The Newspaper of the San Francisco Bay Chapter
March - April 2007
Lawson's Landing limping towards legality
Campground operators agree to Coastal Commission order
On Dec. 15 the California Coastal Commission issued a cease-and-desist order requiring Lawson's Landing to complete its application for a coastal development permit by April 14. The Lawson family agreed to this timetable. Lawson's Landing is the large recreational-vehicle campground that has operated without required permits for decades at Tomales Dunes, the largest unprotected coastal dune system in central California.
This outcome should speed up the long-drawn-out effort to bring Lawson's Landing into compliance with state and county regulations. It does, however, allow Lawson's Landing to continue its current unpermitted activities while the permits are processed. It is therefore important that the permit process be completed as soon as possible. The Sierra Club, the Coastal Commission, and the county all agree that Lawson's provides a valuable service as one of the few affordable camping sites on the Marin coast, but that it must operate in a way compatible with environmental protection for the dunes, wetlands, and other sensitive habitats.
One complication is that Lawson's Landing also needs a Master Plan approval and a use permit from Marin County, and the Coastal Commission would prefer to wait until the county permits have been issued before taking action on the coastal development permit. So far, the county's permit process has taken far too long. Now, especially, it is essential that the county stay on track and see that the permit process is completed in a matter of months rather than years.
To ensure that things don't bog down, the Coastal Commission will be getting an update on the progress of Lawson's Landing's various permits every two months.
Catherine Caufield, Environmental Action Committee of West Marin
© 2007 San Francisco Sierra Club Yodeler
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