Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC


  ( Division 20 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1330. )

CHAPTER 3. Coastal Resources Planning and Management Policies [30200 - 30265.5]

  ( Chapter 3 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1330. )

ARTICLE 6. Development [30250 - 30255]
  ( Article 6 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1330. )


(a) New residential, commercial, or industrial development, except as otherwise provided in this division, shall be located within, contiguous with, or in close proximity to, existing developed areas able to accommodate it or, where such areas are not able to accommodate it, in other areas with adequate public services and where it will not have significant adverse effects, either individually or cumulatively, on coastal resources. In addition, land divisions, other than leases for agricultural uses, outside existing developed areas shall be permitted only where 50 percent of the usable parcels in the area have been developed and the created parcels would be no smaller than the average size of surrounding parcels.

(b) Where feasible, new hazardous industrial development shall be located away from existing developed areas.

(c) Visitor-serving facilities that cannot feasibly be located in existing developed areas shall be located in existing isolated developments or at selected points of attraction for visitors.

(Amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 1090.)


The scenic and visual qualities of coastal areas shall be considered and protected as a resource of public importance. Permitted development shall be sited and designed to protect views to and along the ocean and scenic coastal areas, to minimize the alteration of natural land forms, to be visually compatible with the character of surrounding areas, and, where feasible, to restore and enhance visual quality in visually degraded areas. New development in highly scenic areas such as those designated in the California Coastline Preservation and Recreation Plan prepared by the Department of Parks and Recreation and by local government shall be subordinate to the character of its setting.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1330.)


The location and amount of new development should maintain and enhance public access to the coast by (1) facilitating the provision or extension of transit service, (2) providing commercial facilities within or adjoining residential development or in other areas that will minimize the use of coastal access roads, (3) providing nonautomobile circulation within the development, (4) providing adequate parking facilities or providing substitute means of serving the development with public transportation, (5) assuring the potential for public transit for high intensity uses such as high-rise office buildings, and by (6) assuring that the recreational needs of new residents will not overload nearby coastal recreation areas by correlating the amount of development with local park acquisition and development plans with the provision of onsite recreational facilities to serve the new development.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1330.)


New development shall do all of the following:

(a) Minimize risks to life and property in areas of high geologic, flood, and fire hazard.

(b) Assure stability and structural integrity, and neither create nor contribute significantly to erosion, geologic instability, or destruction of the site or surrounding area or in any way require the construction of protective devices that would substantially alter natural landforms along bluffs and cliffs.

(c) Be consistent with requirements imposed by an air pollution control district or the State Air Resources Board as to each particular development.

(d) Minimize energy consumption and vehicle miles traveled.

(e) Where appropriate, protect special communities and neighborhoods that, because of their unique characteristics, are popular visitor destination points for recreational uses.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 179, Sec. 187. Effective January 1, 2009.)


New or expanded public works facilities shall be designed and limited to accommodate needs generated by development or uses permitted consistent with the provisions of this division; provided, however, that it is the intent of the Legislature that State Highway Route 1 in rural areas of the coastal zone remain a scenic two-lane road. Special districts shall not be formed or expanded except where assessment for, and provision of, the service would not induce new development inconsistent with this division. Where existing or planned public works facilities can accommodate only a limited amount of new development, services to coastal-dependent land use, essential public services and basic industries vital to the economic health of the region, state, or nation, public recreation, commercial recreation, and visitor-serving land uses shall not be precluded by other development.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1330.)


Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commission may not impose any term or condition on the development of any sewage treatment plant which is applicable to any future development that the commission finds can be accommodated by that plant consistent with this division. Nothing in this section modifies the provisions and requirements of Sections 30254 and 30412.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 978, Sec. 1.)


Coastal-dependent developments shall have priority over other developments on or near the shoreline. Except as provided elsewhere in this division, coastal-dependent developments shall not be sited in a wetland. When appropriate, coastal-related developments should be accommodated within reasonable proximity to the coastal-dependent uses they support.

(Amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 1090.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC6.