MONTEREY COUNTY ZONING
COASTAL IMPLEMENTATION PLAN - TITLE 20
20.70 – COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PERMITS
The purpose of this Chapter is to establish a review process for development in the Coastal Zone of Monterey County. The review process is designed to meet the intent and requirements of the Coastal Act, to effect proper and thorough review of development in the Coastal Zone consistent with adopted land use plans, and to meet the needs of the public for timely review and action on proposed developments.
The provisions of this Chapter apply in all zoning districts in the unincorporated areas inside the Coastal Zone within Monterey County.
20.70.025 COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PERMITS
All development as defined by Section 20.06.310 shall require a Coastal Development Permit except development exempted by section 20.70.120. Applications for development listed as a Principal Use Allowed Coastal Administrative Permit Required in Each Case in the respective category within the district shall be processed pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 20.76 of this Title instead of the provisions of this Chapter. Furthermore, those uses not considered development shall not require a Coastal Development Permit.
20.70.030 APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY.
A. Coastal Development Permits may be issued for any of the uses or purposes for which such permits are required or permitted by the terms of this Title.
B. The Zoning Administrator shall be the Appropriate Authority to hear and decide applications for, and issue Coastal Development Permits, for those uses identified by the "(ZA)" designation and those items designated by the Director of Planning and Building Inspection pursuant to Section 20.04.030.F of this Title.
C. The Planning Commission shall be the Appropriate Authority to hear and decide applications for, and issue Coastal Development Permits, for all other uses for which a Coastal Development Permit is required or permitted. The powers and authority may be combined to one body pursuant to a Combined Development Permit subject to Chapter 20.82.
Application for a Coastal Development Permit shall be made to the Appropriate Authority in writing on a form prescribed by the Director of Planning and Building Inspection and shall be accompanied by statements, plans, and elevations necessary to show the detail of the proposed use or structure.
20.70.050 ACTION BY APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY.
A. All Coastal Development Permits require a public hearing pursuant to Chapter 20.84.
B. In order to grant any Coastal Development Permit, the findings of the Appropriate Authority shall be:
1) The establishment, maintenance, or operation of the use or structure applied for will not, under the circumstances of the particular case, be detrimental to health, safety, peace, morals, comfort, and general welfare of persons residing or working in the neighborhood of such proposed use, or be detrimental or injurious to property and improvement in the neighborhood, or to the general welfare of the County.
2) The subject property is in compliance with all rules and regulations pertaining to zoning uses, subdivision, and any other applicable provisions of this Title and any zoning violation abatement costs have been paid.
3) The subject project is in conformance with the Monterey County Local Coastal Program.
4) If applicable, including for all projects seaward of the first public road, that the project is in conformity with the public access and public recreation policies of Chapter 3 of the Coastal Act of 1976 (commencing with Section 30200 of the Public Resources Code). Specific findings shall be made with respect to the following:
a) Protection of Historic Access and/or Public Trust. No development shall be permitted which interferes with any form of historic public use or trust rights unless the applicant has demonstrated clear ownership of the area in question unencumbered by any form of public rights. For purposes of this policy, historic public use rights will be protected where a trail or use area has been established, and potential public trust rights will be protected on all beaches subject to ocean waves seaward of the first line of vegetation. The first choice where there is evidence of public use or trust rights shall be to re-site the development to avoid the area of public use or trust rights. If that is not possible, development may be allowed if offsetting public access benefits are provided and those access benefits are of equivalent nature and utility. In the case of trails, offsetting public access benefits shall consist of replacement trails. In the case of use areas, offsetting public access benefits shall consist of replacement use areas. In the case of beaches, offsetting public access benefits shall consist of access dedications over the remaining beach area.
b) Provision of Public Access. Access will be provided as a condition of new development, consistent with Section 30212 of the California Coastal Act and Constitutional protections, subject to paragraph (c) below.
c) Application of Access Requirements to Single Family Residential Development. As further guidance to the application of the above stated access requirements to single family development: prior to requiring public access for new development on an existing legal lot, the permitting authority shall consider the cumulative impact of development of this and all similarly situated vacant parcels on public access to tidelands and recreational areas. If no substantial adverse impact can be demonstrated, either individually or cumulatively, on any of the following:
(i.) historic access, public trust, or the recreational value of, accessibility to, use of, or safety of public beaches, trails, recreation areas, or recreation support areas; or,
(ii.) the shoreline, by affecting either processes of sources of sand necessary to maintain public beaches or tidelands, or by siting in a manner that would necessitate a shoreline protective device or other public maintenance of the area; then access shall not be required.
