Press Release

Legislation to Aid Coastal Commission Advances

SB 360, to allow members of a LAFCO or JPA to serve on the Coastal Commission, passes Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee


SACRAMENTO – 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) passed the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on Tuesday.

The committee approved the measure on a bipartisan 11-0 vote.

“Although members of the Coastal Commission may serve concurrently on other government bodies, such as regional associations of governments, they can’t on a LAFCO or JPA,” Blakespear said. “There appears to be no good reason for this prohibition. SB 360 changes this, allowing officials who are knowledgeable on coastal issues and local planning issues to serve in both roles.”

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.

To ensure that locally specific knowledge is considered in Commission decisions, and that local decisions are informed by a working familiarity with the statewide policies of the Coastal Act, half of the 12 appointed commissioners must be locally elected officials appointed from specified regions.

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

SB 360 eliminates this unnecessary limiting restriction.

The bill moves next to the Senate floor for consideration.

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 Blakespear, visit her Senate website.