Some thoughts on the fight at the CA Coastal Commission

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There’s a big fight brewing on the California Coastal Commission.

In a nutshell: The Coastal Commission board, which includes a lot of relatively pro-development members appointed by Governor Brown, is in the midst of throwing out the current director, mostly because he’s insufficiently pro-development.

The usual suspects, mostly environmental groups, are all up in arms. They argue that CA voters created the CC to protect the shoreline from development and that anyone seeking to make the CC more development-friendly risks a firestorm of public disapproval.

Now, I’m strongly in favor of the basic concept underlying the CC… the idea that the shoreline ought to be kept accessible to the public. Public access to the beach is part of the CA birthright.

But the CC does a lot more than keep the paths to the beaches open. It creates all kinds of roadblocks to development, even miles from the beach.

At a time when we’re in a severe housing crisis, it makes zero sense to me to have the CC delaying / denying projects that create housing well away from the coast. And, based on what I’ve read, the governor’s appointees to the CC board agree, and that’s why they’re canning the director.

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