Local Coastal Plan response to PD article

New Local Coastal Plan: Less protections, more loopholes 

Thanks for covering the creation of the Local Coastal Plan update that was created “behind closed doors” at the County. 

At the recent public meeting, Permit Sonoma’s planner acknowledged that numerous coastal and non-profit stakeholders were never consulted about the plan. Thus, the department missed the opportunity for expert input from other knowledgeable sources. 

Most worrisome, the new draft frequently uses loophole phraseology “principally permitted use” which allows ultimate discretion of the planners about what permits might be issued and what level of review is required. This language embeds a permanent opening for the planning department to do whatever they want or are pressured to do by development interests. This is unacceptable!

All of us should be alarmed that the current concept of “principally permitted use” specified on the Permit Sonoma’s website states that zoning designations will not be appealable to the California Coastal Commission once approved at the county level.  So, the public will have no appeal to higher authorities.

This flawed document needs to go back to the drawing board with the goal of “protection” rather  “development”.

Public input is needed now. The County is hosting public workshops and your voice is needed to protect our coast. Please see Localcoastalplan.org for upcoming dates and places.


Reuben Weinzveg,

Treasurer, Preserve Rural Sonoma County