Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC


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

CHAPTER 4. Creation, Membership, and Powers of Commission and Regional Commissions [30300 - 30355]

  ( Chapter 4 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1330. )

ARTICLE 3. Powers and Duties [30330 - 30344]
  ( Article 3 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1330. )


The commission, unless specifically otherwise provided, shall have the primary responsibility for the implementation of the provisions of this division and is designated as the state coastal zone planning and management agency for any and all purposes, and may exercise any and all powers set forth in the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451, et seq.) or any amendment thereto or any other federal act heretofore or hereafter enacted that relates to the planning or management of the coastal zone.

In addition to any other authority, the commission may, except for a facility defined in Section 25110, grant or issue any certificate or statement required pursuant to any such federal law that an activity of any person, including any local, state, or federal agency, is in conformity with the provisions of this division. With respect to any project outside the coastal zone that may have a substantial effect on the resources within the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, established pursuant to Title 7.2 (commencing with Section 66600) of the Government Code, and for which any certification is required pursuant to the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451, et seq.), such certification shall be issued by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission; provided however, the commission may review and submit comments for any such project which affects resources within the coastal zone.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1331.)


The commission is designated the successor in interest to all remaining obligations, powers, duties, responsibilities, benefits, and interests of any sort of the California Coastal Zone Conservation Commission and of the six regional coastal zone conservation commissions established by the California Coastal Zone Conservation Act of 1972 (commencing with Section 27000).

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


(a) Except as provided in Section 18930 of the Health and Safety Code, the commission may adopt or amend, by vote of a majority of the appointed membership of the commission, rules and regulations to carry out the purposes and provisions of this division, and to govern procedures of the commission.

(b) Except as provided in Section 18930 of the Health and Safety Code and paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 30620, these rules and regulations shall be adopted in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code. These rules and regulations shall be consistent with this division and other applicable law.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 472, Sec. 6. (SB 814) Effective January 1, 2014.)


The commission shall periodically review its regulations and procedures and determine what revisions, if any, are necessary and appropriate to simplify and expedite the review of any matter that is before the commission for action pursuant to this division. The commission shall implement, within 60 days of the review, any revisions it determines to be appropriate, so that its regulations and procedures may continue to be as simple and expeditious as practicable.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 294, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2007.)


Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as provided in the State Building Standards Law, Part 2.5 (commencing with Section 18900) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code, the commission shall not adopt nor publish a building standard, as defined in Section 18909 of the Health and Safety Code, unless the provisions of Sections 18930, 18933, 18938, 18940, 18943, 18944, and 18945 of the Health and Safety Code are expressly excepted in the statute under which the authority to adopt rules, regulations, or orders is delegated. A building standard adopted in violation of this section shall have no force or effect. A building standard expressly required by a provision of federal law, specifically requiring that building standard, shall be adopted and published in the State Building Standards Code within the time required by federal law.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 294, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2007.)


The commission may do the following:

(a) Contract for any private professional or governmental services, if the work or services cannot be satisfactorily performed by its employees.

(b) Sue and be sued. The Attorney General shall represent the commission in any litigation or proceeding before any court, board, or agency of the state or federal government.

(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 285, Sec. 17.)


In addition to the authority granted by Section 30334, the commission may apply for and accept grants, appropriations, and contributions in any form.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1331.)


The commission shall appoint an executive director who shall be exempt from civil service and shall serve at the pleasure of his or her appointing power. The commission shall prescribe the duties and salaries of the executive director, and, consistent with applicable civil service laws, shall appoint and discharge any officer, house staff counsel, or employee of the commission as it deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this division.

(Amended by Stats. 1981, Ch. 1173, Sec. 9.)


The commission shall provide for appropriate employees on the staff of the commission to assist applicants and other interested parties in connection with matters which are before the commission for action. The assistance rendered by those employees shall be limited to matters of procedure and shall not extend to advice on substantive issues arising out of the provisions of this division, such as advice on the manner in which a proposed development might be made consistent with the policies specified in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 30200).

(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 285, Sec. 18.)


(a) The commission shall, if it determines that it has sufficient resources, establish one or more scientific panels to review technical documents and reports and to give advice and make recommendations to the commission prior to making decisions requiring scientific expertise and analysis not available to the commission through its staff resources. It is the intent of the Legislature that the commission base any such technical decisions on scientific expertise and advice. The panel or panels may be composed of, but not limited to, persons with expertise and training in marine biology, fisheries, geology, coastal geomorphology, geographic information systems, water quality, hydrology, ocean and coastal engineering, economics, and social sciences.

