The map below is the beginning of an effort to identify, map, and provide video and text narratives discussing each decision. Additionally, important battles to protect the coast of California prior to the passage of the California Coastal Act of 1976 are also included.:
The following actions were identified in Commission evaluation scorecards over the past decade as important issues concerning public access and protection of the coast:
(Note that Kinsey is an alternate for Commissioner Reilly, Lowenthal is an alternate for Clark, Gonzales for Hueso, Secord for Kram, and Liberman for Kruer. A vote by an alternate will be indicated “via [alternate name]” as in the case of Reilly above [not below]. All votes of alternates are attributed to the primary commissioner for votes scoring purposes.)
Foothill Transportation Corridor South, San Diego County: In the most important vote of the year, the Commission voted 8-2 to reject a proposal to build a private toll road through San Onofre State Park that would have destroyed a large portion of the park and have had major impacts on wetlands estuary, endangered species, sacred Native American sites, a prized campground, and a world famous surfing environment at Trestles, among other catastrophic impacts.
Pacifica Condos, San Mateo County: In allowing for 10 condos to be built on a single family half-acre ocean front lot regularly flooded by large waves, the Commission joined the City of Pacifica in ignoring the effects of climate change and sea level rise.
Channel Islands Harbor Boating Instruction and Safety Center, Ventura County: Even after a Superior Court decision forbade development on this area close to sensitive bird nests and Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area (“ESHA”), the Commission agreed with paid lobbyists and Ventura Co. Supervisors in allowing the facility to be located in the exact same place, rather than environmentally preferable locales in the Channel Islands Harbor.
Signal Landmark, Huntington Beach, Orange County: After discovering that the Bolsa Chica wetlands housing developer had illegally constructed ‘entrance monuments’ to impede public access to its new subdivision, the Commission failed to require removal of these intimidating structures.
Pacifica Co., Seacoast Inn, Imperial Beach, San Diego County:
California Coastal Commission Conservation Voting Chart 2008
In allowing a new resort hotel on the beach, the Commission ignored its own established policies and for the first time approved a visitor serving facility where 100% of the rooms will be subdivided and sold off to individual ‘condotel’ owners.
Puffsky, Santa Cruz County: In approving a new nine-house subdivision in the City of Santa Cruz, the Commission allowed the subdivision to be located partially on public park land.
City of Huntington Beach LCP Amendment (Shea Parkside Findings), Orange County: In one of the most surprising moments of the year, the Commission allowed lobbyists for a Bolsa Chica wetlands housing development to ‘re-write’ legal findings for the project (see Vote Chart, November 2007) to further damage established wetlands on the property. This would eliminate the possibility of a successful environmental lawsuit. (Note: only Commissioners who initially voted for the project in November 2007 were entitled to vote on the developers’ sponsored findings in 2008).
So. Cal. Edison, San Diego County: In order to help SCE avoid the purchase of insurance, the Commission voted to allow SCE to haul radioactive nuclear cores up, down and across miles of beach, and across creeks, wetlands and through ESHA, between San Onofre near San Clemente and Camp Pendelton, in San Diego County.
City of Dana Pt. LCP Amendment (Headlands), Orange County: The Commission defended the right to public access in rejecting a proposal to eliminate a public beach access stairway through a luxury subdivision above Strands Beach at Dana Point Headlands. In requiring the project proponent to implement the original plan for the development, the Commission rejected developer’s contention that the previously agreed-upon access was no longer viable after the project had been completed.
City of Malibu LCP Amendment, Los Angeles County:
La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, San Diego County: In defense of public beach access, the Commission voted to deny a proposal by the City of San Diego and the privately owned La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club to install signage delineating a private beach fronting the club, adjacent to La Jolla Shores public beach.
Here the Commission voted to reduce the required width size of beach front lots at Broad Beach for the Malibu Bay Co. (“MBC”) so that MBC could build four new houses instead of just two, thereby insuring additional profit for MBC and further degrading sensitive beach habitat and wildlife resources.
Key, McCullough & Ames, San Diego County: With no Coastal Act justification whatsoever, the Commission allowed a four-lot subdivision rather than a single home in order to assist the developer in maximizing profits.
