Press Release

Senate Passes Bill to Aid Coastal Commission

SB 360, to allow members of a LAFCO or JPA to serve on the Coastal Commission, cleared the Senate on a bipartisan 36-0 vote

SACRAMENTO – The Senate on Monday passed 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 legislation, SB 360, goes next to the Assembly for consideration.

“Constituents are well served by having elected officials use their expertise for multiple agencies that need it,” Blakespear said. “This legislation will benefit the Coastal Commission and constituents by allowing elected officials to use their knowledge and experience both for the Commission and a LAFCO or JPA.”

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

There is no rationale behind this exclusion. SB 360 eliminates this unnecessary limiting restriction.

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 that position in order to accept an appointment to the Coastal Commission.

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