Petitioner and Plaintiff Coastal Rights Coalition (CRC) brings this action for traditional writ of mandate and declaratory relief to challenge a California Coastal Commission (Commission) policy that forces coastal homeowners to forever waive their right to build a seawall, or other shoreline protective device, as a condition of getting a development permit to build or significantly repair or remodel an oceanfront home. Read entire lawsuit here.

Pacific Legal Foundation, a foundation that believes that personal liberty is essential to a thriving and prosperous society, filed a petition with California’s Office of Administrative Law, asking the agency to review and determine whether a long-running California Coastal Commission policy against seawalls is illegal. 

A “Shoreline Waiver” condition has become a standard Special Condition which has been included in recent Coastal Development Permits imposed by the California Coastal Commission over the past seven years. The waiver requires coastal property owners to forfeit their right to build a shoreline protective device as a condition to obtaining a Coastal Development Permit (CDP).

Under the Commission’s waiver policy, coastal homeowners and their families are unable to significantly remodel or otherwise build on their property unless they forfeit their constitutional and statutory rights to defend their property and give up the right to build any and all protective devices, along the beach or along the bluffs, even if no finding of impact on the natural environment exists at all.

This policy has never been subjected to rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act.  Whether the policy constitutes an underground regulation is an issue of grave public importance, as it affects the constitutional rights of property owners throughout the state’s coastal zone, as well as the safety of the general public on the state’s beaches. The CRC and its supporters seek a determination from the Office of Administrative law that the Commission’s waiver policy is an illegal underground regulation.

READ MORE: Pacific Legal Foundation's BLOG.

how you can help 

The defense of fundamental rights is of the highest public importance. Help us safeguard our right to protect our shoreline property.

  • Join our coalition membership by subscribing to our mailing list.

  • Donate! These funds will be used to hire lobbyists to petition and protect our coastal property rights.
  • Share your story about your permitting request process. We want to hear how these underground regulations have affected you personally.