5 months ago

Opposing legislative efforts to undercut homeowner protection

By Damien M. Schiff Senior Attorney

This afternoon, the Natural Resources Committee of the California Assembly will consider AB 1129 (Stone), the Coastal Commission’s most recent effort to expand its powers at the expense of coastal landowners. The bill would overturn a longstanding understanding of the Coastal Act’s regulation of sea walls and other protective devices. Currently, the Act provides that “existing” structures are generally entitled to such protection. In contrast, “new development” has a much more limited entitlement. But AB 1129 would upend this compromise by defining “existing” to mean existing in 1977, at the time of the Coastal Act’s passage. This legislative legerdemain would erase an important statutory protection that has been relied upon by thousands of coastal landowners. Last week, PLF filed a formal written opposition to the bill, and at today’s hearing I’ll continue to voice PLF’s opposition to this unfair—and unconstitutional—effort to deprive coastal landowners of their right to protect themselves and their property from natural forces.

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