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California State Coastal Zone Land Use Assessment Overview (13-CA-a)

Information current as of 2019
In California, a developer may need to obtain a multiple state coastal land permits for projects that have the potential to impact state coastal zones. California Coastal Act. A developer may need to obtain Coastal Development Permit from the California Coastal Commission, the California Energy Commission, or local governing body. A developer may also need to comply with the federal consistency provisions of the Coastal Zone Management Act.

State Coastal Zone Land Use Assessment Overview Process

13-CA-a.1 to 13-CA-a.2 – Is the Project Located in or Likely to Affect a State Coastal Zone?

A developer may need to a Coastal Development Permit from the California Coastal Commission (CCC), the California Energy Commission (CEC), or a local governing body. The CCC is the primary governing agency for coastal zones. The CCC shares management responsibility of coastal land with local city or county governments. Local cities and counties located in coastal areas have prepared local coastal programs that set out the allowable uses for the land. The local coastal programs must align with the CCC’s mission to protect, conserve, restore, and enhance environmental and human-based resources of the coast and ocean. Once a local authority has established a coastal program that the CCC approves and certifies, development-permitting authority is delegated to the local government. The CCC retains original permit jurisdiction over certain specified lands such as tidelands and public trust lands. No development within the coastal zone may proceed until the CCC or local government issues a Coastal Development Permit. Cal. Pub. Res. Code § 30330. In certain cases project development may fall under the jurisdiction of the CEC. For more information, see:

Coastal Development Permit:

13-CA-a.3 to 13-CA-a.5 – Is the Project a Federal Activity or Federal Development Project, or Does the Project Require Any Federal Licenses or Permits

Any federal agency activity or federal development project, taking place within or outside of a coastal zone, that will affect the land or water uses of a California coastal zone, must meet the requirements of the federal consistency provisions of the Coastal Zone Management Act. For more information, see:

A federal agency activity is any function performed by or on behalf of a federal agency in exercise of its statutory responsibilities. This includes rulemaking, planning, physical alteration, and exclusion of uses. Federal agency activities do not include issuing a federal license or permit to an applicant or person. However, a proposed project in a coastal area requiring a permit or a license from a federal agency (i.e., a right-of-way, a development permit, etc.) will need to apply to the CCC for consistency certification. 15 CFR § 930.31(a). For more information, see:

Coastal Zone Consistency Certification:

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Contact Information

Edit California Energy Commission
Renewable Portfolio Standard Contact Visit Website

Edit California Coastal Commission
California Coastal Commission 415-904-5400 Visit Website