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  1. TopTop #1
    O.W.'s Avatar

    Local Coastal Plan Update being pushed through by County, action needed

    Dear Friends and Neighbors,

    Your coast needs you now. The County is rushing through the Updated Local Coastal Plan for approval vote at the end of the month. This is a long document to review so the public needs more time. Concerned citizens so far has discovered that the endangered species area has been greatly scaled back and the former threatened and potential endangered species areas totally eliminated. This will pave the way for commercialization and development of our fragile coast.

    The update will be with us for years so now is the time to send an email to the county to slow this down and give us citizens a chance to review. Coastwalk has a clear and easy way to participate. We are the coast's advocates, please take action.

    Local Coastal Plan Update It has been over 4 years since the release of the ‘Preliminary Draft Local Coastal Plan (2015)”. Due to the massive public response raised in public comment and during LCP workshops –Permit Sonoma (PRMD) pulled the Preliminary Draft LCP. On September 26, 2019, PRMD posted the current 2019 Local Coastal Plan (LCP) Update–it is substantially revised and merits rounds of public workshops similar to last go around (there were 7 in 2015) and opportunity for the public to review this massive and critical land use document to provide meaningful comment.

    The timeline proposed currently for opportunity for public comment prior to the revised draft being heard before the Planning Commission has not been clearly defined but the suggested timeline is not sufficient. It is important that adequate time be provided to ensure “meaningful public participation” which is mandated in the Coastal Act.

    The LCP is a large document and a critical one for the Sonoma Coast as it is THE document that controls all future development for 55 miles of the Sonoma Coastal Zone and ensures equitable public access to the coast and protection of critical coastal resources (including environmentally sensitive habitat areas). It is the controlling document for the Coast going forward and we will have to live with/by this document for the foreseeable future.
    We deserve to be allotted the time and the public participation process commensurate with the document's critical importance to the future of the Coast.Please get involved-protection of the California and Sonoma Coast is our legacy-it was the citizens of Sonoma County who fought for these protections and ensured passage of the Coastal Act. Let’s make sure that the legacy of coastal preservation continues.

    Get Involved -Please Take the Following 6 Initial Steps:

    1. Take the PRMD LCP Survey to request that workshops and written comment period is provided for. Get on the mailing list for LCP updates such as schedule of workshops or hearings by going to and in the right column there is a “Follow Us” link where you can submit your email address
    2. Email [email protected] cc Lynda Hopkins: [email protected] and Coastal Commission Stephanie Rexing: [email protected] and begin by stating why protection of the Sonoma Coast matters to you and then request that there be meaningful public participation in the LCP update process as required by the Coastal Act by ensuring that:
      • Adequate time is provided to the public to review the Updated Local Coastal Plan prior to public workshops are scheduled (minimum of 4 weeks from date of release-September 26th, 2019)
      • That the County schedule a minimum of 5 public workshops - 3 on Coast in Bodega Bay, Timber Cove, & Sea Ranch and 2 inland
      • That the County make printed copies of the Updated LCP available to check out from all coastal post offices and Sonoma County Libraries as well as reasonably priced printed copies for purchase from PRMD.
      • That the County form an Advisory Committee to the Coastal MAC made up of a variety of citizens from thorough out the County who have expertise in land use, ocean policy, conservation, affordable housing, fire safety, and water quality. (For the original draft of our Local Coastal Plan there were at least 5 Technical Advisory Committees formed each made up of 8-12 citizens with expertise in the above listed areas-no such committees have been formed for this current updated LCP)
    3. Begin by reading the “Introduction to the LCP” (26 pages) -you can either download the entire document as a PDF by linking to the “Public Review Draft Local Coastal Plan All Sections & Appendices” or open and download it section by section here

      Reading the introduction will help you understand the history and background plus explain the purpose and content of each section or “element”. The introduction also has a chart which shows where existing LCP chapters and policies have been moved to in this new draft.
    4. Next-Read the Introduction to each Element by opening that link-these are usually just 1-2 paragraphs and explain the purpose of that element.
    5. Check out the “Policy Comparison Tables” at the bottom of the Update page which identify the policies that have been either“Removed, Replaced, or Revised” for each section.
    6. Decide which element you have the most background or experience with and start reading and comparing…take notes and share your concerns.
    *People ... Know the coast as the geographic soul of California. You can’t take our relationship with the [California] coast for granted because it took a lot of sweat, blood and tears to preserve it so we have what we have today. These things didn’t just happen. The coast is what it is because of a lot of people worked really hard and sacrificed to protect it. And if we want it to be there for our children, we have to keep fighting to protect it. In that way, the coast is never saved, it’s always being saved.” Peter Douglas, past Executive Director, California Coastal Commission.We can do this!Cea HigginsExecutive DirectorCoastwalk/California Coastal Trail Association [email protected]
    Last edited by Barry; 10-03-2019 at 11:25 AM.
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  3. TopTop #2
    O.W.'s Avatar

    Re: Local Coastal Plan Update being pushed through by County, action needed

    New information from Lynda Hopkins. Thank you for all the emails to get full public review.

