Coastal Commission loses bid to fine property owners

September 16, 2013

coastal commisionA bill seeking to provide the California Coastal Commission the authority to issue fines for the first time in its 37-year history failed.

The measure would have allowed the commission to fine people who block access to public beaches, destroy wetlands or build coastal homes without permits, instead of taking the violators to court.

AB976, by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, sparked a contentious debate between environmentalists looking to protect the coastline and business groups who distrust and dislike the commission’s “bureaucratic rules.”

Proponents of the bill said that while the agency investigates alleged violations, it rarely takes any action. Currently, the agency has 1,837 backlogged cases, some dating back 20 years. In the past decade, the agency has taken only four violators to court.

Opponents of the measure, led by the California Cattlemen’s Association, argued that the bill would allow commission staffers to make life miserable for farmers and property owners who want to put up fences, grade roads or make any changes to coastal land.

The bill’s demise was sealed when three Democrats, who several months earlier voted yes, abstained in the final vote because of a last-minute change in the bill. That change would have permitted the commission to collect millions in fines from property owners for minor violations.

 


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9 Comments

  1. Myself says:

    Thats the last agency we need to stuff their hands in our pockets, the people need to stand up and tell our public servents that enough is enough,apcd,carb,st board of equilazition, the list goes on we the working class get hosed everyt ime we turn around.
    Call or e-mail your representives and tell them this should, be a no vote if it comes back.

    (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
    • r0y says:

      Impossible! The working class cannot be getting hosed! They’ve been voting DEMOCRAT for over 40 years in this state, so obviously they are almost near a utopia! Plus, even the president stands up for “the middle class” and “working folks” in this country. I doubt those groups ever had it so good as they do now!

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
      • Myself says:

        I didn’t think Democrats and working class were the same.

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. racket says:

    No checks, no balances, no way.

    (15) 17 Total Votes - 16 up - 1 down
  3. Jorge Estrada says:

    The last thing we need is a political body with the legal right to fine it’s opponents. To ask for this exemplifies how distorted public representation has been allowed to get. There are existing agencies and law on the books that can be exercised if needed.

    If the individual is required to fund their grievances, so should the larger body. Why would anyone want to empower more regulatory vampires.

    (31) 39 Total Votes - 35 up - 4 down
  4. mbactivist1 says:

    To paraphrase Mark Twain, I believe that the news of the death of this bill has been greatly exaggerated.

    Look on the State Legislature Web site under bill status: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_0951-1000/ab_976_bill_20130913_status.html

    You will see this information:

    “LAST HIST. ACT. DATE: 09/10/2013
    LAST HIST. ACTION : Reconsideration granted. Assembly refused to concur in
    Senate amendments. To Conference Committee.
    FILE : ASM IN CONFERENCE
    FILE DATE : 09/12/2013”

    Bills often go to conference committee after one house makes changes to a bill and the other house doesn’t like them. In conference committee, a couple of members from each house get together to iron out their differences. The Bill then goes back to both houses for another vote.

    Hence, the bill is, as the Legislature Web site indicated, “active”.

    (2) 22 Total Votes - 12 up - 10 down
  5. Rambunctious says:

    A brief victory…but they will be back. They never give up on finding new ways to rid Californians of their hard earned money. As long as the Democrats hold a super majority our financial security is at risk.

    (32) 48 Total Votes - 40 up - 8 down

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