Stop SB 1295: Defend Coastal Commission
NOTE: The deadline for this appears to have already passed.
Senate Bill 1295 by Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny (San Diego) would eliminate the Coastal Commission’s ability to appeal development permits granted by local governments up and down the coast. Please write or fax Senator Darrell Steinberg, Chair, Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. Tell him you oppose SB 1295, and send a copy to Senator Ducheny.
Senator Ducheny’s bill would eliminate the ability of the Coastal Commission to appeal coastal development permits granted by local governments. While members of the public can also appeal these permits, citizens and non-profit organizations do not always have the resources or ability to monitor every single one of the hundreds of local permits up and down the coast and appeal the significant ones within a very short ten-day time frame.
Why this is Important
The California Coastal Act provides for oversight by the Coastal Commission over development proposals along the coast. While the primary responsibility for reviewing projects lies with local governments, the Coastal Commission acts as an appeal body for projects that could adversely affect sensitive coastal habitats, scenic resources, water quality, or public access. The staff of the Coastal Commission receives notice of all local projects, and under the present law, can appeal them by having two Commissioners sign on to an appeal. Once appealed, the public has the opportunity to address issues of concern to them. If the Commission’s ability to appeal projects is eliminated, many will fall through the cracks, and our coast could be seriously affected by inappropriate or harmful development.
What you can do
Please write or fax Senator Steinberg and send a copy to Senator Ducheny. We recommend faxing as all letters must be received by March 18th and faxes have more impact than e-mails. Please let us know that you have written [email protected]
or fax (650) 968-8431.
A sample letter is below - but it is always best if you use your own words.
Senator Darrell Steinberg, Chair, Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee:
State Capitol, Room 4035
Sacramento, CA 95814
Senator Denise Ducheny
State Capitol, Room 5035
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 327-3522
I am writing to express my strong opposition to SB 1295. This bill will seriously undermine the intent of Proposition 20, approved by the voters in 1972, and the Coastal Act, which was to have state oversight of development along the coast.
The current process allows the professional staff of the Coastal Commission, which receives notice of all projects approved locally, to review these projects for their possible adverse impacts. It is not possible for the public to monitor and be aware of every proposal, or to appear at the appropriate local hearing in order to have "standing" to appeal.
On the other hand, the Commission gets notified of all local actions. The Commission staff reviews them and flags the problematic ones. Then they notify two Commissioners, as required by the Coastal Act, who may agree to bring the appeal before the entire Commission for consideration. The appeal process is the ONLY oversight the Commission has over local decisions. Eliminating the Commission from the process has a serious potential to result in significant adverse impacts to our coastal resources.
Sincerely, (your name)
Thanks for speaking up for coastal protection! Your voice does make a difference!
Committee for Green Foothills
3921 East Bayshore Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303
Phone (650) 968-7243 Fax (650) 968-8431