Margolis, Malibu, Los Angeles County: In approving a new house in the Malibu Colony adjacent to Surfrider Beach, the Commission allowed for development within 100-ft of ESHA, Malibu State Park wetlands and adjacent to a stand of Monterey Cypress trees rather than consider less environmentally damaging designs
Livoni Second Family LP, Newport Beach, Orange County: In keeping with long standing policy, the Commission denied a proposal for a private beach access stairway in Corona Del Mar, Los Angeles County.
Poseidon Resources LLC Condition Compliance, Carlsbad Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan, San Diego County: In an effort to assist desalination developer increase profits, the Commission agreed to lessen mitigation for green house gas emissions associated with the high energy use plant. By allowing for illusory conservation credits, the Commission ignored the fact that future draws on state water allocations will not be reduced by this facility.
Poseidon Resources LLC Condition Compliance, Carlsbad Marine Life Mitigation Plan, San Diego County: Despite evidence of massive marine larvae and fish kills associated with operation of the proposed desalination facility, the Commission ignored their own policy designed to end use of ‘once through cooling technology’ and approved the plant with mitigation of only 55.4 acres of new habitat, of which only 37 acres must be delineated in phase one.
Cannery Row Marketplace – Ocean View Plaza, Monterey County: Ignoring past policy, precedent and their staff’s recommen- dation, the Commission approved a small private desalination facility in conjunction with a commercial center despite inconsistencies with the Coastal Act regarding public services, access, visual resources, historical areas, land use and water quality.
Oceanside Lot Line Adjustment – Marina Towers Giveaway, San Diego County: The Commission voted to allow the City of Oceanside to sell public property in the Oceanside Harbor for tens of millions of dollars less than fair market value to enrich condo lessees.
Mendocino Land Trust, Mendocino County:
Commission voted to preserve a public access trail along the bluffs in Gualala by denying an attempt by adjacent landowners to block this access.
Navy Sonar, Southern California Expansion: Despite the refusal of the US Supreme Court to protect marine mammals (http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/communi- ty-news/navy-sonar-whales-88111302), the Commission voted to continue to require marine mammal protections (see Vote Chart, January 2007) for a new US Navy sonar expansion program in Southern California.
Driftwood Properties LLC, Orange County: The Commission voted to deny a patently frivolous vested rights claim wherein a property owner argued that their past destruction of endangered species and ESHA habitat was so consistent and pervasive that they had acquired a legal right to continue the slaughter.
Long Point Development, LLP, Dispute Resolution, Los Angeles County: In keeping with past policy against privacy gates, the Commission voted on an amending motion to deny a proposal to erect entrance kiosks for new resort at Long Point, Rancho Palos Verdes.
Silva, City of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County: In approving a new 6,000 sq. ft. house with a golf putting green, the Commission agreed to a local housing evaluation system that includes no baseline and will insure ‘mansion creep’ and larger homes in the area.
Jager, Del Norte County: Despite LCP policies requiring a 100-ft setback from wetlands, the Commission approved a new house just 39 ft from delineated wetlands and ESHA resources
City of Pacifica Revetment, San Mateo County: Commission approved City of Pacifica plan to continue to place boulders on top of public beach to protect a hotel in denial of climate change, sea level rise or any strategic managed retreat program.
SLO Public Works Dept. –San Simeon Bridges, San Luis Obispo County: Commission approved needlessly large bridge replacement project with adverse riparian and oak woodland habitat impacts. The enlarged bridge will serve only to increase access for private ranches.
Arena Union Elementary School Dist., Mendocino County: Instead of considering less environmentally damaging alternatives, the Commission approved a new elementary school resulting in destruction of redwood forest habitat. Special note: Due to fiscal limitations, the school district has announced the new school will not be constructed and new facilities will be built at the existing Pt. Arena school, proving the district had alternative plans after all.
Lane Field Developers, San Diego County: On a very close vote, the Commission determined that Coastal Act policies and alternatives would have to be considered with respect to large new resort planned for the downtown San Diego waterfront, despite lobbyists efforts to convince the Commissioners to the contrary.
Hearthside Homes/Brightwater, Bolsa Chica, Orange County:
In addressing new information regarding hundreds of Native American remains found while developing luxury houses on Bolsa Chica Mesa in Huntington Beach, the Commission found that revocation of earlier development permits was not appropriate because the developer’s earlier fabrications were binding.
Georgia-Pacific Corp., Fort Bragg, Mendocino County: In declining to approve a polluter’s proposal to bury and cap toxic waste within a public park, the Commission continued the matter to analyze alternatives