    From: PRMD-LCP-Update
    Date: 10/2/2019 3:25:17 PM
    Cc: Lynda Hopkins; [email protected]
    Subject: RE: Sonoma County LCP Update

    We are working on getting a detailed schedule onto our project website now.
    In the meantime we are planning on the following:

    1. Public Workshops will be starting at the end of October to be held through November, including workshops on the coast and a workshop in Santa Rosa held with the Planning Commission.
    2. January 2020 The first public hearing before the Planning Commission
    3. Spring 2020 The Board of Supervisors Hearing(s)
    4. Finally, Coastal Commission in the Summer 2020
    Details for each workshop with be posted and noticed as they are scheduled, with a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice, though we intend on providing more.
    We are working on identifying the appropriate locations and costs for print copies of the draft.
    Comments are welcome in writing throughout the process and during the workshops and Planning Commission, Board of Supervisors, and Coastal Commission Hearings.

    I hope this information is helpful, there are still several months ahead of comment opportunities for the Local Coastal Plan Update process.
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  5. TopTop #3
    deepresto's Avatar

    Re: Local Coastal Plan Update being pushed through by County, action needed

    Due to the recent wildfires, the Local Coastal Plan series of public workshops has been rescheduled.
    The workshops below are cancelled:
    Timber Cove, November 5th
    Santa Rosa, November 21st

    The first public workshop in the series will now be at The Sea Ranch.
    Sunday, November 17, 2019
    12 PM -2 PM
    Del Mar Hall
    40600 Leeward RD
    The Sea Ranch

    According to PRMD, "additional public workshops in the series are currently being rescheduled. Details for each workshop will be released as soon as they are confirmed. The series will continue to include a minimum of four public meetings in advance of the first public hearing".
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  6. TopTop #4
    deepresto's Avatar

    Re: Local Coastal Plan Update being pushed through by County, action needed

    Do you support tourism and tasting rooms on the Sonoma Coast?
    The next public meeting for the new Local Coastal plan is THIS SATURDAY, December 14 10 am-12 pm at the Bodega Bay Fire Station, 510 State Hwy 1, Bodega Bay.

    According to a recent commentary by local resident Reuben Weinzveg published in Sonoma West Times & News, the new plan is full of loopholes, encourages commercial development, and fails to protect the coast.

    "Sonoma County lovers of the coast need to know that local officials are drafting plans for the future of our coast that prioritize corporate and development profits over public safety and environmental preservation. The Local Coastal Plan (LCP) update in is the works, and public input is needed to ensure our beloved coast continues to be protected.

    Public meetings are starting to be held and if you care about the coast, please plan to show up. Here’s why. At the recent meeting in Sea Ranch, Permit Sonoma’s planner acknowledged that a number of important coastal and non-profit stakeholders were not consulted about the plan. That means that the Permit department missed the opportunity for input and expertise from other coastal governing entities such as State Parks and National Marine Sanctuary. Likewise excluded were our local non-profits such as Surfrider Foundation, Sonoma Land Trust and Bodega Land Trust. Most importantly, the Marine Sanctuary’s guidelines for coastal land management were not included, despite previous collaboration on this with the county. Without input from these important stakeholders, the new LCP will only reflect the revisions of planning staff and connected commercial interests. Provisions for tourist facilities and tasting rooms on Highway 1 are already in the draft!"
    To read the entire commentary:
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  8. TopTop #5
    O.W.'s Avatar

    Re: Local Coastal Plan Update being pushed through by County, action needed

    We have to show up Saturday and let the county know this draft is unacceptable for the following reasons:


    In the current version of the Draft Local Coastal Plan proposed by the Sonoma County Permit and ResourceManagement Department (Permit Sonoma), did you know
    that . . .

