20.86 – APPEALS

20.86.010            PURPOSE.

It is the purpose of this Chapter to provide a means whereby a public agency, person or persons dissatisfied with the decision of an Appropriate Authority may appeal that decision to the Board of Supervisors and to put such persons on notice that certain decisions may be appealed to the California Coastal Commission.

20.86.020            APPLICABILITY.

The provisions of this Chapter apply to discretionary decisions made by the Director of Planning and Building Inspection, Zoning Administrator, Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.

20.86.030            WHO MAY APPEAL; TIME OF APPEAL.

A.        An appeal may be made to the Board of Supervisors by any public agency or person aggrieved by a decision of an Appropriate Authority other than the Board of Supervisors.

B.         Persons who receive notice of the hearing, or who had knowledge of the time and place of hearing, but who chose not to participate in the hearing, either orally or in writing, shall not have the right to appeal.  However, the Board may grant the right to appeal to those persons who, in the exercise of reasonable care, did not participate in the hearing.

C.        An appeal shall be in writing and shall be filed with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors and with Appropriate Authority within 10 days after written notice of the deci­sion of the Appropriate Authority has been mailed to the applicant.

D.        At the time of the filing of the appeal the appellant shall pay the required filing fee as established from time to time by the Board of Supervisors  to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors.  No appeal fee shall be charged for Coastal Development Permits that are appealable to the Coastal Commission.

E.         Written notice of the decision shall be given promptly to the applicant and to those who have requested notice, in  writing, at the hearing on the application. No appeal shall be accepted until the notice of the decision has been given.

F.            Appeals to the California Coastal Commission from a decision made by the Board of Supervisors shall comply with the provisions of the California Coastal Act of 1976.


The appellant must specifically state in the notice of appeal:

A.        The identity of the appellant and his interest in the decision;

B.         The identity of the decision appealed and the conditions appealed;

C.        A clear, complete, but brief, statement of the reasons why, in the opinion of the appellant, the decision or the conditions imposed are unjustified or inappropriate because:

1.            There was lack of a fair and impartial hearing; or

2.         The findings or decision or conditions are not supported by the evidence; or

3.            The decision was contrary to law.

D.        The specific reasons the appellant disagrees with the findings of the Appropriate Authority, if he disagrees;

E.         The notice of appeal shall set forth specific facts of the matter in sufficient detail to notify interested persons of the nature of the proceedings, to place the interested persons upon notice as to how any proposed action may affect their interest so that they may formulate their defense or opposition without being subjected to surprise.  The Board will not accept an appeal stated in generalities, legal or otherwise.

20.86.050            ACCEPTANCE OF APPEAL.

An appeal shall not be accepted by the Board of Supervisors unless it is complete and complies with all requirements.  The Clerk of the Board of Supervisors shall not accept a notice of appeal if it is obvious on the face of the notice that it is incomplete.

20.86.060            PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE.

Notice of the public hearing on the appeal shall be provided pursuant to Chapter 20.84.


A.        Upon receipt of the notice of appeal, the Board of Supervisors shall, within 15 days following the filing of the appeal, set a date for public hearing thereon, giving  public hearing notice thereof pursuant to Chapter 20.84 and additionally, to those who have requested notice of appeal, in writing at the hearing on the application.  The hearing before the Board of Supervisors shall be "de novo" except that when relevant new evidence is available at the time of the appeal which was not available at the time of the original hearing, the application may be returned to the Appropriate Authority for consideration.  The Board may reject an appeal for failure of the appellant to present all the evidence available to him at the time of the original hearing if he had notice of the original hearing.

B.         If a request for continuance is granted, the person who asks for the continuance shall notify the interested public in the same manner and to the same extent that notice was given to the public for the public hearing from which consideration of the appeal was continued.  The notice shall state the date to which the hearing upon the appeal is continued.  If notice is not given the appeal may not be heard on a date for which inadequate notice is given.  Failure to give notice may be grounds for denial of an appeal.

C.        The Board of Supervisors shall consider an appeal and render a decision thereon within 60 days after receipt thereof.

D.        The Board of Supervisors may reverse or affirm, wholly, or in part, or modify the order, requirement, condition, finding or decision appealed from, and make such order, requirement, condition, finding or decision as should be made, and such action shall be final. The decision of the Board of Supervisors shall be final, conclusive and effective immediately, unless appealable pursuant to Section 20.86.080 of this Title.


A.        An appeal of a County decision on a coastal development permit application may be filed by an applicant or any aggrieved person who has exhausted all County appeals pursuant to this Chapter, or by any two (2) members of the California Coastal Commission. Appeals by members of the Coastal Commission may be made following decisions of the Appropriate Authority.  The following coastal permit applications are appealable to the Coastal Commission:

1.         Approved projects between the sea and the first through public road paralleling the sea or within 300 feet of the inland extent of any beach or of the mean high tide line of  the sea where there is no beach, whichever is the greater distance.

2.         Approved projects in County jurisdiction located on tidelands, submerged lands, public trust lands, within 100 feet of any wetland, estuary, stream or within 300 feet of the top of the seaward face of any coastal bluff.

3.         Any approved project involving development that is permitted in the underlying zone as a conditional use.  Uses listed as principal uses are not appealable to the Coastal Commission unless they fall within the above categories by location.

4.         Any project involving development which constitutes a major public works project or a major energy facility.

B.            Grounds of appeal shall be limited to an allegation that the development does not conform to the certified local coastal program., or, if appealed under subsection A1 above, that the development does not conform to the public access policies of the California Coastal Act.

C.            Appeals to the Coastal Commission pursuant to this Section must be filed with the Coastal Commission on forms prescribed by and available from the Coastal Commission.

D.        Coastal Commissioner appeals taken prior to exhaustion of all local appeals shall be transmitted to the Board of Supervisors and the appeal to the Coastal Commission may be suspended pending a decision on the merits by the Board of Supervisors.  If the decision of the Board of Supervisors modifies or reverses the previous decision, the Coastal Commissioners shall be required to file a new appeal from that decision.

20.86.090            EFFECT OF FILING AN APPEAL.

An appeal shall stay the proceedings and effective date of the decision of the Appropriate Authority until such time as the appeal is resolved by the Board of Supervisors and/or the Cali­fornia Coastal Commission.


Notice shall be provided to the California Coastal Commission at the time an appeal is resolved (eg. withdrawal, rejection or decided).