Before we can get a hearing scheduled with California Coastal Commission to approve our project we must first satisfy all of their submittal requirements for them to deem our package complete. Over the last few months we’ve been going back and forth with them adding additional items to the package and I believe at this point we are down to the last few things they are looking for. Some of the additional items that we are just about to submit are:

  • A revised grading plan – Due to the fact that the Coastal Commission has determined that our land is considered ESHA (Environmentally Sensitive Habitat) their guideline is to limit the proposed development area to 10,000 sq ft…ours was a bit over that number. (The Commission defines the development area as including the building pad and all graded slopes, all structures, and parking areas, but not the area of one access driveway or roadway and one hammerhead safety turnaround, as required by the Los Angeles County Fire Department.)
  • A Full Biological Study – we had originally thought that the work our Landscape Designer/Coastal Resource specialist, Marny Randall had done would satisfy the Coastal Commissions need for a bio study, but after further consideration the Commission decided that they wanted us to do a full biological study by a qualified biologist. If anyone’s curious what’s entailed in a full Bio Study you can have a look at the Commission guidelines.
  • Alternatives Analysis – Coastal wanted a more detailed analysis of site alternatives that would reduce the amount of grading on the slopes off the pre-existing pad.

At this point I can’t imagine that they would ask for anything more…we should be submitting this last bit by the end of next week and hopefully getting a date for our Commission hearing!!

*** Tip…if you are considering building in an area that is subject to the California Coastal Commission be aware that the Commission is constantly revising their requirements and policies. Keeping up to date with these requirements and policies can save you a lot of time and money. In the last few years since we’ve purchased our property the Coastal Commission has added: new ridgeline restrictions, Habitat Impact Mitigation Fees, requirements for full Biological studies, etc.

One great way to keep up to date with their current requirements it to check out their website. Just find your district and have a read through a few current applications…they are in PDF format here: http://www.coastal.ca.gov/mtgcurr.html