Coastal Development Permit Categorical Exclusion
"Categorical Exclusion" from a coastal development permit (CDP) is a provision of the Coastal Act (Section 13240), which allows certain categories of development to be excluded from the requirement to obtain a CDP where there is no potential for significant adverse effect on coastal resources. After unanimous approval by the City Council, the City submitted a request to the California Coastal Commission to allow demolition of non-historic structures and new single dwelling unit development in the least sensitive areas of the coastal zone (in non-appealable areas and areas outside sensitive coastal resource overlay zone) through ministerial, process one approvals. Development projects constrained with sensitive coastal resources would still be subject to the discretionary permit process.
Under the City's proposal, development must comply with all beach impact regulations of the applicable zone, be exempt from an environmentally sensitive lands development permit, and otherwise, must not be subject to any other discretionary permit or map requirement of the Land Development Code in order to qualify for the categorical exclusion. Single dwelling units utilizing the categorical exclusion would not be permitted to develop to the maximum standards of the base zone. Instead, they would be limited to 90% of the maximum height and 80% of the maximum floor-area-ratio permitted by the underlying base zone. The categorical exclusion would thereby incentivize construction of smaller single dwelling units in the coastal zone by offering a lesser permit process to eligible single dwelling unit proposals, at a cost savings to the City and overall benefit to the community.
The CDP categorical exclusion request went through extensive public outreach in association with the seven-year Land Development Code adoption and certification process. The City's application was deemed complete by the Coastal Commission in 1997, however, formal action to approve the categorical exclusion language has since been delayed at the Commission staff level. Additional public outreach will be conducted once staff receives notice that this item will be scheduled for public hearing.