The Newspaper of the San Francisco Bay Chapter
November - December 2006
Tomales Dunes may finally gain protection
Missed deadline could mean enforcement action
The owners of Lawson's Landing have missed the Coastal Commission's Sept. 1 deadline to apply for a Coastal Development Permit.
Although Lawson's Landing, located at the Tomales Dunes at the mouth of Tomales Bay, is the largest recreational-vehicle campground on the coast, it still lacks a Coastal Development Permit, as well as a use permit from the county of Marin. The dunes are the largest unprotected dune system in central California and home to at least 14 threatened or endangered species.
Concern over the county's sluggish pace (its permit process began in 1991 and is still nowhere near completion), and over continuing damage to the dunes, wetlands, and other natural resources, has caused the Coastal Commission to step in and require the owners to apply now for a Coastal Permit rather than waiting for the county use permit to be issued first.
Now that the permit application deadline has been missed, the Commission is likely to undertake an enforcement action. This could consist of a cease-and-desist order unless an application is filed by a certain date. In view of the ongoing injury to the natural resources on the site by camping on wetlands, and lack of proper septic facilities, any enforcement action should also require cessation of all damaging activities while the Coastal Permit process goes forward. With the cooperation of the owners, there is no reason why the Coastal Permit issue could not be resolved in a relatively short time, as most coastal permits are.
The Coastal Commission is scheduled to consider the Lawson's Landing issue at its December meeting in San Francisco. Make your voice heard in support of environmental protection, as well as recreational use of the coastline.
Attend the December meeting of the Coastal Commission. Once a year each December the California Coastal Commission meets in San Francisco. This gives us a chance to appear and speak up for protection of California's coastline. The meeting will be the week of Dec. 11 - 15 at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero in San Francisco. To learn when the commission will discuss Lawson's Landing, visit www.sierraclub.org/ca. Click on "Great Coastal Places Campaign" at top right and then "Tomales Dunes" hotbox at upper left; or call Catherine Caufield at (415) 663-9312.
Send a letter to:
Meg Caldwell, Chair, California Coastal Commission
Urge the commission to enforce the Coastal Act by protecting the Tomales Dunes as one of California's coastal treasures.
For more information e-mail Mark at savethecoast -at- sierraclub.org or call Catherine Caufield at (415) 663-9312.
© 2006 San Francisco Sierra Club Yodeler
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