RAPID/Roadmap/13-CA-b

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California Coastal Land Use Assessment (13-CA-b)

Under the California Coastal Act, projects in California Coastal Zones may require one or more coastal related permits. The California Coastal Commission (CCC) is the governing agency for coastal zones. Management of coastal land is shared between the CCC and local city or county governments (collectively, “local authority”). Local cities and counties located in coastal areas have prepared local coastal programs that set out the allowable uses for the land. The local coastal programs must align with the CCC’s mission to protect, conserve, restore, and enhance environmental and human-based resources of the coast and ocean. Once a local authority has established a coastal program that is certified by the CCC, development permitting authority is delegated to the local government. The CCC retains original permit jurisdiction over certain specified lands such as tidelands and public trust lands. No development within the coastal zone may proceed until the CCC or local government issues a Coastal Development Permit. Cal. Pub. Res. Code § 30330


Coastal Land Use Assessment Process

13-CA-b.1 to 13-CA-b.2 – Is the Project a Federal Activity or Federal Development Project, or Does it Require any Federal Licenses or Permits?

Any federal agency activity or federal development project, taking place within or outside of a coastal zone, that will affect the land or water uses of a California coastal zone, must meet the requirements of the federal consistency provisions of the Coastal Zone Management Act.

A federal agency activity is any function performed by or on behalf of a federal agency in exercise of its statutory responsibilities. This includes rulemaking, planning, physical alteration, and exclusion of uses. Federal agency activities do not include issuing a federal license or permit to an applicant or person. However, a proposed project in a coastal area requiring a permit or a license from a federal agency (i.e., a right-of-way, a development permit, etc.) will need to apply to the CCC for consistency certification.

15 CFR § 930.31(a)

Coastal Zone Consistency Certification:
13-CA-c

13-CA-b.3 to 13-CA-b.4 – Is the Project under the jurisdiction of the CEC?

Thermal electric generating plants with a generating capacity of 50 megawatts (MW) or more are under the jurisdiction of the California Energy Commission (CEC). When the CEC determines through the Application for Certification process that the proposed project has greater relative merit than other available alternative sites, the proposed project may be constructed in the coastal zone. The AFC process may be completed concurrently with the Coastal Development Permit process, but the CEC must first approve the siting of the project before the CCC may issue the Coastal Development Permit.

Cal. Pub. Res. Code § 30264

In order for a proposed project to be constructed within a coastal zone, the CEC must have designated the specific site location as readily available for development. The CEC evaluates coastal areas as available for development at least once every five years. If the CEC has not designated the specific site location as available for development, the proposed project may not proceed.

Cal. Pub. Res. Code § 30413

13-CA-b.5 – Application for Coastal Development Permit

Any development in a coastal zone requires the developer to apply for a Coastal Development Permit.

Cal. Pub. Res. Code § 30600

Most areas contain a local coastal program developed by the local authority. In such areas the CCC has delegated application processing authority to the local authority. The developer will apply to the local agency which may have its own forms and procedures. (The California Coastal Commission maintains a list and map of Local Coastal Programs). If the local authority county does not have a local coastal program, the developer will apply through the CCC.

The CCC also has a specific Coastal Development Permit Application for energy and ocean resources. To complete the application the developer must include all required maps, specific project information and plans, project environment data, and the appropriate fees.

14 CCR § 13053.5

13-CA-b.6 to 13-CA-b.7 – Review Application for Completeness

The local authority or the CCC will review the application and attached materials for completeness. If the application is not complete, the developer will be required to provide the needed information before the application process may continue. 14 CCR § 13053.5

13-CA-b.8 – Post Public Notice Signs and Notify Affected Parties

As part of the application process the developer must post public notice signs and notify affected parties. Prior to or at the time the application is submitted for filing, the developer must post, at a conspicuous place, easily read by the public and as close as possible to the site of the proposed development, notice that an application for the proposed development has been submitted to the local authority or the CCC. The notice must contain a general description of the nature of the proposed development.

In addition, the developer must provide stamped and addressed envelopes for each property owner and occupant of property situated within 100 feet of the property lines of the project site, along with a list containing the names, addresses and assessor’s parcel numbers of same. Further, the developer must provide stamped, addressed envelopes and a list of names and addresses of all other parties known to the developer to be interested in the proposed development (such as persons expressing interest at a local government hearing, etc.).

14 CCR § 13054

13-CA-b.9 – Initiate Local Review, Hearings, and Approval

Much of the procedural review for a Coastal Development Permit happens at the local level with the local authority or zoning authority. Local review varies and may include: public notice and comment periods, public hearings, and environmental review. As part of the local review the developer may be required to apply for and receive approval for additional local permits.

The developer must contact the appropriate local agency for their processes and procedures.

14 CCR § 13300

As part of the Coastal Development Permit application the developer is required to attach a Local Agency Review Form.

