Letter: Coastal Commission recommendation for Midcoast plan needs your support


By on Thu, March 5, 2009

Fax Your Letter of Support by Friday March 6

After more than 6 years of local public hearings and meetings, boxfuls of written testimony from citizens, and just plain hard work on the part of countless public officials, [pdf] the California Coastal Commission will consider on March 12 whether to approve a major amendment to the Midcoast Local Coastal Program (LCP). This comprehensive planning document will shape the future of Midcoast for the next several decades.

Your help is needed to urge the Commissioners to adopt the recommended document prepared by the Commission’s professional planning staff. A sample letter that can be faxed to the full set of Commissioners for inclusion in their meeting packets can be found at the end of this article. Anyone who cares about preserving California ’s coast for future generations can and should weigh in, not just residents of the Midcoast. Please don’t wait. Fax your letter of support to 415-904-5400 before 5 pm Friday March 6.

The Coastal Commission staff’s recommendations include the following: 

  • An allowable growth rate for the Midcoast of 1 percent, consistent with Half Moon Bay’s voter-approved growth limit, [pdf] which is also recommended by staff for approval at the same March 12 meeting.

  • A requirement for traffic analysis and mitigation for new development (except single family homes on existing legal lots and visitor serving uses).

  • A prohibition against new private residential water wells until San Mateo County develops a groundwater management plan.

  • An increase in priority water service connections for failed residential water wells from 10 houses to 50 houses.

  • A prohibition against new private septic systems, unless authorized by an approved groundwater management plan.

  • A requirement for a coastal development permit and LCP amendment for any new desalination plants, in order to fully protect sensitive coastal resources.

  • A rezoning of the Burnham Strip in El Granada to allow public parking, trails, and public restrooms with an appropriate permit.

As stated in the executive summary of the 341-page staff report:

"The [County’s proposed] LCP amendment provides an important framework for updating portions of the LCP. However, additional changes are needed to assure consistency with Coastal Act requirements…[T]he County’s proposal does not sufficiently address the significant public services issues that have arisen since original certification of the LCP in 1981, including physical changes to the environment resulting in significant adverse effects on public health and safety, coastal resources, and coastal access. These changes include significant development over the last 20 years, new water supplies, issues and constraints, including failed private wells in the urban area; systemic sewage overflows and water quality problems; and severe congestion on the major coastal access routes that is adversely impacting public access to and along the shoreline."

A sample letter follows.

——————- Sample letter to the Coastal Commission———————-

March 5, 2009                             Agenda Item TH6a [Your Name Here]

Bonnie Neely, Chair & Members

California Coastal Commission

c/o North Central Coast District Office

Charles Lester, Senior Deputy Director

45 Fremont Street, Suite 2000

San Francisco, CA 94105-2219

Via Fax: (415) 904-5400

Subject:  San Mateo County LCP Amendment No. SMC-MAJ-1-07 (Midcoast LCP Update)

Dear Chair Neely and Members of the Commission:

As a resident of California living in [your town], I support the preservation of our state’s coastal resources for the enjoyment of current and future generations. We owe a tremendous debt to the wisdom and foresight of the many dedicated people who worked together to enact the California Coastal Act more than thirty years ago.

The proposed amendments to the San Mateo County LCP, as recommended by the Commission’s professional staff, will update this important planning document to reflect the many changes that have occurred over the past 20 years and will help to address the constraints and limited resources that exist in the MidCoast today. I strongly urge you to adopt the staff’s recommendations. 


[Your Name]

[Your Address]