Countdown to Coastal – Join us April 10 in Santa Barbara to Support our LCP!

Carpool with the Federation to the Coastal Commission hearing this Thursday, April 10, to SUPPORT our Santa Monica Mountains Local Coastal Program!  If you would like a ride email us at

 Start time: 8:30 a.m.

Meeting location: Hyatt Santa Barbara, 1111 East Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara  93103 

LVHF letter of SUPPORT to CCC:

Re: SUPPORT – Agenda Item No. Th 17a and 17b – Santa Monica Mountains LCP

Honorable Commissioners:

The Las Virgenes Homeowners Federation, representing almost 10,000 homeowners, property owners, and horse owners in the Santa Monica Mountains, voted unanimously to support the proposed Santa Monica Mountains Land Use Plan (LUP). We respectfully request your approval, without further delay, on April 10, 2014.

For more than seven years, we have been working with the county to bring balance, consistency and predictability to all stakeholders within the Coastal Zone. This Local Coastal Program (LCP) reflects those efforts.

As your staff notes, this LCP locks in critical resource protections of the Santa Monica Mountains; it safeguards the unique character of our mountain communities; it ensures horse owners in our LCP communities of Topanga, Monte Nido, Cold Creek and Malibou Lake can thrive; and, it greatly enhances recreational benefits and public access for everyone –including trail, parkland and scenic route preservation. In addition, we are grateful that the LCP will preserve our most sensitive, highest value habitat by codifying standards and requiring that development be sited in less environmentally damaging areas.

As local residents, it is critical for us—and envisioned by the Coastal Act—that our local government have permitting authority for basic land use matters. In the Santa Monica Mountains, this return of authority is decades overdue.

The Santa Monica Mountains are a rugged, beautiful, natural landscape – a scenic resource of national and regional significance. The LCP protects the public’s interest by ensuring new development adheres to scenic resource policies and standards.

The LCP enacts strict development standards to protect coastal resources, including:

  • Preserving the most sensitive habitat types from all non-resource dependent development;
  • Prohibiting development on all mapped significant ridgelines, and requiring that development must be sited below all other ridgelines wherever feasible;
  • Enacting strict limits on signage and night lighting;
  • Prohibiting the alteration and armoring of natural streams; and,
  • Prohibiting the creation of any net new developable lots in the Coastal Zone.

It is representative of a remarkable collaboration for the first time between County planning staff and the California Coastal Commission staff. The LCP is a brilliantly written document that respects all stakeholders’ interests.

We strongly support your staff’s recommendation to certify the LUP with one exception. We respectfully request the Commission restore CO-12 (Suggested Modification 3) in order to allow our community horse owners to come into compliance with modern water quality standards. Coastal staff clearly state in their staff report, that, “as a whole, the LUP is, on balance more protective of coastal resources as required by Coastal Action Sections 30240 & 30250.” To remove this single element – a grandfathering clause – therefore seems unnecessary and upsets the balance that has been so carefully achieved, to protect our most sensitive environmental resource areas first and foremost overall. The CO-12 provision represents a creative way to bring immediate improvements to water quality, and to ensure that our Las Virgenes Homeowners community of the Santa Monica Mountains remains as a cohesive whole.

We urge you to approve the Santa Monica Mountains Land Use Plan on April 10.