Chapter 13.03


13.03.010    Purpose.

13.03.020    Scope.

13.03.030    Amendment.

13.03.040    Definitions.

13.03.050    Local Coastal Program adoption.

13.03.060    Local Coastal Program amendment.

13.03.070    Public notice.

13.03.080    Planning Commission action.

13.03.090    Board of Supervisors action.

13.03.100    Local Coastal Program certification.

13.03.110    Land use plan amendment.

13.03.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish guidelines and procedures for adoption and amendment of the Local Coastal Program in compliance with the California Coastal Act. [Ord. 3325 § 1, 1982].

13.03.020 Scope.

This chapter defines the various components of the County’s Local Coastal Program and what constitutes an amendment to the program. The regulations require the County to establish a Local Coastal Program consistent with the State Coastal Act; provide procedures for program amendment including public notice, hearing, approval and certification; and include amendment criteria from the Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan. [Ord. 3325 § 1, 1982].

13.03.030 Amendment.

Any revision to this chapter shall be reviewed by the Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission to determine whether it constitutes an amendment to the Local Coastal Program. When a chapter revision constitutes an amendment to the Local Coastal Program, such revision shall be processed pursuant to the hearing and notification provisions of this chapter and shall be subject to approval by the California Coastal Commission. [Ord. 3325 § 1, 1982].

13.03.040 Definitions.

All terms used in this chapter shall be as defined in the County General Plan and the Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan except as defined below:

“Resource and constraint maps” means the maps adopted as a part of the Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan designating resources and constraints in the Coastal Zone and including designations of sensitive habitats, biotic resources, prime agricultural land, timber resources, geologic hazards, water resources, and visual resources. [Ord. 3325 § 1, 1982].

13.03.050 Local Coastal Program adoption.

(A)    Program Adoption. The Planning Department shall prepare, the Planning Commission shall review, develop and recommend, and the Board of Supervisors shall adopt a Local Coastal Program for the Coastal Zone of the County in fulfillment of the requirements of the California Coastal Act (California Public Resources Code Section 30000 et seq.).

(B)    Program Components. The Santa Cruz County Local Coastal Program shall consist of the following components:

(1)    The land use plan consisting of the policy text and the adopted land use, resource, constraint and shoreline access maps and charts. The land use plan, including all adopted tables, maps and definitions, shall be adopted as an element of the County General Plan and become an integral part thereof pursuant to Chapter 13.01 SCCC. The land use plan policies and maps shall take precedence over any previously adopted for the Coastal Zone portion of the County.

(2)    The implementing ordinances consisting of the following County Code chapters:

Chapter 7.38 SCCC

Sewage Disposal

Chapter 7.70 SCCC

Water Wells

Chapter 7.73 SCCC

Individual Water Systems

Chapter 7.78 SCCC

Preservation of Monterey Bay and Coastal Water Quality: Regulation of Wastewater Discharge

