California Coastal Act


SECTION 30000-30012

30000.  This division shall be known and may be cited as the
California Coastal Act of 1976.

30001.  The Legislature hereby finds and declares:
   (a) That the California coastal zone is a distinct and valuable
natural resource of vital and enduring interest to all the people and
exists as a delicately balanced ecosystem.
   (b) That the permanent protection of the state's natural and
scenic resources is a paramount concern to present and future
residents of the state and nation.
   (c) That to promote the public safety, health, and welfare, and to
protect public and private property, wildlife, marine fisheries, and
other ocean resources, and the natural environment, it is necessary
to protect the ecological balance of the coastal zone and prevent its
deterioration and destruction.
   (d) That existing developed uses, and future developments that are
carefully planned and developed consistent with the policies of this
division, are essential to the economic and social well-being of the
people of this state and especially to working persons employed
within the coastal zone.

30001.2.  The Legislature further finds and declares that,
notwithstanding the fact electrical generating facilities,
refineries, and coastal-dependent developments, including ports and
commercial fishing facilities, offshore petroleum and gas
development, and liquefied natural gas facilities, may have
significant adverse effects on coastal resources or coastal access,
it may be necessary to locate such developments in the coastal zone
in order to ensure that inland as well as coastal resources are
preserved and that orderly economic development proceeds within the

30001.5.  The Legislature further finds and declares that the basic
goals of the state for the coastal zone are to:
   (a) Protect, maintain, and, where feasible, enhance and restore
the overall quality of the coastal zone environment and its natural
and artificial resources.
   (b) Assure orderly, balanced utilization and conservation of
coastal zone resources taking into account the social and economic
needs of the people of the state.
   (c) Maximize public access to and along the coast and maximize
public recreational opportunities in the coastal zone consistent with
sound resources conservation principles and constitutionally
protected rights of private property owners.
   (d) Assure priority for coastal-dependent and coastal-related
development over other development on the coast.
   (e) Encourage state and local initiatives and cooperation in
preparing procedures to implement coordinated planning and
development for mutually beneficial uses, including educational uses,
in the coastal zone.

30002.  The Legislature further finds and declares that:
   (a) The California Coastal Zone Conservation Commission, pursuant
to the California Coastal Zone Conservation Act of 1972 (commencing
with Section 27000), has made a detailed study of the coastal zone;
that there has been extensive participation by other governmental
agencies, private interests, and the general public in the study; and
that, based on the study, the commission has prepared a plan for the
orderly, long-range conservation, use, and management of the
natural, scenic, cultural, recreational, and manmade resources of the
coastal zone.
   (b) Such plan contains a series of recommendations which require
implementation by the Legislature and that some of those
recommendations are appropriate for immediate implementation as
provided for in this division while others require additional review.

30003.  All public agencies and all federal agencies, to the extent
possible under federal law or regulations or the United States
Constitution, shall comply with the provisions of this division.

30004.  The Legislature further finds and declares that:
   (a) To achieve maximum responsiveness to local conditions,
accountability, and public accessibility, it is necessary to rely
heavily on local government and local land use planning procedures
and enforcement.
   (b) To ensure conformity with the provisions of this division, and
to provide maximum state involvement in federal activities allowable
under federal law or regulations or the United States Constitution
which affect California's coastal resources, to protect regional,
state, and national interests in assuring the maintenance of the
long-term productivity and economic vitality of coastal resources
necessary for the well-being of the people of the state, and to avoid
long-term costs to the public and a diminished quality of life
resulting from the misuse of coastal resources, to coordinate and
integrate the activities of the many agencies whose activities impact
the coastal zone, and to supplement their activities in matters not
properly within the jurisdiction of any existing agency, it is
necessary to provide for continued state coastal planning and
management through a state coastal commission.

30005.  No provision of this division is a limitation on any of the
   (a) Except as otherwise limited by state law, on the power of a
city or county or city and county to adopt and enforce additional
regulations, not in conflict with this act, imposing further
conditions, restrictions, or limitations with respect to any land or
water use or other activity which might adversely affect the
resources of the coastal zone.
   (b) On the power of any city or county or city and county to
declare, prohibit, and abate nuisances.
   (c) On the power of the Attorney General to bring an action in the
name of the people of the state to enjoin any waste or pollution of
the resources of the coastal zone or any nuisance.
   (d) On the right of any person to maintain an appropriate action
for relief against a private nuisance or for any other private

30005.5.  Nothing in this division shall be construed to authorize
any local government, or to authorize the commission to require any
local government, to exercise any power it does not already have
under the Constitution and laws of this state or that is not
specifically delegated pursuant to Section 30519.

