Marin LCP Heading to the Coastal Commission

Black Mountain - © Carlos Porrata

Black Mountain - © Carlos Porrata

Marin County’s Board of Supervisors (Board) held two hearings in December on revisions to Marin Local Coastal Program (LCP) amendments 3 and 7.

Amendment 3 is the Implementation Plan Amendment for the Land Use Plan Agriculture Chapter, and Amendment 7 contains all the remaining sections of the Implementation Plan with exception of the Environmental Hazards chapter. Amendments 3 and 7 were previously withdrawn by the Board in April 2018 following County staff’s recommendation, due in part to local stakeholder concerns.

The proposed County modifications changed the definition of ongoing agriculture, reworded the language around “and necessary for operation of agriculture”, made changes to the requirements for well development and irrigation needs, and addressed commercial zoning preferences within the West Marin villages.

EAC submitted written comments in advance and testified at the December 4th Board hearing, focusing on the importance of getting to the critical Environmental Hazards sections, as well as voicing our support for residential uses in our coastal communities.

This has been a very tough year for California with all of the devastating fires. It reminds us that we are in a climate change crisis, and we need to do all that we can to plan for and adapt to climate change, including updating our LCP Environmental Hazards provisions. Our coastal communities can’t afford any more delays in our planning for sea level rise.... We...note the hard work that [County and Coastal Commission] staffs have undertaken to work with our local communities around the C-VCR zoning revisions, and we fully support the County’s intention to prioritize residential uses in our coastal villages.
— Ashley Eagle-Gibbs, EAC's Conservation Director

After receiving public testimony from local community members, the Board voted unanimously to move the LCP amendments to the California Coastal Commission with revisions that include supportive language for carbon sequestration and clarifying language for the definition of irrigation.

Until the LCP amendments are finalized, EAC will continue to be actively involved in the amendment process and is committed to ensure the amended LCP protects and preserves the distinct and valuable natural resources of the coastal zone, protects the community character of West Marin, allows for the widest opportunity for public participation in the process, and provides tools to address climate change and sea-level rise.

It is critical the Marin County LCP update be a comprehensive forward-thinking plan that fulfills the Coastal Act’s intent of coastal resource protection and maximum public coastal access
— Morgan Patton, EAC's Executive Director

The LCP is on track to be presented to the California Coastal Commission in February 2019 at the North Central meeting.