The City’s Local Coastal Program is comprised of a Coastal Land Use Plan that was originally certified by the California Coastal Commission in 1981 and an Implementation Plan that was originally certified in 1986. Together these serve as the standard of review for Coastal Development Permits under the City’s jurisdiction within the Coastal Zone. In 2014 the City began the process of updating the Local Coastal Program, focusing on the Coastal Land Use Plan.
Sea Level Rise is occurring and will continue to increase in the future. The physical risks to Santa Barbara's Coastal Zone include shoreline erosion and degradation, decreased beach widths, amplified storm surges, and inundation of coastal flood waters. There is a need for the City and the community to understand this emerging issue, analyze the risks, and consider possible actions to prepare and adapt to the impacts of sea level rise.
In August 2018, City Council adopted the Draft Coastal Land Use Plan, which modernizes the 1981 Coastal Land Use Plan, builds upon the 2011 General Plan, and implements standards that clarify the coastal development review process and align with the California Coastal Act. The Draft Coastal Land Use Plan demonstrates the City’s continued commitment to providing access for all to the beach, protection of the natural resources and the built environment, and appropriate uses of land including our vibrant waterfront, all of which make Santa Barbara so special.