The Orange County Register: Want due process? Don’t look to the California Coastal Commission

February 28, 2022

At 76-years-old and now confined to a wheelchair, David Tibbitts has long dreamed of a much-deserved retirement in a home along the California coast. He had run a successful company with his wife, Stephanie, and after years of saving, they finally hoped to enjoy their Golden Years. But that dream has turned into a nightmare … ...

Daily Journal: Challenge to Coastal Commission action may head to US high court

February 15, 2022

This is the story of a California couple caught in the cross-hairs of environmental bureaucracy bent on revenge for the crime of standing up to the state’s attempt to help people fall off a cliff. The revenge has taken its toll: a fine of over $4 million imposed in a hearing with procedures that would … ...

Stephanie Heigel-Tibbitts v. California Coastal Commission

December 10, 2021

PLF has challenged CCC actions for decades and has several lawsuits in progress, and with PLF’s help, the Tibbittses fought back. Here, PLF filed a lawsuit and asked the state court simply to force the CCC to hold a hearing to make a decision on the permit. Just prompting a hearing will set a precedent for coastal property owners to defend th ...

How the California Coastal Commission is hurting Californian home buyers and renters

January 12, 2021

The private vs. public beach debate is often characterized as debate on social justice. The logic is that blocked public beach access disproportionally hurts the poor who cannot afford to live in beachfront homes. In California, this is where the heroic California Coastal Commission enters: to protect the rights of such disadvantaged groups against ...

Daily Journal: The California Coastal Commission attempts to claim authority over local building permits

January 04, 2021

The California Coastal Act of 1976 created a new state agency, the California Coastal Commission, and granted it tremendous authority over development along California’s coastline. But the act also gave local governments a powerful tool to gain back some control — local governments are allowed to submit a local coastal program to the commis ...

Adamski v. California Coastal Commission

September 09, 2020

When Chris Adamski, a Monterey County, California contractor, and his longtime mentor and friend Mike Pietro bought four properties in the county’s Carmel Point neighborhood in 2014, they planned to develop two houses to sell, and then build one house for each of them—Chris for his large family, and Mike for retirement. The California Coast ...

Wall v. Cal. Coastal Commission

July 23, 2019

In 2018, the Wall family wanted to build a swimming pool next to their home on their property in Hollister Ranch, California. Like all land owners within the 14,500-acre, century-old working cattle ranch, the Walls needed a permit. Santa Barbara County approved the project; however, the California Coastal Commission denied the permit. The Commissio ...

Warren Lent v. California Coastal Commission

February 15, 2019

In 2016, the Lents received the California Coastal Commission’s first ever fine—$4.185 million—for blocking public access to the beach. The home sits 20 feet above the beach and, without stairs or a ramp, the public cannot safely get to the beach. The property originally included an outdoor stairway and a gate to block the large drop—bo ...

California Coastal Commission Certifies Marin County’s Unconstitutional Local Coastal Program

February 07, 2019

Marin County’s Local Coastal Program (LCP) is currently the subject of ongoing litigation between the estate of Willie Benedetti, represented by PLF, and the County. Yesterday, the California Coastal Commission voted to certify amendments to Marin County’s LCP over PLF’s objections, which we made in a public comment letter and re- ...

Court of appeal upholds Coastal Commission’s rejection of San Diego hotel plan

September 12, 2018

Late last week, the California Fourth District Court of Appeal issued an unpublished decision in San Diego Unified Port District v. California Coastal Commission. Reversing the trial court, the court of appeal held that the Commission correctly denied the San Diego Port District’s master plan amendment. The amendment would have changed the cu ...