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Proposed Local Coastal Plan Update

The Local Coastal Plan Update includes updated maps and focused policy in the areas of public access, water resources, geologic hazards, biological resources, and sea level rise. The Public Review Draft of the Local Coastal Plan was prepared based on public and agency input on the Preliminary Draft in 2015.

Topic-Based Workshop Series

Permit Sonoma is organizing a series of topic-specific workshops to provide information and solicit feedback on areas of particular interest in the Local Coastal Plan update. Past workshops included Climate Change Adaptation, Housing, and Wildfire and Emergency Services. 

Next Workshop: Natural Resources and Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area Mapping, Friday, March 5, 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM

In accordance with Executive Orders N-33-20 and N-29-20, this workshop will be conducted via videoconference only.

Future Topic Workshops

Webinar information will be posted before each workshop.  

  • TBD: Pesticide Regulations
  • TBD: Vacation Rentals

New Documents


The purpose of this Local Coastal Plan Update is to revise the LCP to reflect policies related to coastal development that were adopted by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in General Plan 2020. In addition, this LCP Update adds new information and policy in the following areas: sea level rise (2100 planning horizon), biotic resources, geologic hazards, water quality, and public access.

The goal of the update is to produce a modern, up-to-date, and easy-to-use document with digital maps. The Update focuses on new information, changed conditions, and policies in these key areas:

  • Agricultural Resources
  • Public Access
  • Sea Level Rise
  • Biotic Resources
  • Geologic Hazards
  • Water Quality

The intent of the Local Coastal Plan Update is not to encourage new or increased development. The current Local Coastal Plan meets the goals of the California Coastal Act to preserve coastal resources, and this Update continues the existing protections.

What is a Local Coastal Program?

Find Out More

Public Process and Next Steps

Comments are appreciated by February 17, 2020 to assist staff in the development of the Planning Commission Draft.
Public comments will continue to be accepted and incorporated throughout the public process.

From the beginning of the County’s Local Coastal Program, there has been strong citizen participation. The County welcomes and encourages continued public participation in the Local Coastal Program update process. Permit Sonoma staff and consultants are now in the process of updating the Local Coastal Plan, with multiple opportunities for public comment.

The Preliminary Draft Local Coastal Plan (LCP) was published in June 2015, and five public workshops were held during the summer of 2015. The Public Review Draft is available for review with public workshops to introduce the plan scheduled to begin fall 2019 and extend into January 2020. Public hearings will be scheduled before the Planning Commission, Board of Supervisors, and California Coastal Commission. 

Our Local Coastal Plan History

1980 Local Coastal Plan

The process of preparing the Sonoma County Local Coastal Plan (LCP) began in 1978, and from the beginning included strong citizen participation. The Draft LCP was completed and adopted by the Board of Supervisors in May 1980, certified by the Coastal Commission in December 1980, and became effective in January 1981.

However, adoption and certification of The Sea Ranch portion of the LCP was deferred due to disagreement about public access and pending litigation between the developer Oceanic and the Coastal Commission. Following resolution of these issues with a settlement agreement, the County developed the Land Use Plan for The Sea Ranch. In 1982 the Coastal Commission certified The Sea Ranch portion of the LCP and the LCP implementation plan that included the Administrative Manual and the Coastal Zoning Ordinance.

1989 General Plan & Local Coastal Plan

In 1989 the County adopted a new General Plan, which directed the County to update and revise the Local Coastal Plan to be consistent with the new General Plan. In 1993, 1995, 1999, and 2001 the Coastal Commission certified amendments to the LCP, which adopted technical changes to ensure consistency with the General Plan.

2008 General Plan & Local Coastal Plan

In 2001 the County started revising and updating the 1989 General Plan and simultaneously the Local Coastal Plan. The County adopted Sonoma County General Plan 2020 on September 23, 2008. Accordingly, the Local Coastal Plan Update incorporates applicable General Plan 2020 goals, objectives, and policies; and includes objectives and policies unique to the Coastal Zone and the larger Sonoma Coast/Gualala Basin Planning Area.

Coastal Zone

Local Coastal ZoneView full size map (PDF: 746 kB)