Marin LCP Down to the Wire

Marin County Board of Supervisors will consider the acceptance of the Marin County Local Coastal Program Amendments (LCPA) at the April 24, 2018 Board of Supervisors meeting. 

The meeting comes on the heels of the March 20, 2018 LCPA workshop held by Marin County. The workshop focused on the non-environmental hazards sections of the LCPA (everything except for the Environmental Hazards chapter) and allowed time for the Community Development Agency (CDA) to discuss remaining issues from the November 2016 Coastal Commission decision to approve Modifications to the County’s five Local Coastal Program Amendments after additional meetings between Marin County CDA staff and the Coastal Commission staff. 

Marin County staff released in their press release email dated March 22, 2018,

"The Board heard Community Development Agency staff’s analysis and from the public on the proposed zoning regulations, including the new Coastal Commission-proposed permit requirements for agriculture and modified LCP definitions that County staff views as unclear and difficult to implement. Those modifications also impose new development requirements and restrictions that may exceed the requirements of the Coastal Act."

"The Coastal Commission’s action left the County the options of accepting the modifications “as is,” accepting them with the express intent to submit amendments, or rejecting them and resubmitting the LCP. A resubmittal could be done with the Natural Hazards section, which the commission delayed taking action on at its November 2016 hearing."

From EAC's perspective, the Coastal Commission would not have conditionally certified the non-environmental hazards amendments of the LCPA in November 2016 if it felt that the Coastal Act requirements were over-reached. A county can always have higher standards than what is required by the Coastal Act, even though that is not necessarily the case with the LCPA. 

EAC submitted comments in advance of the hearing cautioning the Board of Supervisors against accepting the amendments with the implicit understanding that Marin County would interpret them in a manner different from the plain meaning of the modifications, as the County proposed in May of 2017 with a legally invalid resolution.  EAC urged the Board of Supervisors at the March 20th workshop to accept all of the non-environmental hazards amendments so that attention can be turned to environmental hazards. 

We are committed to working with the County and other stakeholders to finalize a comprehensive planning document that will protect coastal resources while allowing our coastal communities to thrive.
— Bridger Mitchell, EAC Board President, March 20, 2018 Workshop
...unless you accept these amendments, CDA staff cannot complete work on the environmental hazards sections of the LCP. Without those sections, our coastal communities can’t adequately plan, through the C-SMART process, for sea-level rise.
— Terence Carroll, EAC Board Member, March 20, 2018 Workshop