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Resource Management Agency


Planning Services
1441 Schilling Place
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 755-5025
(831) 757-9516

Although every effort is made to provide complete and accurate information on this website and all its documents, users are advised to contact applicable County Resource Management Agency staff before making project decisions and fee estimates.

Coastal Development Permit

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Coastal Development Permit
A Coastal Development Permit is a document required by state law to permit construction of certain uses in a designated "Coastal Zone". Coastal Development permits are required to ensure that areas designated as protected coastal land are protected and to ensure that the safety, health and welfare of surrounding neighborhoods and communities are upheld.

Any project in the Coastal Zone, which requires discretionary approval will require a Coastal Permit. Discretionary approvals are those actions which require public review and approval by the Zoning Administrator, Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors and include: variances, use permits, and subdivision applications.

All projects located in a Coastal Zone which require issuance of a building permit require review by the Coastal Planning staff to determine if a Coastal Permit is required. Most development immediately adjacent to coastal waters, canals, inlets, beaches or peninsulas require a Coastal Permit.

Coastal Exemption
If a Coastal Permit is not required a Coastal Exemption is issued. The Coastal Exemption is proof that review and a decision have been rendered by authorized staff. The majority of projects in the Coastal Zone can be approved through issuance of Coastal Exemption. A Coastal Exemption is required much in the same manner as building permit.

Coastal Permit Issuance
If a determination is made to require a full review and issuance of a Coastal Permit, an application may be filed with the Department of Planning and Building Services. An appropriate number of copies of a site plan, floor plans, and elevations must accompany an application. The Department can provide you with brochures or instructions regarding what constitutes a site plan, floor plan and elevations.

After an application has been completed, plans and fees are submitted and the Zoning Administrator or Planning Commission will review the application. A notice of the request will be mailed to owners located within 300 feet of the application site.

A public hearing will be conducted to determine if the application request is compatible with approved Coastal Zone standards and to ensure that the public health, safety and welfare are protected. The application should be prepared to respond to questions raised by the Zoning Administrator or Planning Commission and members of the public may speak in favor of or against the Coastal Permit Application.

If an application is denied, the applicant may appeal the matter to the Board of Supervisors.

If an application is approved, it does not become valid or finally approved until ten days have elapsed. An appeal of an approved application may be filed during this ten-day period.

State Coastal Commission regulations require replacement of low or moderate housing that is removed from a Coastal Zone site through either demolition or conversion. To ensure that affordable housing is not depleted in the Coastal areas, a Coastal Permit will not be issued without compliance review by the County to determine that low or moderate housing has not been removed.

The fees associated with processing a Coastal Permit are shown on the Land Use Permit Fee Schedule. 

Note: The costs associated with a Coastal Permit that requires greater review and discretionary approval are higher.

In 1972, California voters approved the Coastal Conservation Act. This law recognized the public interest in the development and use of coastal areas. When the original plan expired in 1976, new legislation was adopted to require cities and counties to develop local plans for the conservation of coastal resources.

The Local Coastal Plan for the County of Monterey was written in conjunction with a citizen's advisory committee and adopted by the Board of Supervisors as part of the Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 20). Because the County of Monterey's Coastal Plan has been certified by the State of California Coastal Commission, the County is authorized to issue Coastal Permits.

Further information may be obtained by calling (831) 755-5025 between 8:30 AM and 4:30 P.M.