Chapter 12.01 SCCC

Building Permit Regulations

Chapter 12.06 SCCC

Demolition or Conversion of Residential Structures

Chapter 13.01 SCCC

General Plan Administration

Chapter 13.02 SCCC

Specific Plan Administration

Chapter 13.03 SCCC

Local Coastal Program Administration

Chapter 13.10 SCCC

Zoning Regulations

Chapter 13.11 SCCC

Site, Architectural and Landscape Design Review

Chapter 13.14 SCCC

Rural Residential Density Determinations

Chapter 13.20 SCCC

Coastal Zone Regulations

Chapter 13.36 SCCC

Development Agreements

Chapter 14.02 SCCC

Condominium and Townhouse Conversion Regulations

Chapter 15.01 SCCC

Park Land Dedication or Fees in Lieu Thereof

Chapter 15.05 SCCC

Trail and Coastal Access Dedication, Standards and Review

Chapter 15.10 SCCC

Roadway and Roadside Improvements

Chapter 16.10 SCCC

Geologic Hazards

Chapter 16.20 SCCC

Grading Regulations

Chapter 16.22 SCCC

Erosion Control

Chapter 16.30 SCCC

Riparian Corridor and Wetlands Protection

Chapter 16.32 SCCC

Sensitive Habitat Protection

Chapter 16.34 SCCC

Significant Trees Protection

Chapter 16.40 SCCC

Native American Cultural Sites

Chapter 16.44 SCCC

Paleontological Resource Protection

Chapter 16.50 SCCC

Agricultural Land Preservation and Protection

Chapter 16.52 SCCC

Timber Harvesting Regulations

Chapter 16.54 SCCC

Mining Regulations

Chapter 17.02 SCCC

Urban Services Line and Rural Services Line

Chapter 17.04 SCCC

Annual Population Growth Goal for Santa Cruz County

Chapter 18.10 SCCC

Permit and Approval Procedures

(3)    Any specific plan affecting portions of the Coastal Zone as may be adopted by the County. [Ord. 5372 § 1, 2021; Ord. 4844 § 1, 2006; Ord. 4416 § 1, 1996; Ord. 4406 § 1, 1996; Ord. 4167 § 1, 1991; Ord. 4133 § 5, 1991; Ord. 4078 § 1, 1990; Ord. 3998 § 1, 1989; Ord. 3921 § 1, 1988; Ord. 3790 § 1, 1986; Ord. 3631 § 1, 1985; Ord. 3325 § 1, 1982].

13.03.060 Local Coastal Program amendment.

(A)    Actions Constituting Amendment. The following actions shall constitute an amendment to the Local Coastal Program if found by the Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission to constitute an amendment to the Local Coastal Program:

(1)    Any General Plan Amendment which affects the Coastal Zone including any changes to the certified policies, tables, maps, or definitions of the Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan.

(2)    Any revision to the chapters listed in SCCC 13.03.050(B)(2) which affects the Coastal Zone.

(3)    Any zone district change in the Coastal Zone pursuant to Chapter 13.10 SCCC except for a rezoning to a district consistent with the adopted land use plan designation as specified in Table 13.10.170.

(4)    The adoption or amendment of any specific plan which affects the Coastal Zone.

(B)    Amendment Initiation. Local Coastal Program amendments may be initiated at any time in accordance with Chapter 18.10 SCCC, Level VII, by an application from any person or public agency, or by a resolution of intention adopted by the Board of Supervisors upon its own motion or upon the recommendation of the Planning Commission.

(C)    Amendment Frequency. Local Coastal Program amendment submittals may be made no more than three times per year to the California Coastal Commission. Each amendment submittal may include several different changes.

(D)    Amendment Application. An application to amend the Local Coastal Program shall be submitted concurrently with the application to amend the General Plan, specific plan, ordinance, or zoning district designation which constitutes the Local Coastal Program amendment. Application, notice, and processing procedures shall be in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 18.10 SCCC, Permit and Approval Procedures, for a Level VII (Board of Supervisors) approval. [Ord. 3998 § 1, 1989; Ord. 3631 § 2, 1985; Ord. 3592 § 1, 1984; Ord. 3431 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3325 § 1, 1982].

13.03.070 Public notice.

(A)    Notice Recipients. Notice of public hearing for a Local Coastal Program amendment shall be provided a minimum of 10 days prior to the hearing before the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors in accordance with Chapter 18.10 SCCC and as follows:

(1)    Publication in a newspaper of general circulation within the area or areas affected by the proposed amendment; publication may be in the form of publication of the scheduled agenda for the hearing body; and

(2)    A mailed notice shall be sent to:

(a)    The Coastal Commission;

(b)    Governmental agencies including special districts which, in the judgement of the Planning Director, have an interest in or will be affected by the proposed amendment;

(c)    All persons who have requested in writing to be notified;

(d)    The applicant, if there is an application; and

(3)    If specific parcels are affected by the proposed amendment, notices shall be posted in prominent locations on and in the area of the subject property; and a mailed notice shall be sent to the property owner, all residents within 100 feet of the perimeter of the subject parcels, and all property owners within 300 feet of the perimeter of the subject parcels; if less than 10 properties are located within 300 feet of the perimeter, the distance shall be increased until at least 10 property owners have been notified.

(4)    For applications where the number of persons who would be notified by mail exceeds 1,000, or where County-initiated amendments affect the designation of a large area or number of parcels, notice may be given instead by a display advertisement of at least one-eighth page in a newspaper of general circulation in the area affected by the proposed amendment.

(B)    Notice Contents. The public notice shall include the following information:

(1)    A statement that an amendment to the Local Coastal Program is proposed.

(2)    A description of the proposed amendment.

(3)    The date, time, place, and decision-making body for the scheduled public hearing.

(4)    The procedure for submitting written or oral comments for the public hearing.

(C)    Continued Hearings. If a public hearing on a proposed amendment is continued to a time which has not been stated in the public notice or at the public hearing, notice of the continued hearing shall be provided in the same manner as provided in this section. [Ord. 4244 § 2, 1993; Ord. 3431 § 2, 1983; Ord. 3325 § 1, 1982].

