The Coastal Commission Moves the Marin LCP Forward


The Environmental Action Committee of West Marin (EAC) presented public testimony to the California Coastal Commission (Commission) on Wednesday concerning the Marin County Local Coastal Program (LCP) amendments. The Commission voted unanimously to certify LCP amendments in areas that focused on agricultural development and definitions, and community zoning concerns. It was the first time in the LCP’s long history that the Commission staff recommended approval as submitted. The actions of the Commission wrap up years of complicated amendments for a portion of the LCP. Once the amendments return to Marin County, the Board of Supervisors will need to accept the amendments and then Marin County will be able to begin work on the final amendment, the environmental hazards sections before the LCP will go into effect.

We thought we were close to completing Marin County’s LCP update in 2016.... More than two years later, we are in favor of moving the LCP update forward as soon as possible so that we can finally tackle the contentious environmental hazards sections....
— Ashley Eagle-Gibbs, EAC's Conservation Director

The proposed modifications approved by the Commission 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 comments to Commission staff to ensure consistency with the previous portions of the LCP that have been certified by the Commission and Marin County Board of Supervisors.

The Commission’s July 2017 revised findings said that, for example, retail sales (like a tasting room) or processing facility for wine could not be a principally permitted use on a cattle ranch (development which would require a public process and a use permit under our current LCP). We understand that this interpretation will continue to apply to today’s amendment…. [I]t is critical that proposed LCP language is interpreted narrowly, so Marin’s already impacted coast does not experience unintended consequences.
— Ashley Eagle-Gibbs, EAC's Conservation Director

As the Marin County LCP amendments are finalized, EAC will continue to be actively involved in the amendment process and is committed to ensuring that the updated 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 Commission, like EAC, seems concerned with our need to prepare local coastal communities for sea level rise. As the next step in the LCP update process, EAC looks forward to working with Marin County, Commission staff, and stakeholders around the environmental hazards sections so that we can do just that.

More Info:
Read EAC’s Letter to the Commission
Review the Coastal Commission’s Staff Report
Review the Coastal Commission’s Staff Addendum (including correspondence)
Watch the Hearing
EAC’s Press Release