Press Release

Senate Passes Legislation to Strengthen Accountability of Coastal Housing Regulations

SACRAMENTO – The Senate has passed two bills by Sen. Catherine Blakespear, D-Encinitas, aimed at speeding up the approval of needed housing in coastal zones.

California faces a housing shortage that has helped drive the state’s growing crisis of homelessness, and in coastal areas, the lack of housing options is particularly pronounced. That is partly due to the nature of the permitting required by California Coastal Commission.

Sen. Blakespear’s SB 1077 and SB 1092, respectively, strive to harmonize coastal permitting requirements with state accessory dwelling unit (ADU) law and to identify ways to expedite the appeals process for Coastal Development Permits (CDPs).

“We have a housing crisis everywhere in California, including in coastal areas,” Sen. Blakespear said. “This legislation respects and upholds the mission of the Coastal Act while following the policy direction in the rest of the state, to reduce regulatory hurdles so we can more quickly build housing and address our homelessness crisis.”

SB 1077 directs the Coastal Commission to work in coordination with the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to develop guidance for local governments to harmonize their ADU ordinances with their Local Coastal Programs (LCPs). The goal is to resolve conflicts in mandates between the Coastal Commission and HCD.

SB 1092 directs the Coastal Commission to do a study on its CDP appeals process, identify any problems with it for applicants and recommend changes, if needed. Currently, the appeals of local government CDP approvals can drag on for years, and as a result, end up essentially killing housing projects before a decision is ever rendered. This discourages builders from pursuing projects in coastal zones.

The Senate passed SB 1092 on Wednesday on a 37-0 vote and SB 1077 on Thursday on a 35-0 vote. The bills go next to the Assembly for consideration.

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