Press Release

Governor Signs Blakespear’s Legislation to Aid Coastal Commission

SB 360, which would allow members of a LAFCO or JPA to serve on the Coastal Commission, will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation by Sen. Catherine Blakespear, D-Encinitas, broadening the local agencies that a member of the Coastal Commission can jointly serve on to include a Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) or a Joint Powers Authority (JPA).

The new law created by the bill, SB 360, will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024. 

“I thank the Governor for signing SB 360, which will benefit the Coastal Commission and its constituents,” Blakespear said. “This is a good government bill. By allowing elected officials to use their knowledge and experience for both the Coastal Commission and a LAFCO or JPA, everyone benefits.”

Members of the Coastal Commission may serve concurrently on other government bodies, such as regional associations of governments. However, under current law, they are not statutorily allowed to serve concurrently on a LAFCO or JPA.

The statewide coastal resource protection policies of the Coastal Act are implemented by coastal cities and counties through the preparation and certification of Local Coastal Programs (LCPs), which function like mini-General Plans for the coastal zone.

Once certified by the Coastal Commission, LCPs become the standard of review for coastal development permits issued by the local government. Thus, implementation of the Coastal Act is centered on the partnership between coastal local governments and the Coastal Commission.

Half of the 12 appointed commissioners must be locally elected officials appointed from specified regions, a provision that ensures that locally specific knowledge is considered in Commission decisions along with the statewide policies of the Coastal Act.

Finding officials to serve can be difficult in some counties that have a limited number of officials with the necessary expertise. Currently, a member of a LAFCO or JPA must resign from their position in order to accept an appointment to the Coastal Commission.

SB 360 eliminates this unnecessary restriction.

Elected in November 2022, Blakespear represents Senate District 38, which covers northern coastal San Diego County and part of inland Orange County. To learn more about the district and Sen. Blakespear, visit her Senate website.