If your project requires a Coastal Development Permit, you will need to apply for a Level 4 or Level 5 Review. Level 4 involves public notice, and Level 5 involves a public hearing before the Zoning Administrator. (See the brochures Level 3 and 4 Administrative Permits and Zoning Administrator Development Permits.) Residents of property within 100 feet of the project site, as well as owners of property within 300 feet, will be notified of the project and public hearing.
Coastal Permits associated with fire recovery will be expedited as much as regulations allow.
Required Findings for Approval
Every Coastal development project must meet the design criteria and use standards of the particular zone district and Local Coastal Land Use Plan. It must also meet the Coastal Zone Design Criteria. These standards call for a harmonious appearance, minimum grading and tree-cutting, suitable landscaping, and the avoidance of ridgetops. (See County Code Section 13.20.130).
The decision on the permit may be appealed by anyone who feels their interests have been affected. See the Planning Appeals page for more information.
If the project is located within the Appeal Jurisdiction, an approval may also be appealed to the California Coastal Commission, based on one of the five specific grounds regarding access, public view protection, land use compatibility, natural landforms, and erosion. These appear in Section 13.20.122 of the Santa Cruz County Code. Denials may not be appealed to the Coastal Commission.
What is the Appeal Jurisdiction?
Official County approvals on certain types of projects, and on projects in certain locations, may be appealed to the California Coastal Commission. These projects include development which:
- is located between the sea and the nearest through public road.
- is located within 300 feet of a beach, high-tide line, or coastal bluff top.
- is located within 100 feet of any stream, estuary, or wetland in the Coastal Zone.
- proposes a use that is not a principal permitted use in the zone district.
These areas are shown on the Coastal Zone GIS maps as Appeal Jurisdictions.