30006.  The Legislature further finds and declares that the public
has a right to fully participate in decisions affecting coastal
planning, conservation, and development; that achievement of sound
coastal conservation and development is dependent upon public
understanding and support; and that the continuing planning and
implementation of programs for coastal conservation and development
should include the widest opportunity for public participation.

30006.5.  The Legislature further finds and declares that sound and
timely scientific recommendations are necessary for many coastal
planning, conservation, and development decisions and that the
commission should, in addition to developing its own expertise in
significant applicable fields of science, interact with members of
the scientific and academic communities in the social, physical, and
natural sciences so that the commission may receive technical advice
and recommendations with regard to its decisionmaking, especially
with regard to issues such as coastal erosion and geology, marine
biodiversity, wetland restoration, the question of sea level rise,
desalination plants, and the cumulative impact of coastal zone

30007.  Nothing in this division shall exempt local governments from
meeting the requirements of state and federal law with respect to
providing low- and moderate-income housing, replacement housing,
relocation benefits, or any other obligation related to housing
imposed by existing law or any law hereafter enacted.

30007.5.  The Legislature further finds and recognizes that
conflicts may occur between one or more policies of the division.
The Legislature therefore declares that in carrying out the
provisions of this division such conflicts be resolved in a manner
which on balance is the most protective of significant coastal
resources.  In this context, the Legislature declares that broader
policies which, for example, serve to concentrate development in
close proximity to urban and employment centers may be more
protective, overall, than specific wildlife habitat and other similar
resource policies.

30008.  This division shall constitute California's coastal zone
management program within the coastal zone for purposes of the
Federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451, et seq.)
and any other federal act heretofore or hereafter enacted or amended
that relates to the planning or management of coastal zone
resources; provided, however, that within federal lands excluded from
the coastal zone pursuant to the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act
of 1972, the State of California shall, consistent with applicable
federal and state laws, continue to exercise the full range of
powers, rights, and privileges it now possesses or which may be

30009.  This division shall be liberally construed to accomplish its
purposes and objectives.

30010.  The Legislature hereby finds and declares that this division
is not intended, and shall not be construed as authorizing the
commission, port governing body, or local government acting pursuant
to this division to exercise their power to grant or deny a permit in
a manner which will take or damage private property for public use,
without the payment of just compensation therefor.  This section is
not intended to increase or decrease the rights of any owner of
property under the Constitution of the State of California or the
United States.

30011.  Nothing in this division shall authorize the commission to
review a local government's application of the requirements of
Section 65590 of the Government Code to any development.  In
addition, the commission shall not require any applicant for a
coastal development permit or any local government to provide
certification or other evidence of compliance with the requirements
of Section 65590 of the Government Code.  The commission may,
however, solely in connection with coastal development permit
applications described in subdivision (c) of Section 30600.1, require
information about the status of a local government's action to apply
the requirements of Section 65590 of the Government Code.  This
information shall be used for the purpose of determining time limits
for commission action on these applications as provided in that
subdivision (c).

30012.  (a) The Legislature finds that an educated and informed
citizenry is essential to the well-being of a participatory democracy
and is necessary to protect California's finite natural resources,
including the quality of its environment.  The Legislature further
finds that through education, individuals can be made aware of and
encouraged to accept their share of the responsibility for protecting
and improving the natural environment.
   (b) (1) The commission shall, to the extent that its resources
permit, carry out a public education program that includes outreach
efforts to schools, youth organizations, and the general public for
the purpose of promoting understanding of, fostering a sense of
individual responsibility for, and encouraging public initiatives and
participation in programs for, the conservation and wise use of
coastal and ocean resources.  Emphasis shall be given to volunteer
efforts such as the Adopt-A-Beach program.
   (2) In carrying out this program, the commission shall coordinate
with other agencies to avoid duplication and to maximize information
   (c) The commission is encouraged to seek funding from any
appropriate public or private source and may apply for and expend any
grant or endowment funds for the purposes of this section without
the need to specifically include funds in its budget.  Any funding
made available to the commission for these purposes shall be reported
to the fiscal committee of each house of the Legislature at the time
its budget is being formally reviewed.
   (d) The commission is encouraged to seek and utilize interns for
the purpose of assisting its regular staff in carrying out the
purposes of this section and this division and, notwithstanding any
other provision of law, may participate in any internship program the
executive director determines to be appropriate.  With respect to
any internship program the commission uses, it shall make the best
efforts to ensure that the participants in the program reflect the
ethnic diversity of the state and are provided an educational and
meaningful experience.
   (e) The commission shall submit to each house of the Legislature
an annual report describing the progress it is making in carrying out
this section.