13.03.080 Planning Commission action.

(A)    Approval. The Planning Commission shall hold at least one public hearing on a proposed Local Coastal Program amendment following public notice pursuant to SCCC 13.03.070. The Planning Commission may approve the proposed amendment by a resolution based on a majority vote of its full membership. The resolution shall constitute a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors and shall include the following:

(1)    A statement of the reasons for the amendment.

(2)    Findings of consistency with the General Plan and all components of the Local Coastal Program.

(3)    Findings of compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act.

(4)    Findings of Compliance with the California Coastal Act.

(5)    A finding of compliance with the land use plan amendment criteria of SCCC 13.03.110, if applicable.

(B)    Denial. If the Planning Commission recommends against a proposed amendment, its action shall be final unless the matter is subsequently considered upon appeal or special consideration by the Board of Supervisors pursuant to the procedures of SCCC 13.10.240 et seq., or unless the matter was originally referred by the Board. [Ord. 3325 § 1, 1982].

13.03.090 Board of Supervisors action.

(A)    Referral. If the Board of Supervisors initiates a Local Coastal Program amendment, it shall refer the matter to the Planning Commission for a public hearing and recommendation prior to considering the matter. The Planning Commission shall hold a public hearing after giving notice as required above and shall submit a report to the Board of Supervisors not later than 90 days after the referral.

(B)    Action on Planning Commission Recommendation. The Board of Supervisors may approve, modify, or disapprove the Planning Commission’s recommendation; provided, that any modification not previously considered by the Planning Commission shall be referred to the Planning Commission for report and recommendation. The Planning Commission is not required to hold additional hearings, and their failure to report within 40 days shall constitute approval.

(C)    Public Hearing. After receiving the Planning Commission recommendation, the Board of Supervisors shall hold at least one public hearing on the proposed amendment following public notice pursuant to SCCC 13.03.070. The public hearing shall be scheduled during the next consideration of Local Coastal Program amendments and shall coincide with scheduled consideration of General Plan amendments.

(D)    Approval. The Board of Supervisors may approve a Local Coastal Program amendment in the form of a resolution containing the statement and findings of SCCC 13.03.080(A). An amendment approved by the Board shall not be effective until certified by the California Coastal Commission.

(E)    Denial. Denial of a Local Coastal Program amendment by the Board of Supervisors shall be final except for denial of public works or energy facility projects applications which may be refiled with the California Coastal Commission pursuant to Public Resources Code Section 30515. [Ord. 3325 § 1, 1982].

13.03.100 Local Coastal Program certification.

(A)    Following approval by the Board of Supervisors, a Local Coastal Program amendment shall be submitted to the California Coastal Commission accompanied by a full administrative record of the Board hearings including:

(1)    A copy of the approved amendment including policies, maps, ordinances, etc., as adopted.

(2)    A copy of the public notice with a list of all persons and entities noticed.

(3)    Supporting documents including reports, maps, exhibits, environmental documents, minutes, and supplemental data and hearing submittals. Such material shall include copies or summaries of significant public comments and local government response, a discussion of the proposed amendment’s relationship to and effect on the other sections of the certified Local Coastal Program, and an indication of any zoning measures to be used to carry out the amendment.

(4)    A copy of the adopting resolution including statements and findings supporting the amendment.

(B)    Repealed by Ord. 3592. [Ord. 3592 § 2, 1984; Ord. 3325 § 1, 1982].

13.03.110 Land use plan amendment.

The following criteria shall apply to amendment to the Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan:

(A)    Rural Services Line. The rural services line shall not be expanded to accommodate additional new urban density residential development.

(B)    Recreation. New park and recreation designations for commercial recreation uses in rural areas shall be compatible with adjacent land uses, and consistent with available infrastructure, agricultural, visual and natural resource protection, and other Local Coastal Plan policies and may only be approved when there are no feasible locations for such use in existing urban areas.

(C)    Neighborhood Commercial. New neighborhood commercial designations in residential areas shall only be allowed where a local need and market exists as determined by a market assessment commensurate in scale to the proposed project and conducted as part of the environmental assessment.

(D)    Agriculture. The conversion of agricultural lands (changing the use designation from agriculture to nonagriculture uses) around the periphery of urban areas shall not be permitted except where it can be demonstrated that the viability of existing agricultural use is already severely limited by conflicts with the urban uses, where the conversion of land would complete a logical and viable neighborhood and contribute to the establishment of a stable limit to urban development, and where the conversion of such land would not impair the viability of other agricultural lands in the area.

(E)    Resource Based Industries. Designation of new resource based industry shall be allowed only where the following findings can be made:

(1)    The site is adequate and appropriate for the proposed use.

(2)    The project is compatible with available service infrastructure, surrounding uses, and the existing local economy.

