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 March 8, 2017 - California Coastal Commission Hearing - City of Newport Beach Post LCP Certification Permit and Appeal Jurisdiction Map (MA-2017-001)  - See Staff Report

January 24, 2017 - Coastal Development Permit Workshop PowerPoint Presentation



Implementation Plan


  • 04/14/16 - Coastal Commission approves minor modifications to the Coastal Zone boundary
  • 09/08/16 - Coastal Commission approves LCP with modifications
  • 10/25/16 - City Council Study Session on LCP modifications
  • 11/04/16 - Coastal Commission hearing on extension of the Categorical Exclusion Order
  • 11/08/16 - City Council LCP hearing
  • 11/22/16 - City Council LCP second reading


November 10, 2015 - City Council Approves LCP Implementation Plan and Authorizes submittal to the California Coastal Commission for certification.

What is the LCP?

The Local Coastal Program (LCP) is a coastal management plan mandated by the California Coastal Act of 1976. A LCP contains land use, development, public access, and resource protection policies and regulations that implement the Coastal Act at the local level. It is comprised of a Land Use Plan (LUP) and Implementation Plan (IP).  The City has its LUP, known as the Coastal Land Use Plan (CLUP) and now working on its IP.  Every local government in the coastal zone (61 cities and 15 counties) is required to prepare a LCP and submit it to the California Coastal Commission for review and approval. The City is one of ten cities without a certified LCP.

Why Certify?

Currently, residents and business owners with projects requiring a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) have to apply to and have their projects approved by the Coastal Commission. Certification of the City’s LCP will allow the City to issue these permits, in most instances. This means:

  • Newport Beach Control
  • Greater Accessibility to Staff
  • Faster Processing time
  • Lower Permit Costs

After certification, the majority of CDP applications will be processed by the City, instead of the Coastal Commission South Coast District Office in Long Beach, which covers all of Orange County and parts of Los Angeles County. In addition to the convenience of filing at Newport Beach City Hall, CDP applications will be handled by your open and responsive Community Development Department staff. Your Community Development staff also has a strong record of processing applications within established timeframes, which means your CDP application can be processed in weeks, not months. All this will translate into less time and lower application costs.

The CDP hearings will also be conducted in Newport Beach. Depending on the nature of a proposal, CDP approval may be issued by the City’s Zoning Administrator, Planning Commission, or City Council. Currently, CDPs have to be approved by the Coastal Commission, which only meets once a month in different locations across the State. The Coastal Commission also attempts to schedule hearings in the region of a proposed development, which often delays project hearings for months.

Is My Property in the Coastal Zone?

About forty-seven percent (47%) of the City’s land area is in the coastal zone. You can see if your property is the coastal zone with this link:Coastal Zone Map 

How Will LCP Certification Affect What I Can Do on My Property?

Most of the LCP content is taken from the City’s Zoning Code. Therefore, land use, setbacks, height limits, floor area limits, off-street parking, and other development regulations are unchanged. More importantly, if your property is outside of the coastal zone  or you have a project that does not require a CDP, the LCP certification will not affect your property.

If you do have a project that requires a CDP, the LCP will provide a set of procedures for obtaining a CDP from the City. Like the Coastal Commission, the City will ensure that the CDP is issued in conformance with the policies Coastal Act. Therefore, issues of land use, public access, and protection of resources will have to be addressed as appropriate for Newport Beach.

What Types of Projects Require a Coastal Development Permit?

The Coastal Act requires any person who wishes to perform or undertake any development in the coastal zone  to obtain a CDP. The Coastal Act definition for “development” is extremely broad, including erection of structures, grading, changes in the density or intensity of land use, subdivisions, construction, reconstruction, demolition, or alteration of the size of structures, and the removal of major vegetation. In short, just about everything. Fortunately, the Coastal Act provides exemptions from CDP requirements for common types of development, such as improvements to existing structures, and repair and maintenance. These exemptions will be incorporated into the City’s LCP.

The Coastal Act also allows the Coastal Commission to exclude categories of projects that will not result in a potential for any significant adverse effect on coastal resources or on public access from CDP requirements. One of these categorical exclusions has been in effect in the City’s coastal zone since 1977. This “Cat Ex” excludes single-unit and two-unit projects from CDP requirements, with the exception of the first row of lots on the shoreline and the Bay Shores Community. The “Cat Ex” will also be incorporated in the LCP.

What Happens After Certification?

After the Coastal Commission certifies the LCP, the Coastal Commission will only retain CDP authority in “Original Jurisdiction Areas,” which includes submerged lands and tidelands (areas below the mean high tide line), and on certain public trust lands.

The Coastal Commission will also serve as an appellate authority in certain areas. So, a CDP approved by the City in an appeal area can be appealed to the Coastal Commission. These appeal areas include properties

  • Between the sea and the first public road paralleling the sea
  • 300 feet from a beach or of the mean high tide line, whichever is greater distance
  • 100 feet of streams and wetlands
  • 300 feet of top of seaward face of coastal bluff

Draft Coastal Development Permit and Appeal Jurisdiction Maps

What Is the Process for LCP Certification?

LCP certification oversight is provided by the General Plan/Local Coastal Program Implementation Committee. This committee consists of three City Council Members, three Planning Commission members, and one member-at-large. This committee recently completed their review of an administrative draft of the LCP Implementation Plan and directed staff to proceed with a series of community workshops to present the LCP Implementation Plan and receive comments.
The community workshops will be organized around issues and geographic area. In order to promote the widest possible public participation, notice of each workshop will be provided via mail, press releases, and electronic media. Study sessions on the LCP Implementation Plan by the Harbor Commission, Planning Commission and City Council will be conducted concurrently with community workshops.

Input received from the community workshops and study sessions will be reviewed by the General Plan/Local Coastal Program Implementation Committee and revisions will be made to the Draft LCP Implementation Plan, as appropriate. Public hearings will then be conducted by the Planning Commission and the City Council.

If the City Council approves the LCP Implementation Plan, the plan will then be submitted to Coastal Commission for review and approval. The Coastal Commission will conduct one or more public hearings on the LCP Implementation Plan and will likely approve it with a set of revisions. These revisions will then be reviewed by the City Council at a public hearing. If the City Council decides to adopt the LCP Implementation Plan with revisions, then the revised plan will be submitted back to the Coastal Commission for certification.

For More Information

Please contact Patrick Alford, Planning Program Manager, at (949) 644-3235 or palford@newportbeachca.gov.