C. The Appropriate Authority may designate such conditions in connection with the Coastal Development Permit as it deems necessary to secure the purposes of this Title. Such conditions may include monitoring, at reasonable times and intervals, to assure compliance with the conditions set forth in the permit. Other such conditions may include, but are not limited to, health and safety requirements, architectural and site approval, time limitations, street dedication, and street and drainage improvements. The Appropriate Authority may also require such bond and guarantees as it deems appropriate to assure the compliance of the conditions.
D. An appeal may be taken from the action of the Appropriate Authority pursuant to Chapter 20.86.
E.. On or before the seventh day following action by the appropriate authority or Board of Supervisors on appeal, notice of the decision, including findings for approval (or denial) and conditions on the project proposal shall be mailed to the following people:
1. The applicants
2. The owner of the subject parcel.
3 All persons who have submitted a written request for notification of action on this specific permit.
4. The Coastal Commission.
Should, for any reason, a coastal development permit not be acted upon for decision within the time limits established by law, notice of said inaction shall be supplied to the Coastal Commission within three days of such determination.
A. Where one or more of the conditions of a Coastal Development Permit have not been, or are not being complied with, or when a Coastal Development Permit was granted on the basis of false material information, written or oral, given willfully or negligently by the applicant, the Appropriate Authority may revoke or modify the Coastal Development Permit following public hearing pursuant to Chapter 20.84 of this Title.
B. An appeal may be taken from such revocation or modification in the same manner as described in Chapter 20.86.
A. Any Coastal Development Permit issued under the terms of this Chapter shall be valid until the date of expiration stated on the permit. If no date of expiration is stated, or unless otherwise specified by the decision making body, any permit which allows a use, excluding a use which contemplates the construction of buildings or other structures, shall expire 2 years from the date of granting the permit unless use of the property has begun within this period.
B. If no date of expiration is stated, or unless otherwise specified by the Appropriate Authority, any permit granted under this Chapter which allows for the construction of buildings or other structures shall remain valid as long as actual construction has begun within 2 years from the date of the granting of the permit.
C. In case of an appeal, the term of the permit shall not begin until the date of the resolution of the appeal.
Building permits shall not be issued, nor any use conducted, other than in accordance with the conditions and terms of the Coastal Development Permit granted nor until 10 days after the mailing of notice of granting of such Coastal Development Permit by the Appropriate Authority, or, after a final resolution of such Coastal Development Permit by the Board of Supervisors or California Coastal Commission in the event of appeal. For coastal development permits appealable to the Coastal Commission pursuant to Section 20.86.080 of this Title, the effective date is after the ten working day appeal period to the Coastal Commission has expired or, if appealed, after the appeal has been resolved, pursuant to Section 20.86.090.
When an application or portion of an application for a Coastal Development Permit is denied by the Appropriate Authority or the Board of Supervisors or California Coastal Commission on appeal, no new application for a Coastal Development Permit substantially the same as the one denied shall be considered for a period of one year following such denial.
20.70.100 FILING FEE.
The application fee for a Coastal Development Permit shall be as established from time to time by the Board of Supervisors, and no part of such fee shall be refundable unless said refund is requested in writing concurrent with the withdrawal of the Coastal Development Permit and provided that the applicant has not yet been sent written notice of the application's completeness or incompleteness. In such case, 50% of the filing fee shall be refunded.
20.70.105 AMENDMENTS TO COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PERMITS.
Proposed amendments to any permit issued under the provisions of this Chapter shall be submitted to the Planning And Building Inspection Department in writing and in sufficient detail to adequately assess the nature of the amendment and any potential impacts of the amendment. Proposed amendments shall be handled in the following manner:
A. If, in the opinion of the Director of Planning And Building Inspection the amendment is of a minor or trivial nature, with no impacts not already assessed in the original permit action, and generally in keeping with the action of the appropriate authority, the amendment may be approved by the Director of Planning And Building Inspection. The Director shall post notice of such approval at the project site and by mail to all parties that the Director has reason to know may be interested in the application. If no written objections are received by the Planning And Building Inspection Department within ten working days of posting such notice, the amendment approval shall be final. If objections are received, the amendment shall be considered under Section 20.70.105.B below.
