planning local coastal

The County of Ventura is completing a series of amendments to the Local Coastal Program (LCP), which is the document that defines the County’s goals, policies, programs, and land use regulations for the coastal zone. The focus of this update is to achieve conformance with state and federal laws and with current County and California Coastal Commission standards. Local Coastal Program updates require approval by the Board of Supervisors and the California Coastal Commission before they become effective. All work through the end of 2016 was funded through a federal grant from the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP).

This webpage includes updates to the Local Coastal Program amendment process, which can be accessed by clicking on the following links:

  1. Introduction
  2. What’s New
  3. Upcoming Events
  4. Existing Local Coastal Program
  5. LCP Maps

Three of the four sets of amendments (Phase 1, Phase 2A and Phase 2B) are complete and are now incorporated into the Existing Local Coastal Program, while the fourth set of amendments (Phase 2C) is an active project within the Planning Division. Listed below is a brief description of the series of Local Coastal Program amendments:

  • Phase 1 - The Phase 1 amendment package was certified by the California Coastal Commission in February 2013. It included amendments to the Coastal Zoning Ordinance (CZO) that address regulatory clarifications and minor policy changes that bring the Coastal Zoning Ordinance into conformance with current state and federal standards, allow for more efficient processing of coastal development permits, and acknowledge technological changes that occurred since the Coastal Zoning Ordinance was originally adopted in the 1980s.

  • Phase 2A - The Phase 2A amendment package included policy modifications to the Coastal Area Plan (CAP) and Coastal Zoning Ordinance in seven topic areas: archaeological and paleontological resources, filming, parking, public noticing, signs, tree protection and water efficient landscaping. Also, improvements to the Coastal Area Plan included an update of the Summary of Coastal Act Policies. The Phase 2A amendment package was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on June 21, 2016 and it was conditionally certified by the Coastal Commission on December 8, 2016 with modifications. On March 14, 2017, the Board of Supervisors approved the Coastal Commission’s suggested modifications, and on May 11, 2017 the Coastal Commission completed the certification process. The Phase 2A amendments to the Local Coastal Program became effective on June 1, 2017.

  • Phase 2B - The Phase 2B amendment package included three topics: Coastal Trail, Wireless Communication Facilities, and Civil and Administrative Penalties. Phase 2B also included organizational and formatting improvements to the Coastal Area Plan. The Phase 2B amendment package was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on December 6, 2016 and it was conditionally certified by the Coastal Commission on March 9, 2017 with modifications. On April 25, 2017 the Board of Supervisors approved the Coastal Commission’s suggested modifications, and on June 7, 2017 the Coastal Commission completed the certification process. The Phase 2B amendments to the Local Coastal Program became effective on July 1, 2017.

  • Phase 2C - The Phase 2C amendment package is focused on one topic: Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas, or ESHA. Also included are minor amendments to remove an obsolete zone (Harbor Planned Development). Phase 2C is an active project that is currently under development within the Planning Division. For more information on Phase 2C amendments to the Local Coastal Program, see the What’s New section below.

A separate project, funded through a Local Coastal Program Local Assistance Grant from the California Coastal Commission and the California Coastal Conservancy, is being conducted to draft regulatory and adaptive strategies in response to sea-level rise hazards. For more information on that program, see a separate web page on the Planning Division website titled “VC Resilient Coastal Adaptation Project”.


Introduction

Land use development in the Coastal Zone (click here for map links) is governed by the terms and conditions of the Ventura County Local Coastal Program (LCP) which consists of the Coastal Area Plan (CAP), the Coastal Zoning Ordinance (CZO), and two Categorical Exclusion Orders – all of which are subject to the Coastal Act (Pub. Res. Code § 30000 et seq.) and corresponding Coastal Regulations (14 Cal. Code of Regs. § 13000 et seq.).

Since it was first enacted in 1983, amendments were made to the Coastal Zoning Ordinance to address specific land use policy issues (e.g. second dwelling units and camps). For example, the Board adopted new policies/standards for reasonable accommodation as a part of the Housing Element in 2011 (Coastal Act § 30510 et seq.).

