The Santa Monica Mountains Local Coastal Program (LCP) was recently adopted by the California Coastal Commission on April 10 2014 . The LCP program was the first step to protect the coastal Santa Monica Mountains from uncontrolled development and maintain the mountains as a valuable resource for all who live and work in Los Angeles County. (Excluded from the program are Pepperdine University and the City of Malibu.) The next step is a Land Use Plan Amendment that will go through the typical review process before being presented for adoption by the County. The SCRA had reviewed the LCP program and the Coastal Committee staff report therefore was in full agreement with the LCP program. Outlined below are the program’s top 15 environmental benefits.
Top 15 Environmental Benefits
- A vision for the future of the 52,000-acre Santa Monica Mountains Coastal Zone. More than half this area is publicly owned as part of the National Recreation Area. The plan amendment will ensure the remaining areas are developed in a way that is compatible with this national environmental resource.
- The amendment will reduce the amount of grading that can be performed without environmental review from 100,000 cubic yards today to 50 cubic yards under the LCP.
- The amendment prohibits non-resource-dependent development in the most sensitive habitat areas (H1 Habitat), and provides a 100-foot buffer beyond this area to further conserve the resource.
- Provide a guarantees of a minimum of $2 million of additional County funding to help acquire key habitat in the Santa Monica Mountains Coastal Zone.
- Imposes new standards meant to preserve and enhance coastal resources by banning anti-coagulant rodenticides, and working toward a “Poison-Free Santa Monica Mountains.”
- Limit the length of new access roads to avoid carving up sensitive habitat.
- Prohibit new vineyard areas anywhere in the Santa Monica Mountains and apply best management practices retroactively on existing vineyard operations.
- Ensure that illegally-created parcels and other illegal activity cannot be used to surreptitiously increase development rights in the Santa Monica Mountains Coastal Zone. Prohibits development on all mapped significant ridgelines, and requires that development be sited below all other ridge lines wherever feasible.
- Require the use of split-level pads to reduce grading in hillside areas.
- Enact strict limits on night lighting to preserve dark sky views.
- Allows for low-impact gardens, home occupations such as jam making, and Farmers’ Markets to provide increased access to locally-sourced food.
- Prohibits the alteration and armoring of natural streams.
- Prohibits the net increase in the number of develop-able lots in the Coastal Zone.
- Requires that native trees, including oaks, sycamores, black walnuts, and bay, be protected, and requires that oak woodlands be maintained.