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Bill Aims to Limit Coastal Commission Powers

A state senate bill seeks to limit the power of the California Coastal Commission . San Diego State Senator Denise Ducheny's bill would remove the right of coastal commissioners to appeal local land use decisions. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce explains.

The state coastal commission decides whether proposed coastal projects restrict access or would hurt the environment. Under current law, two members of the 12-member commission are allowed to appeal local land use decisions that affect the coastal zone. Senator Ducheny wants to change that process.
Ducheny: It's just awkward. I don't know of any other quasi-judicial body or any other agency or court that has the ability to appeal to themselves.
She says if commissioners have a concern they should get involved during the permit process, not appeal later. But commission staffers say if left only to the public to appeal, many bad decisions would slip through.

The Sierra Club and other environmental groups oppose the legislation. They say there's no way the public can track thousands of projects along the coast in 115 cities and 15 coastal counties.

The bill gets a committee hearing Tuesday morning in Sacramento.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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