A new and better plan to protect Santa Monica Mountains
The California Coastal Commission voted at a heavily attended public meeting on April 11 to protect the Santa Monica Mountains from overdevelopment by unanimously certifying the Los Angeles County Local Coastal Plan (LCP). L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and his staff were instrumental in formulating and refining this plan, which has been on the drawing board for almost three decades.
This plan represents a significant improvement of current guidelines and sets a new and lasting standard for environmental protection of sensitive habitats in the Santa Monica Mountains. More than 50% of the plan area is designated public parkland or open space. The plan area extends inland from the shoreline for approximately 5 miles and encompasses some 50,000 acres.
This wide-ranging document reinforces the mission of the Sierra Club to support the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area as a great natural, cultural, and recreational resource and to strongly protect and preserve the precious resources it contains.
Some key points of the Los Angeles County Local Coastal Plan:
1. Resource protection has priority over development.
2. Prohibits development in the most sensitive habitat areas.
3. Gives high levels of protection for water quality.
4. Stricter control against the spread of invasive species.
5. Restrictions on development in critical view shed areas.
6. Bans development on all significant ridgelines.
7. Lowers zoning densities.
8. Saves oaks and native woodlands.
It will take a few more months to finalize and receive Coastal Commission support on the details of implementation. The completed plan will then be given a final vote by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.