Monday, February 22, 2010
Stoker criticizes California Coastal Commission for actions on Goleta Beach Plan

Assembly candidate calls for legislation to remove their jurisdiction over cities and counties with certified Coastal Plans

Date: 2/19/10
(Santa Barbara, CA) - On Tuesday night Santa Barbara County held a workshop to discuss their new Goleta Beach Plan 2.0, generated in response to last July's denial by the California Coastal Commission of a Goleta Beach Plan that had been unanimously approved by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, had taken more than 3 years to develop and cost taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars to generate.

During the Coastal Commission hearings Mike Stoker stood behind the county and recommended immediate approval to assure Goleta Beach would not suffer significant erosion during this winter while his two opponents Das Williams and Susan Jordan took the side of the un-elected and unaccountable California Coastal Commission.

Mr. Stoker on Thursday blasted the Coastal Commission and called for legislation to take their jurisdiction away from deciding any city or county issues where that city or county already has a certified Coastal Plan.

"The California Coastal Commission has become one of the most draconian, out of touch state agencies in California," said Mr. Stoker. "They have established a consistent record of ignoring the pleas of local government in rejecting environmentally balanced plans supported by locally elected officials. In the past they have rejected plans for Oxnard, Ventura Beach, Toro Canyon (Montecito) and most recently the County of Santa Barbara's plan for Goleta Beach. Now their rejection of the Goleta Beach Plan has caused the County to submit a new plan that will take away the parking at the beach, require visitors to use a shuttle bus to gain access and will cost the county at least ten million dollars more than the original plan - all for a County that already has a certified Coastal Plan that the County must follow. Enough is enough. The time has come to strip the Commission of their jurisdiction over cities and counties with certified Coastal Plans. As the Assemblyman for the 35th Assembly District I intend to author legislation doing precisely that next January.

As for his opponents, Stoker said, "This is a good opportunity to show bi-partisan support for our local cities and counties. I ask Mr. Williams and Ms. Jordan to join me and pledge to author the same legislation should they be elected to the Assembly." However, Stoker noted, "Thus far neither Mr. Williams or Ms. Jordan have been willing to take a stand against Coastal Commission. But who understands Goleta Beach better: the Goleta City Council and the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors or a political appointees who lives 300 miles away?”

Stoker also said his proposal would help existing cities and counties who have submitted coastal plans and are waiting commission certification of their plan.

Stoker concluded, "Many cities and counties are waiting for coastal plans they have submitted to be certified. In some cases, plans have been with staff for over 3 years with the excuse being they don't have the time or resources to get the plans reviewed and certified. If my proposal were to be enacted, all the time the staff currently spends rejecting locally approved plans, proposals and projects from cities and counties with certified coastal plans would be freed up to help get all the pending coastal plans certified."

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