The California Coastal Act established a framework for guiding development and preserving sensitive resources in the Coastal Zone. This Act requires each local government lying within the Coastal Zone to prepare a “Local Coastal Program” for that portion of the Coastal Zone within its jurisdiction.
Each jurisdiction is responsible for developing a Local Coastal Program (LCP), which brings local government plans and regulations, as well as those of all public agencies, into conformance with Coastal Act policies. The planning tools are used by local governments to guide development in the Coastal Zone, in partnership with the California Coastal Commission. LCPs contain the ground rules for future development and protection of coastal resources. The LCPs specify the appropriate type, location, and scale of uses of land and water and applicable resource protection and development policies. The Coastal Act requires that LCPs be reviewed and updated every five years.
Each LCP includes a “Land Use Plan” (LUP) and an “Implementation Plan” (IP) setting forth measures to implement the plan (such as Chapter 26C Coastal Zoning Code). Prepared by local government, these programs govern decisions that determine the short-term and long-term conservation and use of coastal resources. While each LCP reflects unique characteristics of individual local coastal communities, regional and statewide interests and concerns must also be addressed in conformity with Coastal Act goals and policies. Following adoption by a city council or county Board of Supervisors, an LCP is submitted to the Coastal Commission for review for consistency with Coastal Act requirements.
This Local Coastal Plan is the “Land Use Plan”, and the Coastal Zoning Ordinance is the “Implementation Plan” of the Sonoma County Local Coastal Program.