BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                    AB 2648

                                                                    Page  1

          Date of Hearing:  April 18, 2016


                                 Das Williams, Chair

          AB 2648  
          (Jones) - As Amended March 18, 2016

          SUBJECT:  California Coastal Commission:  delegation of  

          SUMMARY:  Authorizes a coastal county to petition a superior  
          court to obtain a writ of mandate requiring the Coastal  
          Commission's (Commission) regulatory authority to be delegated  
          to the county.  Specifies that the county would become the  
          exclusive authority for the enforcement of state and federal  
          coastal laws if the writ of mandate is granted.  Allows an  
          aggrieved person to file an appeal of any appealable action on a  
          coastal development permit (CDP) directly to a superior court in  
          lieu of filing an appeal with the Commission.

          EXISTING LAW, pursuant to the Coastal Act: 

          1)Requires a person planning to perform or undertake any  
            development in the coastal zone to obtain a coastal  
            development permit from the Commission or local government  
            enforcing a Local Coastal Program (LCP).

          2)Defines "development" to mean, among other things, the  
            placement or erection of any solid material or structure on  
            land or in water.  "Structure" includes, but is not limited  


                                                                    AB 2648

                                                                    Page  2

            to, any building, road, pipe, flume, conduit, siphon,  
            aqueduct, telephone line, and electrical power transmission  
            and distribution line.

          3)Defines the "coastal zone" as the land and water area of the  
            State of California from the Oregon border to the border of  
            the Republic of Mexico, extending seaward to the state's outer  
            limit of jurisdiction, including all offshore islands, and  
            extending inland generally 1,000 yards from the mean high tide  
            line of the sea.  In significant coastal estuarine, habitat,  
            and recreational areas, the coastal zone extends inland to the  
            first major ridgeline paralleling the sea or five miles from  
            the mean high tide line of the sea, whichever is less.  In  
            developed urban areas, the zone generally extends inland less  
            than 1,000 yards.  The coastal zone does not include the area  
            of jurisdiction of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and  
            Development Commission, nor any area contiguous thereto,  
            including any river, stream, tributary, creek, or flood  
            control or drainage channel flowing into such area.

          4)Requires local governments within the coastal zone to prepare  
            a LCP.  Authorizes any local government to request the  
            commission to prepare a LCP for the local government.   
            Requires a LCP to contain a public access component to assure  
            that maximum public access to the coast and public recreation  
            areas is provided.  Requires Commission approval of a local  
            government's LCP or any amendments to that LCP.

          5)Provides the right of judicial review to any aggrieved person  
            for any decision or action of the Commission.

          6)Provides the right of judicial review to any person, including  
            an applicant for a CDP or the Commission, aggrieved by the  
            decision or action of a local government that is implementing  
            a LCP if the decision or action is not appealable to the  


                                                                    AB 2648

                                                                    Page  3

          7)Authorizes the Commission to intervene in any such proceeding  
            upon showing the matter involves a question of the conformity  
            of a proposed development with a LCP or the validity of a  
            local government action taken to implement a LCP.  Allows any  
            local government to request that the Commission intervene. 

          8)Specifies that any appealable action on a CDP or claim of  
            exemption for any development by a local government is  
            appealable to the Commission by an applicant, any aggrieved  
            person, or any two members of the Commission.  Allows the  
            Commission to approve, modify, or deny such proposed  
            development, and if no action is taken within the specified  
            time limit, the decision of the local government is final,  
            unless the time limit is waived by the applicant.

          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown


          1)Coastal Commission.  The Commission was established by  
            voter initiative in 1972 (Proposition 20) and later made  
            permanent by the Legislature through adoption of the  
            California Coastal Act of 1976.  In partnership with  
            coastal cities and counties, the Commission plans and  
            regulates the use of land and water in the coastal zone.  
            Development activities, which are broadly defined by the  
            Coastal Act to include construction of buildings,  
            divisions of land, and activities that change the  
            intensity of use of land or public access to coastal  
            waters, generally require a CDP from either the  
            Commission or the local government with a certified LCP.

            The Commission is an independent, quasi-judicial state  
            agency, and is composed of 12 voting members, appointed  
            equally (4 each) by the Governor, the Senate Rules  


                                                                    AB 2648

                                                                    Page  4

            Committee, and the Speaker of the Assembly.  Six of the  
            voting commissioners are locally elected officials and  
            six are appointed from the public at large.  Three ex  
            officio (non-voting) members represent the Natural  
            Resources Agency, the California State Transportation  
            Agency, and the State Lands Commission. 

            According to the Commission's mission statement: 

               The Commission is committed to protecting and  
               enhancing California's coast and ocean for present and  
               future generations. It does so through careful  
               planning and regulation of environmentally-sustainable  
               development, rigorous use of science, strong public  
               participation, education, and effective  
               intergovernmental coordination. 

          2)This bill.  This bill would allow local governments to  
            end their relationship with the Commission subject to  
            approval by a superior court.  This bill would allow any  
            aggrieved person to bypass the Commission and go directly  
            to judicial review.  This would eliminate the  
            Commission's oversight of development on the coast.  The  
            Commission was created because of concern about  
            over-development on the Coast. Attempts to restrict  
            public access and develop in fragile coastal ecosystems  
            still exist today.  The Commission plays a vital role as  


                                                                    AB 2648

                                                                    Page  5

            the safeguard of California's coast.  This bill would  
            jeopardize that safeguard and undermine California's  
            commitment to coastal protection.  

          3)Related legislation.

          AB 2171 (Jones, 2016) authorizes any aggrieved person to file an  
          appeal of any appealable action on a CDP or claim for exemption  
          to a superior court instead of the Commission.  This bill limits  
          who may file an appeal to individuals living within 1000 feet of  
          an impacted county.  This bill failed passage in this Committee  
          on April 4, 2016. 


          None on file


          Amigos de los Rios

          Audubon California


                                                                    AB 2648

                                                                    Page  6

          Black Surfers Collective

          California Coastal Protection Network
          California League of Conservation Voters
          Committee for Green Foothills
          Courage Campaign
          Endangered Habitats League
          Environment California
          Friends of Harbor, Beaches & Parks
          Greenspace - Cambria Land Trust
          Humboldt Baykeeper
          Los Angeles Waterkeeper
          Natural Resources Defense Council
          Northcoast Environmental Center
          Orange County Coastkeeper
          Save Our Shores
          Sierra Club California
          Smith River Alliance
          Surfrider Foundation
          The City Project
          The Otter Project
          The Wildlands Conservancy
          Turtle Island Restoration Network
          5 individuals

          Analysis Prepared by:Michael Jarred / NAT. RES. / (916) 319-2092


                                                                    AB 2648

                                                                    Page  7