Coastal Commission adopts Newport Beach’s revised coastal program implementation plan

Newport Beach City Council separately sets Coast Development Permit fee at $2,500.

NEWPORT BEACH — The California Coastal Commission adopted Newport Beach’s plan to implement a Local Coastal Program (LCP) during its December meetings in Ventura. A pair of Coastal Development Permit (CDP) fees was approved two weeks earlier by the Newport Beach City Council.

Both actions will dictate how the city manages coastal development within Newport Harbor.

Local Coastal Permit and Implementation Plan

The commission’s adoption of the city’s Implementation Plan allows Newport Beach to have a certified LCP, with the commission and city agreeing to changes governing shoreline protection, emergency permit authority and local beach hours.

Future coastal development in Newport Beach would have to ensure hazards to life and property are minimized and structural integrity of local bluffs and canyons would be maintained. Developers would also have to prevent shoreline erosion, protect public access and views as well as implement policies consistent with the Coastal Land Use Plan.

“The proposed [Implementation Plan] is structured in such a way as to list the allowable land uses and the general development standards for each of the coastal zone’s fourteen zoning districts,” commission staff stated in a report to commissioners.

Commission staff added the LCP implementation and land use plans would help Newport Beach balance commercial development and recreational uses of the harbor without sacrificing maritime themes and visitor-serving amenities.

“[The LCP Implementation Plan and Land Use Plan policies would] provide for areas appropriate for commercial development on or near the waterfront that will encourage the continuation of coastal-dependent and coastal-related uses, maintain the marine theme and character, encourage mutually supportive businesses, encourage visitor-serving and recreational uses, and encourage physical and visual access to the bay on sites located on or near the bay,” commission staff told commissioners.

“Uses such as boat storage, boat yards, marine service stations, water transportation services are considered coastal-dependent/marine related and would have priority over other allowable uses,” commission staff continued in its report.

Coastal Development Permit

The Newport Beach City Council approved a monetary amount for a CDP fee and waiver in a separate action on Nov. 22. The CDP permit fee is $2,500; a CDP waiver fee would cost $910.

Any person or organization seeking to develop a project within the coastal zone must first obtain a CDP, as established by the California Coastal Act.

Development, according to the California Coastal Commission, means such changes as “construction, removal of rock or soil, clearing of vegetation, impeding access to the beach or recreational trails, altering property lines, changing the use of the land and repair or maintenance that could result in environmental impacts.”

What area constitutes a coastal zone? This may vary but typically a coastal zone “can extend up to five miles inland from the shore, including private and public property, and three miles out to sea.”

The CDP fee operates as a deposit, according to city staff.

“Since the city does not have a CDP permit history to establish a flat fee, staff proposes establishing a deposit account requirement in the amount of $2,500 and then track staff time and charge against it at a rate of $198 per hour,” city staff stated in its report to council members.

A refund will be issued if the cost is less than the total deposit. The applicant would have to provide additional funds if city staff time exceeds the $2,500 deposit.

The CDP waiver is a flat fee of $910.

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