Carlsbad and the California Coastal Commission: Friend or Foe?

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

Coastline in CarlsbadCarlsbad home owners and lovers of the beaches, as well as others in coastal California, have a friend in the California Coastal Commission.

Some may regard the Commission as a foe.

The Commission, a judicial-like state agency with multiple offices, functions to protect the coastal regions of California which vary from a few hundred feet in width up to 5 miles in rural areas. Specifically the Commission’s role is to:

 

“Protect, conserve, restore, and enhance environmental and human-based resources of the California coast and ocean for environmentally sustainable and prudent use by current and future generations.” (from their website)

 

Moonlight Beach in Encinitas    Moonlight Beach

Issues of public access to and use of beaches and surrounding area, and broad educational programs are important components as well. The Commission partners with coastal cities and counties in order to regulate the use of land and water, which obviously impacts the construction of new buildings along the ocean. California has some amazing coastline, which, in many areas, suffers from overbuilding and erosion, and the agency’s role is critical to preserve the fragile coastal regions for generations to come.

As a current or potential homeowner on the coast, know that any plans you might have to modify your coastal home through remodeling, additions and other improvements may very well be regulated by both the town building codes and the Coastal Commission.

California Coastal Commission approval signageThe administrative review and approval process of coastal projects can take months or even years depending on the scope, and certain changes will not be permitted. The Surfer’s Point Resort in Leucadia (Encinitas) just finally received California Coastal Commission approval which has taken many, many months and has been hotly debated by environmentalists. 

The Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots, nonprofit environmental group (founded in CA but now with chapters worldwide) that strives to ensure the protection and enjoyment of beaches, oceans and waves around the globe for all; activism, education, conservation and research are key activities of the foundation.

Many coastal projects have been stalled, modified, or even prohibited through this group’s efforts. The Surfrider Foundation has been very involved in criticizing components of the plans for the desalination plant in Carlsbad, for example.

The group also sponsors numerous initiatives and educational programs to improve the ocean and beaches.

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All content copyright © 2007 Jeff Dowler Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits

 

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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

There's no question that our shore lines have to be protected. 

One of our coastal areas in Calvert County, MD, the Calvert Cliffs, hss huge deposits of fossils.  Fossil collectors for years would chop away at the cliffs until a chunk fell on a child and killed him.  Now the cliffs, the shoreline and beach is closed to the public. 

Interesting article.  If there is any place more beautiful than the California Ocean side, I haven't seen it.  Oh, maybe Yellowstone park, but you can't live there.

Jan 05, 2008 08:43 AM #1
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Lenn - I have no issue with the Coastal Commission. Yes ,the time to get things approved can be lengthy, but the coast is so fragile, and beautiful, and I personally do not want to see it disappear and be replaced by expensive housing accessible only to a few. One of the things I really like about our coastline is that is is readily accessible to all people, something very different from the East coast where I am from, and there are many areas that are being preserved in their natural state.

Jeff 

Jan 05, 2008 03:02 PM #2
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Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL
St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS

Jeff - there are some gorgeous areas along California's coast line. Is the undeveloped coastline owned by the government or are private owners not allowed to develop it?

Jan 06, 2008 03:57 AM #3
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Sharon - some areas are public space in the form of state or county parks, some is government owned (state, municipal and federal). I think the laws in place now are fairly strict about what can and cannot be done along the coast and by whom. A  good thing, in my mind. And certainly the costs can be prohibitive because of engineering and construction issues when it is permitted.

Jeff 

Jan 06, 2008 04:38 AM #4
Rainmaker
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Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL
St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
Thanks, Jeff. It makes perfect sense not to develop on government lands, parks, etc. If the land was privately owned and couldn't be developed, I'd think the government would have to compensate the landowners.
Jan 06, 2008 07:16 AM #5
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Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Jeff, Pictures like that one with the building right on the cliff scare me. Don't people know that the cliffs are unstable. In Encinitas the ocean has taken at least six blocks since the town was originally platted.

In some ways, the Coastal Commission saves us from ourselves.

Bill Roberts

Jan 06, 2008 04:35 PM #6
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
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Agreed, Bill. The building you can see is VERY close to the edge now with erosion. It is boarded up. I don't know for sure since I have not stopped by but suspect it has been condemmed. Jeff
Jan 07, 2008 12:56 AM #7
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