Seal Beach staff reviewing Local Coastal Plan

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Seal Beach officials recently met with the California Coastal Commission staff to discuss expediting approval of the city’s Local Coastal Plan.

If the LCP is approved, it would streamline the process for home and business owners who want to develop properties in Seal Beach. “After an LCP has been certified by the Coastal Commission, coastal permitting authority over most new development is transferred to the local government,” according to the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning Web site.

On Thursday, Sept. 9, City Manager David Carmany , Director of Development Services Mark Persico and Senior Planner Jerry Olivera met with members of the commission’s South Coast District Office staff to discuss the status of Seal Beach’s LCP. They met with District Manager Teresa Henry, Supervisor of Regulation and Planning Karl Schwing and Supervisor and Coastal Program Analyst II Fernie Sy.

Carmany recently described the meeting to the Seal Beach City Council as an example of what staff “needed to know” rather than what city officials “wanted to hear.”

The Coastal Commission rejected Seal Beach’s Local Coastal Plan on July 28, 1983.

Since the city last worked on the LCP in 2003, the commission has added additional requirements and updated their review standards. Three of the new issues that now must be addressed are: sea level rise (global warming), lower-cost overnight accommodations and water quality standards for all projects.

According to Coastal Commission staff, these issues were not adequately addressed in the city’s 2003 Local Coastal Plan.

During the meeting, commission staff suggested that Seal Beach would be better off setting aside the 2003 Plan and starting anew.  Due to state budget furloughs and workloads, Coastal Commission staff suggests that the revised LCP be submitted a “chapter at a time” rather than “all at once.”