By Eric Heinz

The comprehensive law the city is putting together for coastal land use may give property owners along the shoreline some alternatives to protecting their homes.

The city of San Clemente hosted a Coastal Land Use Plan (CLUP) and Implementation Plan meeting on May 22 at the San Clemente Community Center.
These plans would give the city more authority to issue permits within the city’s portion of the California coastal zone without having to go through the process overseen by the California Coastal Commission (CCC), effectively expediting the process.

People who own homes in the coastal zone, particularly right against the coast, have been fighting a provision in the city’s coastal plans since 2015, when the plans were in their infancy, that states people who develop or alter more than 50 percent of their homes that were built after 1977 would not be able to provide protection to those structures. The 1977 date was set as the year the Coastal Act was adopted.

There’s also the provision that would require the city to find more areas of beach access, which people in private neighborhoods such as Cyprus Shores have protested. City officials at the May 22 meeting said San Clemente already provides 15 different areas of beach access. Whether that will be a factor in the new coastal plans remains to be seen.

The city’s Coastal Land Use Plan was already accepted by the CCC, but the commission returned the document to the city with some suggested modifications; however, the city either has to accept or reject the land use plan in its entirety.

But, the implementation plan still has more than a year before it is expected to be completed, and that 1977 cutoff date is attached to that portion of the city’s coastal plans. That year could be changed if the city decides to do so.

For people who have individual questions about the Coastal Land Use Plan and Implementation Plan, call Cecilia Gallardo-Daly, the city’s community development director, at 949.361.6106 or or visit and search for Local Coastal Program. The city will consider the CLUP for adoption at its Tuesday, June 12 meeting.

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