14 CCR § 13315

13-CA-b.10 – Final Decision

After the review period and any hearing, either the CCC or local authority will send the developer notice of a final decision regarding the permit. Where a local authority issues a decision, the authority must notify the CCC within seven calendar days of issuing the decision. Cal. Pub. Res. Code § 30603(a).

13-CA-b.11 – Does the Local Authority or the CCC Approve the Project?

The local authority or the CCC will decide whether to issue the Coastal Development Permit. If the local authority or the CCC approves the decision, the local authority or CCC will send notice to the developer and any interested party of its decision. If the local authority denies the permit, the developer may appeal the decision to the CCC. If the CCC denies the permit, the developer may request reconsideration. The appeal options are fully described in 13-CA-b.15, below. 14 CCR § 13333.

13-CA-b.12 – Coastal Development Permit

If the local authority or the CCC approves the project the CCC will issue the developer a Coastal Development Permit. The developer is required to comply with any restrictions or limitations in the permit. 14 CCR § 13096.

13-CA-b.13 to 13-CA-b.14 – Is There an Appeal of the Local Authority or CCC Decision?

After the issuance of a Coastal Development Permit by a local authority, the developer may appeal any permit conditions to the CCC. In addition, third parties that took part in the application and permitting process may appeal the issuance of Coastal Development Permit to the CCC. Cal. Pub. Res. Code § 30600.5. After issuance of a Coastal Development Permit by the CCC, the developer may request reconsideration from the CCC regarding any term or condition attached to the permit. 14 CCR § 13109.2. The reconsideration process is fully described in 13-CA-b.22 to 13-CA-b.27, below. After issuance of a Coastal Development Permit by either the local authority or CCC, if there is no appeal the developer may continue with the project.

13-CA-b.15 to 13-CA-b.16 – Is there an Appeal of the Local Authority or CCC Decision?

If the CCC issues a final decision on the proposed project denying the Coastal Development Permit , the developer may request reconsideration from the CCC . 14 CCR § 13109.2. The reconsideration process is fully described in 13-CA-b.22 to 13-CA-b.27, below. If the local authority issues a final decision on the proposed project denying the Coastal Development Permit, any person may appeal the decision to the CCC within 20 days. The appeal must be timely submitted, in conformance with the CCC’s appeal forms, and include any required appeal fees. In most cases, the appellant in an appeal reviewing a permit denial will be the developer. 14 CCR § 13333.

13-CA-b.17 to 13-CA-b.18 Conduct Substantial Issue Hearing

The CCC must first determine if the contents of the appeal raise a substantial issue (SI). The CCC will conduct a hearing to make the SI determination and only consider issues set forth in the appeal. If the CCC does not find that the appeal raises a substantial issue, the appeal process ends. If the CCC finds the appeal raises a SI, the CCC will subsequently conduct a public hearing.

13-CA-b.19 to 13-CA-b.20 – Hold Public Hearing

Where the CCC finds a SI exists on appeal, the CCC conducts a de novo public hearing, ordinarily within 49 days of receipt of an appeal. At the hearing, the interested parties may present all issues relating to conformance with the Local Coastal Program (LCP) and Coastal Act. If the CCC approves the project, the local authority decision will be overturned. If the CCC does not approve the project, the developer may not continue with the proposed project.


13-CA-b.21 – Coastal Development Permit

After a successful appeal of a local authority’s denial of the project, the CCC will issue the developer a Coastal Development Permit. The developer is required to comply with any restrictions or limitations in the permit. 14 CCR § 13096.

13-CA-b.22 to 13-CA-b.23 – Submit Request for Reconsideration

If the CCC issues a final decision on the proposed project denying the Coastal Development Permit, the developer may request reconsideration from the CCC . 14 CCR § 13109.2. In addition to a permit denial, the developer may request reconsideration of any terms or conditions attached to a granted Coastal Development Permit. The developer must submit a written request for reconsideration within 30 days of a final CCC decision. 14 CCR § 13109.5(a). Based on the written request, the CCC will prepare a staff report that evaluates whether the request presents a sufficient basis for reconsideration in accordance with California Coastal Act 30627. Generally, the basis of the request for reconsideration shall be either that there is relevant new information which, in the exercise of due diligence could not have been presented at the hearing on the matter or than an error of fact or law occurred which has the potential of altering the initial decision. California Coastal Act 30627(3)(b).

13-CA-b.24 to 13-CA-b.25 – Distribute Notice of Reconsideration Hearing

The CCC will distribute notice of the reconsideration hearing to the developer and subsequently hold the reconsideration hearing. 14 CCR § 13109.5(a).

13-CA-b.26 to 13-CA-b.27 – Does the CCC Grant Reconsideration?

If the CCC does not grant reconsideration, the process ends. If the CCC does grant reconsideration, the developer will be able to re-initiate application procedures, as explained beginning with 13-CA.b.5, above. 14 CCR § 13109.5.




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