The California Coastal Act of 1976 (Coastal Act) establishes goals and provisions for a designated Coastal Zone along the entire California coastline. Within the City of Santa Barbara, the Coastal Zone generally extends inland half a mile from the ocean and includes about six miles of the City’s shoreline. Approximately 70% of the City’s Coastal Zone is held in public ownership, including numerous beaches and parks, an extensive public waterfront, and a full working harbor.
Development in the Coastal Zone is reviewed for compliance with the City’s Local Coastal Program and the Coastal Act.
The City’s Local Coastal Program (LCP) has two parts:
A Coastal Land Use Plan (adopted in 1981), which includes the kind, location, density and intensity of land uses within the Coastal Zone and coastal access and coastal resource protection policies and development standards; and
An Implementation Plan (adopted in 1986), which includes development standards and other ordinances relating to coastal access and coastal resource protection, and maps that delineate zoning districts within the Coastal Zone.
Over time, amendments have been approved and certified. However, the LCP has never been comprehensively updated. In 2014 and 2016, the City received Local Coastal Program Local Assistance grant funds from the California Coastal Commission (CCC) to update the City’s LCP. The LCP Update includes:
Updates to the Post LCP Certification Permit and Appeal Jurisdiction Map
On September 14, 2017, the CCC approved an updated and digitized LCP Post-Certification Permit and Appeal Jurisdiction Map for the City of Santa Barbara. The map replaces the existing map previously approved in 1991 and depicts geographic areas within the City of Santa Barbara where the CCC retains coastal development permit authority, where the City of Santa Barbara has coastal development permit authority, and where coastal development permits approved by the City of Santa Barbara may be appealed to the CCC.
The CCC’s Round 1 Local Coastal Program Local Assistance Grant Program partially funded the Coastal Land Use Plan (LUP) Update. Over the past four years, the City consulted extensively with the CCC staff to develop a new 2018 Planning Commission Review Draft Coastal LUP that aligns with the California Coastal Act and the local priorities of the City. This project was initiated by the City in 2013 with background research and documentation, and, due to the extensive consultation process between the City and the CCC, extended longer than originally anticipated into early 2018. City approval and adoption of the Draft Coastal LUP is anticipated in spring 2018, to be followed by submittal to the CCC for certification. The process includes an LCP Amendment comprised of an update to the Coastal LUP and a General Plan Land Use Map for the Coastal Zone.
The CCC’s Round 3 Local Coastal Program Local Assistance Grant Program (2016) is partially funding a Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan that will identify the City’s vulnerabilities and possible actions to prepare for and adapt to the impacts of sea level rise. This project was initiated in early 2018 and will conclude with a package of draft LCP Amendments in spring 2019, for subsequent submittal to the CCC for certification.
Lower-Cost Visitor Serving Accommodations Study
CCC’s Round 3 Local Coastal Program Local Assistance Grant Program (2016) is partially funding a study of methods to preserve lower-cost visitor serving accommodations in the City and the region. This study will launch in early 2018, and will conclude with a package of draft LCP Amendments in spring 2019, for subsequent submittal to the CCC for certification.