]</email> and we can talk about this more.

Kathryn

 

Comment 21
Wed, October 12, 2005 12:37pm
Barb Mauz
All my comments

Ry,

As soon as I saw your message above, I asked Leonard Woren to go and meet with you (I don’t drive) to document what you described was happening. Leonard reported that he went down a steep slope & witnessed what was going on and as he went down further he noted that there was no water in the stream for whatever reason.

Unlike Kathryn’s description of the Ephemeral Stream/Streambank that the County & MCCC are allowing to be raped by callous & exploitive contractors who have attained “permission to seek permits” from the Careys intermarried “families” who have exploited the bulk of the 25’ Sub-Standard Lot combos in the unplanned paper subdivision in Miramar known as “Shore Acres” - THIS Ephemeral Stream DOES carry water year around as evidenced by the Willow/Riparian/Wetland Areas at the foot of the Quarry Park Trail/Access Rd. which covers over the Ephemeral Stream and was put there by the notorious criminal contractor, J.L. Johnston where it then flows through a culvert under SR1 where it nourishes the Willow/Riparian/Wetland Areas on the Mirada Surf Bluff at Magellan & SR1 before it flows into the Ocean.

In NO case was it right for the County or the MCCC to condone contractor, Bruce Gherles’, hired out-of-state tree cutter to blow toxic Eucalyptus Chips into the bed of this Ephemeral Stream destroying the Hydric Soils, Wetland Plants or Animals that the Coastal Commission’s Biologist, Dr. John Dixon, must have noted in his examination of this Ephemeral Stream and then, snatch my camera out of my hand and toss it to Bruce Gherles, or severly alter via Cut & Fill the Ephemeral Stream Channel which is a Significant Landform!

In NO case would it be right for the County or the MCCC to condone this type of rape of our precious Ephemeral Streams because some have determined this is okay because they don’t SEE water in the Stream.

Barb Mauz (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))

Comment 22
Wed, October 12, 2005 2:27pm
Barb Mauz
All my comments

The letter below is FYI. As you can see, the Coastal Commission was ready to change their jurisdictional map to show THIS Ephemeral Stream as a Coastal Resource—does anyone doubt the quailfications of the Coastal Commission’s Biologist, Dr. John Dixon, who examined THIS Ephemeral Stream and determined it to be a Coastal Resource? Only BIG MONEY and DIRTY POLITICS stood in the way of them changing their jurisdictional boundaries and now, both they and San Mateo County Planning Dept. now HAVE Ken Lajoie’s aerial photographs ** THAT DON’T LIE ** of THIS Ephemeral Stream to go by and there is absolutely NO reason for them not to get this done!

Barb Mauz (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))

April 7, 2000

San Mateo County Planning & Building Divn.
Attn: Dave Holbrook
Mail Drop PLN 122
455 County Center
Redwood City, CA 94063

Re: Mirada Surf/Doherty

Dear Dave:

I am writing regarding the alleged Coastal Act/LCP violations on the Mirada Surf/Doherty properties. During our site visit of Tuesday, April 4, 2000, Chris Kern, John Dixon, and I looked at the culvert repair/expansion, the access/haul road, the drainageway, the areas of TREE REMOVAL [Note: Doherty also illegallly butchered hundreds of large diameter trees from upper Magellan down to the bottom of the rd. that caused an enormous amount of erosion of the weak, aluvial soils the trees were anchoring. A neighbor told me that he witnessed the Doherty’s excavating & trucking away tons, of this weak, alluvial soil that washed down and replacing the 10 foot deep hole with granite compost (I have a pix of that) so that they could build a house on that lot—it is the one next to and east of the tree filled open space lot adjacent to the little trail that comes across Mirada Surf and the Quarry Park access trail for which Midcoast Parklands has an easement & has blocked off so that vehicles cannot violate the trail & Quarry Park/Mirada Surf Areas. THIS CRIME WAS REPORTED to EVERYONE to No Avail & now there are over-sized houses that go down to the bottom of Magellan from the top - near the streambank where Jo Ginsberg states that the huge orange house directly adjacent to the streambed SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED - I have pix of these disasters if you want to see them, just let me know.]  ...

Text of Ltr. Continues ... and, the Mirada Surf property. Pursuant to our site visit, John Dixon, our biologist, indicated that he believes that the drainageway located near the access road is actually a streambank, under the Coastal Commission’s definition, as well as the Department of Fish & Game’s definition of a stream. This stream CONSTITUES AN ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE HABITAT AREA (ESHA), and thus, ANY DEVELOPMENT PROPOSED WITHIN 100 feet of the ESHA would be appealable to the Coastal Commission. IT IS OUR INTENT TO REVISE OUR POST-CERTIFICATION MAP TO REFLECT THIS CHANGE.

In addition, as we discussed on site, the County’s LCP regulations for repair/maintenance exclusions limit exclusions to repairs THAT DO NOT INCREASE the size of the structure being repaired. Since an addition to the culvert was constructed, INCREASING ITS SIZE, it appears that the work done on the culvert DOES NOT properly qualify for an exemption under the County’s regulations. You indicated to Mr. Doherty that an “after-the-fact CDP would be required for the culvert repair and expansion. This CDP WOULD BE APPEALABLE to the Coastal Commission. WE FURTHER CONCLUDED THAT THE PENDING CDP FOR A SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCE located near the culvert WOULD BE APPEALABLE TO THE COASTAL COMMISSION, BASED ON ITS PROXIMITY TO THE STREAM.
We have yet to determine if the access/haul road graded by J.L. Johnson is exempt from coastal permit requirements because it was allegedly graded pursuant to a timber harvest plan. We will look into that matter.

Finally, based on this site visit, it is Dr. Dixon’s opinion that the boundaries of LSA’s [McCraken/Byer’s EIR biologists] ... wetland survey of the Mirada Surf property seems to be accurate.

[Also note that Mirada Surf, East & West Sides, have NEVER had an INDEPENDENT/COMMUNITY BASED examination of wetland/biological/bird/animal life—this REALLY needs to get done and February or March are the BEST months to do this type of examination.]

Sincerely,
Jo Ginsberg
Enforcement Analyst
cc: Chris Kern