What is so frivilous about expecting the Coastal Commission to respect the Constitution?


Author: Luke A. Wake

Today the Eureka (CA) Times-Standard published a letter from Gary Bird responding to criticisms of our attempt to rein in the California Coastal Commission’s insatiable appetite for power over the lives of coastal residents. In that case, we represent the Citizens for a Better Eureka; they’re seeking to have a brown-field site cleaned up. But of course, the California Coastal Commission thinks it should have its nose in everything, and is blocking the clean-up efforts. Not surprisingly, Peter Douglas, Executive Director of the Coastal Commission, called our suit "frivolous."

Damien Schiff, lead attorney on the case, responded saying, "Director Douglas' comments…confirm what people have known all along about the Coastal Commission: It is a government agency that views any limitation on its power as a threat, and that lets nothing stand in the way of flexing its bureaucratic muscle–not the environment, and certainly not the best interests of the citizens of Eureka."

Evidently, controversy continues to brew in Eureka, where Neal Latt, spokesperson for Citizens for Real Economic Growth, continues to echo Peter Douglas' claim that the suit is frivolous. Bird’s letter to the editor responds to Latt's recent comments and explains the importance of reining in the Commission’s power and standing firm against its expansion. For one, the Commission’s over-regulation in the coastal zone has raised the cost of doing business for all coastal residents. In this case, the Commission’s thirst for power is actually impeding environmental recovery efforts. So how is the lawsuit frivolous? And what is ridiculous about holding the Coastal Commission to its Constitutional limitations?