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Why the Coastal Commission is holding the cards over Arana
Dear Street Smarts, Q: Why does the Coastal Commission believe it has jurisdiction (over the Arana Gulch Master Plan)? The proposed path is more than the statutory distance of 100 feet from the ocean or one of its lagoons? Gene Shklar via email A: The Coastal Commission’s jurisdiction covers an area larger than Rhode Island, according to its Web site. Over water, the coastal zone makes up a three-mile wide band of ocean. And by land, it’s jurisdiction width varies between several hundred feet in urban areas to five miles in some rural places. At Arana, “a significant portion of the proposed Arana Gulch Master Plan is located within the Coastal Zone,” said the city’s Mike Ferry. “The Coastal Commission retained coastal permitting authority in the Arana Creek riparian area and the associated woodlands, as well as the Hagemann Gulch area. Some of the improvements proposed in the (plan) are located in these areas.” The Arana Gulch Master Plan is located within the city of Santa Cruz; however, portions of the plan extend into property owned by the Port District, as well as by the county, he said. While the commission’s reach is broad, it doesn’t have a say in everything that happens along California’s coast. Development in and around the San Francisco Bay is regulated by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission.
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