The Categorical Exclusion Order was incorporated into the Coastal Zoning Ordinance in 1987. The Categorical Exclusion Order is a legislative action enacted by the Coastal Commission in accordance with § 30610 of the Coastal Act. It exempts certain categories of development from Coastal Development Permit requirements because they have no possibility of causing environmental impacts. The Categorical Exclusion Order supersedes the County’s Coastal Zoning Ordinance, which means that the regulations enacted by the order apply regardless of whether or not they are integrated in the local zoning ordinance.

Amendments to the Local Coastal Program require an extensive process, including multiple opportunities for public input. First, the amendments must be prepared and approved by the local jurisdiction. As part of its approval process, the local government adopts a resolution stating that the amendment will become effective automatically upon certification by the Coastal Commission. Next, the ordinance is presented to the Coastal Commission. If the ordinance is certified by the Coastal Commission, the following steps must be completed before the ordinance becomes effective:

  1. The local government must complete any required follow-up actions.
  2. The Executive Director of the Coastal Commission must determine, in writing, that these actions are legally adequate.
  3. The Coastal Commission must concur with the Executive Director’s determination.

What’s New?

Phase 2C amendments to the Local Coastal Program are focused on modifications to the Coastal Area Plan and Coastal Zoning Ordinance to address Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas, or ESHA. The County’s regulations date from the 1980s, when the Local Coastal Program was first enacted. An updated set of policies and standards is needed to bring the County’s regulations into conformance with federal, state and local standards. The Phase 2C amendments include updated definitions/standards for ESHA in the Santa Monica Mountains, based in part on the more recently adopted standards for the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles County. In addition to ESHA, Phase 2C includes minor amendments to remove the Harbor Planned Development (HPD) zone from the Coastal Zoning Ordinance, as the zone is no longer used in the County.

The documents associated with Phase 2C were posted on April 30, 2018 and the public comment period for the draft documents extended through June 1, 2018 (until 5 p.m.). The public outreach program included a series of three community meetings held the week of May 7 through 11, 2018 (see below). Scheduled meeting dates/times are posted on this webpage and our list of interested parties for the coastal zone were notified via email or other media. Also, the proposed amendments were presented to the Agricultural Policy and Advisory Committee on July 11, 2018, where feedback was provided but no action was taken. Documents made available during the public outreach process included the following:

Public Hearing Documents for Planning Commission (8/23/2018)

Draft Documents for Public Outreach Meetings held in May 2018


Upcoming Events

Phase 2C ESHA amendments are scheduled to be heard by the Planning Commission on August 23, 2018. The Planning Commission Agenda and documents will be made available by Friday, August 17, 2018 on the Planning Commission Hearings webpage HERE.

Public Meetings (Phase 2C, ESHA)

Group

Date and Time

Location

Planning Commission

Thursday
August 23, 2018
8:30 AM

800 S. Victoria Avenue
Board of Supervisors’ Hearing Room
Hall of Administration – Government Center
Ventura, CA 93009

Board of Supervisors
(Tentative)

Tuesday
December 4, 2018
1:30 PM

800 S. Victoria Avenue
Board of Supervisors’ Hearing Room
Hall of Administration – Government Center
Ventura, CA 93009

Coastal Commission Certification Hearing

TBD

TBD

After the Planning Commission public hearing on August 23, 2018, the Phase 2C amendments will be reviewed by the Board of Supervisors. That hearing is tentatively scheduled for December 4, 2018. After the Board of Supervisors acts on the proposed amendments, the ordinance does not become effective until the document is certified by the California Coastal Commission. There currently is no estimate for when the Coastal Commission’s certification hearing might take place.Questions on Phase 2C amendments (ESHA) may be directed to the following project planners:

  • Abigail Convery, Planning Staff Biologist at (805) 654-2489 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Rosemary Rowan, Senior Consulting Planner, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Linda Blackbern, Senior Planner at (805) 654-3327 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Get Information and Updates

Subscribe here to the VC Local Coastal Program Update list and receive notifications about the project.

Existing Local Coastal Plan

See the existing Ventura County Planning documents for the LCP here:


Coastal Maps

Please check back to this website to find the latest information.