    • Endangered Species Habitat Area (ESHA) zones have been reduced from the original three to only one;
    • Marine Protection Areas (MPA) have been entirely eliminated;
    • the current draft LCP makes no provision to prevent Bodega Bay from serving as an incoming shale oil port and transfer nexus for Bay Area fossil fuel refineries;
    • Tourism — and related impacts, already beyond ecological and infrastructural carrying capacities — is actively promoted through permitting of new roads, non-permanent residential housing, and other commercial enterprises that will further strain overburdened local facilities and environments;
    • With vacation rentals already comprising 53% of coastal zone housing, PermitSonoma is planning and promoting additional residences for this purpose, while local residents and employees cannot find or afford housing;
    • References to studies and other scientific data are outdated (to 2005-2008),especially in light of the ready availability of more recent scientific and social data that MUST inform this process;
    • Permit Sonoma has not consulted or requested participation from public agencies, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), local non-profits and land managers (e.g., the University of California, The Wildlands Conservancy, SonomaLand Trust), and other agencies, academic institutions, and organizations that have conducted highly relevant research on climate change, impacts on coastal ecology and wildlife, effects of climate and oceanic process on marine biology, et al.;
    • Once approved by Permit Sonoma and the County Board of Supervisors, changes to zoning designations will not subject to appeals to the California CoastalCommission;
    • The current Draft LCP usurps authority for “discretionary” permitting, which bypasses public notice of and participation in review of such permitting (under the California Environmental Quality Act and other regulatory standards);
    • While the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors retains legal authority to review timber harvest plans and otherwise regulate timber extraction in the county, the DraftLCP defers local authority to the California Department of Forestry and FireProtection through a streamlined permitting process (the Timber Regulation andForest Restoration Program) that over-rides many of the environmental safeguards in the California Environmental Quality Act?
    If you answer “No” about any of these proposals and their provisions or lack thereof, please consider that your participation is critical towards creating a truly democratic response to poor planning. These are but a few of the many oversights, omissions, and inconsistencies in the current Draft LCP — a policy document that, in its current content, is egregiously inadequate and misinformed towards providing for the essentials of a healthy coastal environment and its human community, that is, all of us! This is not so much a planning document asa rubber stamp of approval for further development, exploitation and the continuing deterioration of the coastal environment.

    Quote deepresto wrote: View Post
    Do you support tourism and tasting rooms on the Sonoma Coast?
    The next public meeting for the new Local Coastal plan is THIS SATURDAY, December 14 10 am-12 pm at the Bodega Bay Fire Station, 510 State Hwy 1, Bodega Bay.
    To read the entire commentary:
    Last edited by Barry; 12-11-2019 at 05:47 PM.
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  10. TopTop #6
    Barry's Avatar
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Local Coastal Plan Update being pushed through by County, action needed

    Sonoma County unveils blueprint for development on coast
    Last edited by Barry; 12-12-2019 at 11:40 AM.

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  11. TopTop #7
    Valet Posting Service's Avatar
    Valet Posting Service
    WaccoBB Valet Posting Service

    Re: Local Coastal Plan Update being pushed through by County, action needed

    Public Workshops for Local Coastal Plan Update

    The Public Review Draft of the Local Coastal Plan is now available. The Local Coastal Plan serves as the General Plan for the Sonoma Coast, providing guidance on issues including for land use, protection of resources, and public access. This Public Review Draft was prepared based on public and agency input on the Preliminary Draft released in 2015.

    The update provides the opportunity to focus on new information, changed conditions, and policies in these key areas: sea level rise (year 2100 horizon), biotic resources, geologic hazards, water quality, and public access. Public participation is essential to the update and a diverse set of opportunities will be provided throughout the entire update process. You can view the draft plan and learn more about the project here.

    We invite you to attend an upcoming workshops to participate in the planning process. Workshops will each include a staff presentation on the draft and time dedicated to discussion and taking public input.

    Bodega Bay
    December 14, 2019
    10 AM -12 PM
    Bodega Bay Fire Station
    510 State Hwy 1
    Bodega Bay

    Monte Rio
    January 7, 2020
    6 PM - 8 PM
    Monte Rio Community Center
    Highway 116
    Monte Rio

    Coastal Municipal Advisory Council/Timber Cove
    January 15, 2020
    5:30 PM -7:30 PM
    Timber Cove Inn
    21780 North Coast Highway 1

    Santa Rosa
    January 30, 2020
    1:15 PM
    Permit Sonoma Hearing Room
    2550 Ventura Avenue
    Santa Rosa

    What Happens Next?

    1. The workshop series and public comments will be used to identify, recommend, and incorporate changes to the draft Local Coastal Plan prior to the first public hearing by the Planning Commission in 2020.

    2. The Planning Commission, Board of Supervisors and California Coastal Commission hearings are all opportunities for public comment and will be scheduled and noticed at a later date

    3. The Project is expected to be complete in fall 2020.
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