B. If, in the opinion of the Director of Planning And Building Inspection the amendment is of other than a minor or trivial nature, or may cause impacts not already assessed in the original permit, or is not in keeping with the action of the appropriate authority the amendment shall be taken to the decision making body of the original permit and processed consistent with the original permit procedures.
20.70.110 EXTENSION OF COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PERMITS.
A. The Director of Planning and Building Inspection may extend a Coastal Development Permit for an additional two year period upon receipt of a written request from the permittee, provided such request is made at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the Coastal Development Permit and provided that there are no changed circumstances. The written request shall be filed with the Appropriate Authority and set forth reasons supporting the request.
B. The extension request shall be subject to the notice provisions of Section 20.70.105 of this Title.
20.70.115 DETERMINATION OF PERMIT REQUIREMENT.
A. The Director of Planning and Building Inspection, Zoning Administrator, Chief of Planning Services, or Supervising Coastal Planner shall have the authority to determine whether or not any development proposed in the Coastal Zone is exempt from a Coastal Development Permit pursuant to this Title.
B. Any person wishing such determination shall submit to the Planning and Building Inspection Department all plans and information deemed necessary by the Planning and Building Inspection Department to assess the development.
C. After review, the Director of Planning and Building Inspection, Zoning Administrator, Chief of Planning Services, or Supervising Coastal Planner shall notify the applicant in writing that the development is:
1) exempt and state the category of exemption, or
2) that a coastal development permit is required and, if so, whether it is appealable or not.
D. The procedure described in this section shall be considered an administrative determination and is appealable pursuant to Section 20.88 of this Title.
E. If the final determination of the local government is challenged by the applicant or an interested person pursuant to Chapter 20.88 of this Title, or if the local government wishes to have a Commission determination as to the appropriate designation, the local government shall notify the Commission by telephone of the dispute/question and shall request an Executive Director's opinion which shall be made pursuant to Section 13569 of the Coastal Commission's regulations.
F. Where a Coastal Development Permit or other discretionary permit has not been required for a project, the development standards of the applicable land use plan segment and applicable County ordinances shall still apply to the ministerial permit. All reports, studies, and other specified information shall be submitted prior to the permit application being determined complete. Where required by ordinance, conditions of approval shall be applied to the ministerial permit, to be completed prior to receiving either occupancy or the final permit, as so stated in the condition. The Building Inspection Department shall only permit occupancy or issue the final permit after receiving verification from the Director of Planning and Building Inspection, Zoning Administrator, or their designee that all conditions have been met.
The projects listed below shall be exempt from the requirement for a Coastal Development Permit. Requirements for any other permits are unaffected by this Section.
A. The maintenance, alteration, or addition to existing single-family dwellings, including the establishment or expansion of non-habitable accessory structures not exceeding 1000 square feet and normally associated with residential uses such as garages, decks, workshops, and storage buildings not exceeding 1000 square feet; however, the following classes of development shall require a permit because they involve a risk of adverse environmental impact:
1. Improvements to a single-family structure on a beach, wetland or seaward of the mean high tide line or within 50 feet of a coastal bluff edge.
2. Any significant alteration of landforms including removal or placement of vegetation on a beach, wetland or sand dune, or within 50 feet of the edge of a coastal bluff.
3. The expansion or construction of water wells or septic systems.
4. On property located between the sea and the first public road paralleling the sea or within 300 feet of the inland extent of any beach or of the mean high tide of the sea where there is no beach, whichever is the greater distance, or in scenic road corridors, improvement that would result in an increase of 10% or more of internal floor area of an existing structure, the construction of an additional story (including lofts) in an existing structure, and/or any significant non-attached structure such as garages in excess of 1000 square feet, fences over 6 feet in height, shoreline protective works, docks or trees or satellite dishes.
5. In areas determined to have critically short water supply that must be maintained for the protection of coastal resources or public recreational use, the construction of any specified major water using development not essential to residential use including but not limited to swimming pools, or construction or extension of any landscaping irrigation system.
