California Coastal Commission responds to marathon controversy

Sonoma Coast Marathon CDP Requirements


Hello All, 

We have been asked for our opinion regarding the coastal development permitting (CDP) requirements associated with the proposed Sonoma Coast Marathon. As we have previously informed Sonoma County PRMD and Board of Supervisor staff, and based on the information we have been provided and our current understandings, it is clear to us that the proposed race activities constitute development under the Coastal Act and the LCP, and therefore the Marathon requires a CDP from Sonoma County. If approved by the County, such CDP approval action would be appealable to the Coastal Commission due to its location, but a County denial action on a CDP would not be appealable.

It is also possible that very limited areas of the race might be located within the Commission’s retained CDP jurisdiction (e.g., potentially at certain Highway 1 stream crossings), but there has not yet been a formal boundary determination through the Coastal Commission’s mapping department. If that is the case, the race applicants would also need to apply for a separate CDP from the Commission for any such portions of the proposed event. Any such CDP application to the Commission would not be processed unless and until the applicants have received all local approvals from the County (and would not be accepted for filing if the County were not to grant it local approvals).

With respect to the potential for the race to qualify as a CDP-exempt temporary event pursuant to the Coastal Commission’s guidelines, the Executive Director has determined that the race has the potential for significant adverse impacts on coastal resources, including public access, that it does not qualify for a temporary event CDP exclusion, and that a CDP is required. 

I hope the foregoing helps to clarify the CDP requirements associated with the proposed Sonoma Cost Marathon. Feel free to contact me should you have any questions.

Thank you,

Jeannine Manna

District Manager

North Central Coast District

California Coastal Commission