Local Coastal Planning Halts Over Environmental Hazards

Marin County certified its current LCP in 1981, and in 2008 started a process to significantly amend it. The 1981 Certified LCP has provided a development framework for public participation that has successfully protected and conserved natural and coastal resources, the community character of our unique coastal villages, our scenic vistas, public access to coastal areas, and the agricultural lands of West Marin for 36 years.

For the past eight years, EAC has been actively engaged in researching, reviewing, testifying at meetings, and providing comments to agencies and county supervisors about the pending LCP amendments. In November 2016, the Coastal Commission conditionally certified Marin County’s proposed Land Use Plan and the Implementation Plan with revisions to the definition of the term ongoing agriculture. The Commission did not approve the Environmental Hazards sections, that address sea-level rise planning, instead directing the Commission and Marin County to return later with an agreed upon document.

In 2017, we saw some progress towards the non-Environmental Hazards LCP sections being approved by Marin County at a Board of Supervisors hearing in May 2016, even though there are some issues with the Board resolution and the County has not submitted anything to the Coastal Commission for sign off by the Executive Director. Unfortunately, there has been little progress towards culmination of the Environmental Hazards sections in 2017.

Marin County withdrew the Hazards sections with the intention to re-submit them in 2018, citing no practical way of finishing discussions and holding a stakeholder meeting before the September 29th deadline for Coastal Commission action. These sections are a vital piece in addressing sea-level rise and climate change in our county. As you can imagine, climate change is not addressed in the 1981 Certified LCP, which remains in effect.

It appears further stakeholder and agency discussions will be delayed until the new year, and it is unclear whether the county will meet their May 2018 deadline to accept the November 2016 conditional certification or if we will all have to begin anew. We are dedicated to advocating for the protection of our irreplaceable coastal resources and will keep you informed on the progress of this long-term work.