6. Additions or expansions to developments which, by condition of previous permit issued by the County of Monterey or Coastal Commission, which by condition of such permit requires development permits for such addition or expansion.
B. The maintenance, alteration, or addition to existing structures other than single-family dwellings and public works facilities; however, the following classes of development shall require a permit because they involve a risk of adverse environmental impact:
1. Improvements to any structure on a beach, wetland, stream or lake, or seaward of the mean high tide line or within 50 feet of a coastal bluff edge.
2. Any significant alteration of landforms including removal or placement of vegetation, on a beach, wetland or sand dune, or within 100 feet of the edge of a coastal bluff or stream or in areas of natural vegetation designated as a sensitive habitat.
3. The expansion or construction of water wells or septic systems serving 5 or more service connections.
4. On property located between the sea and the first public road paralleling the sea or within 300 feet of the inland intent of any beach or of the mean high tide of the sea where there is no beach, whichever is the greater distance, or in scenic road corridors an improvement that would result in an increase of 10% or more of internal floor area of the existing structure, and/or the construction of an additional story (including lofts) in an existing structure, or satellite dishes.
5. In areas determined to have critically short water supply that must be maintained for the protection of coastal recreation or public recreational use, the construction of any specified major water using development including but not limited to swimming pools or the construction or extension of any landscaping irrigation system.
6. Any improvement to a structure which increases the intensity of use of the structure or changes the nature of the use.
7. Any improvement made pursuant to a conversion of an existing structure from a multiple unit rental use or visitor-serving commercial use to a use involving a fee ownership or long-term leasehold including but not limited to a condominium conversion, stock cooperative conversion or motel/hotel time-sharing conversion.
8. Addition or expansion to developments which by condition of previous permit issued by the County of Monterey or Coastal Commission requires development permits for such addition or expansion.
C. Use of existing or permitted structures for keeping of pets, small family day care homes, licensed residential care homes for not more than 6 people, rooming and boarding, home occupations pursuant to Section 20.64.090, and animal husbandry and small livestock farming.
D. Maintenance dredging of existing navigation channels or moving dredged material from such channels to a disposal area outside the Coastal Zone, pursuant to a permit from the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
E. Repair or maintenance activities and safety improvements that do not result in an addition to, or enlargement or expansion of, the object of such repair or maintenance activities; however, the following classes of development shall require a permit because they involve a risk of adverse environmental impact:
1. Any method of repair or maintenance of a seawall, revetment, bluff retaining wall, breakwater, groin, or similar shoreline work that involves:
a. Repair or maintenance involving substantial alteration of the foundation of the protective work including pilings and other surface or subsurface structures;
b. The placement, whether temporary of permanent, of riprap, artificial berms of sand or other beach materials, or any other forms of solid materials, on a beach or in coastal waters, streams, wetlands, estuaries and lakes or on a shoreline protective work;
c. The replacement of 20% or more of the materials of an existing structure with materials of a different kind; or
d. The presence,, whether temporary or permanent, of mechanized construction equipment or construction materials on any sand area or bluff or within 20 feet of coastal water or streams.
2. The replacement of 50% or more of a seawall, revetment, bluff retaining wall, breakwater, groin or similar protective work under 1 ownership.
3. Any repair or maintenance to facilities or structures or work located in an environmentally sensitive habitat area, any sand area, within 50 feet of the edge of a coastal bluff or environmentally sensitive habitat area, or within 20 feet of coastal waters or streams that includes:
a. The placement or removal, whether temporary or permanent, of riprap, rocks, sand or other beach materials or any other forms of solid materials;
b. The presence, whether temporary or permanent, of mechanized equipment or construction material.
The provisions of this subsection 3 shall not be applicable to routine, regularly occurring maintenance on existing golf courses and public access improvements.
F. Any category of development requested by the County as a Categorical Exclusion pursuant to Section 13241 of the Coastal Commission's Regulations and approved by the Coastal Commission pursuant to Coastal Act Section 13241 of the Regulations.
G. The installation, testing, and placement in service or the replacement of any necessary utility connection between an existing service facility and any development provided that the County may, where necessary, require reasonable conditions to mitigate any adverse impacts on coastal resources, including scenic resources. In the Big Sur Coast area, the exception shall not apply to the installation of utility poles and lines within the "Critical Viewshed". (See Coastal Commission’s September 5, 1978 “Repair, Maintenance and Utility Hook-Up Exclusions from Permit Requirements” document for further detail on which public utility projects are exempt.)
