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Hines v. California Coastal Comm'n

Citation: 40 ELR 20185
No. No. A125254, (Cal. App. 1st Dist., 06/17/2010)

A California appellate court denied a petition challenging a county board's approval of a coastal permit to construct a single-family home within the county's 100-foot riparian corridor setback. The board did not abuse its discretion in approving the permits for the project, allowing the development within the 100-foot buffer zone and maintaining a minimum 50-foot buffer. The riparian area involved is not an environmentally sensitive habitat area, and the county's determination that a 50-foot buffer was appropriate is supported by the record. Nor did the petitioners raise a substantial issue that required the California Coastal Commission to engage in de novo review of the permit application. The appeal did not raise precedential concerns that could threaten riparian resources elsewhere in the county. The court also rejected petitioners' claim that the county violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). They failed to exhaust their administrative remedies on this issue, and even if they had, the Board properly determined the project to be exempt under CEQA.