(3)    The development is consistent with all applicable Local Coastal Program resource protection policies and use priorities.

(F)    Light Industry. Designation of new light industry shall be allowed only where the following findings can be made:

(1)    No other feasible alternative sites exist.

(2)    There is a demonstrated need for new sites.

(3)    The site is not suitable or designated for Local Coastal Program priority uses.

(4)    A compelling public need is demonstrated.

(5)    Development of the site would be consistent with all Local Coastal Program resource protection policies.

(G)    Heavy Industry—Application Requirements. The following information shall be submitted as a part of any Local Coastal Program amendment request to permit heavy industry:

(1)    Documentation demonstrating that the proposed use is coastal-dependent.

(2)    A plot plan of the entire area under lease or ownership showing relationship of proposed facilities to ultimate development of all facilities.

(3)    A map showing relationship of proposed facilities to other buildings, structures and/or natural or artificial features, including sensitive habitats, prime agricultural lands, commercial fisheries, tourist dependent resources, recreational areas, scenic resources and archaeologically sensitive sites within 1,000 feet of the facilities.

(4)    A plan for the consolidation, to the maximum extent feasible, of facilities.

(5)    A phasing plan for the staging of development which indicates the approximate anticipated timetable for project installation, completion and for decommissioning, where appropriate.

(6)    A plan for eliminating adverse impacts on habitat areas, prime agricultural lands, tourist dependent resources, commercial fisheries, recreational areas, scenic resources, archaeologically sensitive sites, neighboring residents, and neighborhood character due to siting, construction or operation of facilities.

(7)    Plans and profiles of any major grading required for construction and production.

(8)    Procedures for the abandonment and restoration of the site which indicate restored contours of the land, topsoil replacement and revegetation upon abandonment, unless abandonment-in-place is determined to be less environmentally damaging.

(H)    Heavy Industry—Requirements for Approval. Designation of new coastal-dependent heavy industry shall be allowed only where the following findings can be made:

(1)    The proposed use is coastal-dependent.

(2)    Alternative locations are infeasible or more environmentally damaging.

(3)    National economic and security interests would be significantly adversely affected by not approving the proposed project.

(4)    Adverse environmental effects will be mitigated to the maximum extent feasible.

(5)    The proposed industrial use is consistent with Local Coastal Program policies.

(6)    Compensation is provided for losses to the local economy resulting from the impacts of the proposed project.

(7)    An analysis of the visibility of proposed facilities from off-site public viewing areas has been submitted and a landscape plan to minimize this visibility, including methods and materials for screening, such as fencing, plant species, depression below grade or other methods, will be implemented.

(8)    Procedures for the transport and disposal of all solid and liquid wastes will be adequate to protect the environment.

(9)    Fire prevention procedures meet all requirements of the local fire official.

(10)    The project will comply with the air quality regulations of the Monterey Bay Air Pollution Control District and other applicable air quality regulations.

(11)    Local infrastructure, including water, sewer, fire protection and road capacity, is adequate to service project needs. Water conservation techniques will be utilized by the project.

(I)    Energy Facilities—Application Requirement. The following information shall be submitted, in addition to the requirements of subsection (H) of this section, as a part of any request for amendment of the Local Coastal Program to permit energy facilities:

(1)    The location of oil and gas wells on the plot plan.

(2)    Plans for the maximum consolidation of facilities, including consolidation with other operators.

(3)    Plans detailing grading required for pad and road construction.

(4)    Contingency plan for oil and toxic substances spillage indicating the location and type of cleanup equipment available, the response time required for deployment of the equipment, and the designation of management responsibility. The information must demonstrate that the cleanup, disposition of wastes, and reporting procedures are fully adequate to provide effective containment of any spillage without significant damage to coastal resources for the maximum spillage predicted, based on weather conditions equal to 50 percent of the “worst case” weather conditions predicted.

(J)    Energy Facilities—Requirements for Approval. In addition to complying with all other stated land use plan policies, amendments to the Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan to permit the location of energy facilities shall only be allowed where the following findings can be made:

(1)    All findings required by subsections (H)(2) through (11) of this section.

(2)    Adequate infrastructure and public services are available including, but not limited to, water, sewer, fire protection, road capacity, law enforcement and medical services.

(3)    The use would provide full protection of sensitive habitat areas, commercial fishing, recreational and agricultural uses.

(4)    The use would be visually compatible with and have minimum disruption of viewsheds.

(5)    The use would be consistent with Federal, State and local air quality regulations.

(6)    Where the energy facility is for an on-shore facility serving offshore oil development, a vote of the people will be required. [Ord. 4346 § 3, 1994; Ord. 3325 § 1, 1982].