H. The replacement of any structure, other than a public works facility, destroyed by natural disaster. Such replacement structure shall conform to applicable existing zoning requirements, shall be for the same use as the destroyed structure, shall not exceed either the floor area, height, or bulk of the destroyed structure by more than 10%, and shall be sited in the same location on the affected property as the destroyed structure. Structures which are destroyed by natural disaster in the Carmel Meadows and Carmel Point areas may be rebuilt to their original height and bulk of that existing prior to the disaster. Applicant shall provide proof of previous dimensions.
As used in this subdivision, "natural disaster" means any situation in which the force or forces which destroyed the structure to be replaced were beyond the control of its owner.
As used in this subdivision, "bulk" means total interior cubic volume as measured from the exterior surface of the structure.
I. Harvesting of agricultural crops, including kelp.
J. Timber operations which are in accordance with a timber harvesting plan submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Z'Berg-Nejedly Forest Practice Act of 1973 (commencing with Section 4511). Road development and grading work shall be considered part of the timber operation only if all of the following apply:
1. Such work is for the exclusive purpose of timber operations;
2. Such work is shown on the approved timber harvest plan; and,
3. Such work is located on the premises, within the immediate area of timber operations.
K Land division brought about in connection with the purchase of land by a public agency for public recreational use.
L. Encroachment permits.
M. Any project undertaken by a federal agency.
N. Any project which has a valid permit from the Coastal Commission.
O. Tree removal (which is not major vegetation) excepted by any section of the Monterey County Coastal Implementation Plan.
P. Public works determined by the Coastal Commission to be consistent with a Public Work Plan certified by the Coastal Commission pursuant to Coastal Act Section 30605.
Q. Abatement of dangerous buildings pursuant to Chapter 18.20 of this Title and other abatements of nuisances pursuant to Section 20.90.130 of this Title.
R. Repair and maintenance activities, and safety improvements on public or private roads that do not result in an addition to, or enlargement or expansion of the object of such repair or maintenance activities. (See Coastal Commission’s September 5, 1978 “Repair, Maintenance and Utility Hook-Up Exclusions from Permit Requirements” document for further detail on which public road projects are exempt.)
20.70.130 COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
A. Request for Application Materials: A prospective applicant, or their respective agent must pay the appropriate fees and submit sufficient information for a planner to determine which process they must follow for their request. A subsequent conference will be held between the applicant, or their respective agent to convey the findings of the Planning and Building Inspection staff at which time the planner assigned to the project will give the application materials to the applicant.
B. Application: An application for a Coastal Development Permit shall be made to the Monterey County Planning and Building Inspection Department in writing and in sufficient copies on a form prescribed by the Department, and shall be accompanied by statements, plans, elevations, reports and any such other information deemed necessary by the Planning and Building Inspection Department to adequately assess and evaluate the proposed use in light of the applicable land use plan, policies and environmental constraints.
1. The applicant submits the application deemed appropriate in subdivision (A) of this Section;
2. The application is reviewed by the appropriate agencies for completeness, consistency, and any other deficiencies;
3. Within 30 calendar days from submittal of the application, the application will be deemed complete or incomplete;
4. If the application is deemed incomplete the applicant has the responsibility to perform the necessary duties or submit the appropriate materials to make the application complete;
5. If the application is deemed complete the application will be scheduled for a public hearing with the appropriate hearing body on the next available hearing date;
6. If the application is approved the applicant must comply with the conditions of approval before the permit becomes valid (in most cases the applicant must apply for and receive a building permit prior to construction of the project);
7. If the project is denied the applicant may exercise his option to appeal as set forth in Chapter 20.86 of this Title;
8. At no time shall any use or building permit be issued until the 10 day appeal period has expired. Said time period begins on the day the Resolution is mailed to the applicant and is counted by calendar days.
The above procedures may vary in some instances and are not intended to bind the County in the way it processes applications. They are included in this Title to inform the Public how the County generally processes Coastal Development Permits. Individuals interested in applying for a Coastal Development Permit may contact the Coastal Team at the Monterey County Planning and Building Inspection Department for specific information regarding the process.