Commercials about California tourism may focus on how celebrities live their lives and have fun across the state, but arguably the real draw is the state’s natural beauty; especially along the coastline. The Pacific Coast Highway is world renowned for its unspoiled beauty, and this is possible due in part to the work of the California Coastal Commission.
The Commission is tasked with policing (and protecting) public access more than 1000 miles of coastline across the state because of its beauty and its value. While the coastline may be pristine and tranquil in places, an intense battle is brewing within the organization as questions swirl about the future of its executive director.
There are those who want him to be replaced because of perceived problems with his leadership abilities and management decisions. While others believe that the calls for his ouster are merely a ruse to open up development to valuable coastal real estate. The media has completely ignored the real victims of the Commission’s abusive actions – existing the individual homeowner and the residents living in multi-family housing.
The answer should be available this week.
The Commission was essentially established to be the primary guardian of the California Coastal Act of 1976, which sets significant conditions on the development of coastal lands. The Commissioners and the staff do not answer to any elected officials and generally sets policy without necessarily following the Califoria Coastal Act or established practices without following the proper administrative procedures.
In the meantime, objections to the executive director’s firing have come from environmental groups elected officials and public citizens alike. A recent LA Times.com report indicates that the Commission has received more than 20,000 letters and emails supporting the current commissioner. This article is an example of the press ignoring the victims of this particular independent agency – the existing property owners’ improvements.
It remains to be seen whether he will be retained. Regardless, the story exemplifies why experienced legal counsel is necessary in any coastal development. Should you have questions about coastal real estate development, contact The Loftin Firm at (760) 431-2111