(b) Members of a panel, while performing duties required by this division or by the commission, shall be entitled to the same rights and immunities granted public employees by Article 3 (commencing with Section 820) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government Code. Those rights and immunities shall attach to the member as of the date of appointment of the person to the panel.

(c) The commission is encouraged to seek funding from any appropriate public or private source, and may apply for and expend any grant or endowment funds, for the purposes of this section. Any funding made available to the commission for these purposes shall be reported to the fiscal committee of each house of the Legislature at the time the commission’s budget is being formally reviewed.

(d) The commission is encouraged to utilize innovative techniques to increase effective communication between the commission and the scientific community, including the use of existing grant programs and volunteers, in order to improve and strengthen the technical basis of its planning and regulatory decisions.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 965, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1993.)


The commission shall, to the maximum extent feasible, assist local governments in exercising the planning and regulatory powers and responsibilities provided for by this division where the local government elects to exercise those powers and responsibilities and requests assistance from the commission, and shall cooperate with and assist other public agencies in carrying out this division. Similarly, every public agency, including regional and state agencies and local governments, shall cooperate with the commission and shall, to the extent their resources permit, provide any advice, assistance, or information the commission may require to perform its duties and to more effectively exercise its authority.

(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 285, Sec. 19.)


The commission shall, where feasible, and in cooperation with the affected agency, establish a joint development permit application system and public hearing procedures with permit issuing agencies.

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


By May 1, 1977, the commission, after full consultation with the State Water Resources Control Board, shall adopt regulations for the timing of its review of proposed treatment works pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (c) of Section 30412.

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


The commission shall:

(a) Ensure full and adequate participation by all interested groups and the public at large in the commission’s work program.

(b) Ensure that timely and complete notice of commission meetings and public hearings is disseminated to all interested groups and the public at large.

(c) Advise all interested groups and the public at large as to effective ways of participating in commission proceedings.

(d) Recommend to any local government preparing or implementing a local coastal program and to any state agency that is carrying out duties or responsibilities pursuant to this division, additional measures to assure open consideration and more effective public participation in its programs or activities.

(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 285, Sec. 20.)


The commission shall manage and budget any funds that may be appropriated, allocated, granted, or in any other way made available to the commission for expenditure.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 589, Sec. 133. Effective January 1, 1994.)


(a) It is the policy of the state that no less than 50 percent of funds received by the state from the federal government pursuant to the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. Sec. 1451 et seq.) shall be used for the preparation, review, approval, certification, and implementation of local coastal programs.

(b) A local government subject to this division may claim reimbursement of costs incurred as a direct result of the operation of or any requirement promulgated pursuant to this division. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a claim for reimbursement of mandated costs directly attributable to the operation of this division shall only be submitted, reviewed, and approved in the manner set forth in this section.

(c) A claim pursuant to this section shall be submitted to the executive director of the commission no later than September 30. The executive director shall review the claim in accordance with this section and shall submit the claim to the Controller within 60 days after receipt of a claim but in no event later than November 30.

(d) A claim submitted pursuant to this section shall be filed on forms approved and prepared by the commission in consultation with the Controller. The forms shall specify the information needed to enable the executive director of the commission and the Controller to make the determinations required by subdivision (e). The forms shall clearly set forth information requirements for the evaluation of the following categories of costs:

(1) Costs for work relating to the preparation, review, and approval of a local coastal program or a portion of a program.

(2) Costs for work that is not covered by paragraph (1).

The claim forms required by this section shall provide for claims of actual costs incurred during the fiscal year preceding submittal and for the costs the claimant local government estimates will be incurred during the then-current fiscal year.

(e) The executive director shall review and evaluate each claim submitted pursuant to this section and shall determine whether:

(1) The costs claimed are not paid for or reimbursed from any other source of state or federal funding.

(2) The costs are for work that is the direct result of and is mandated by the operation of this division or by the commission or whether the work is optional.

(3) With respect to costs specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (d), the work done or to be done is reasonable and necessary for the preparation and approval of a local coastal program pursuant to a local coastal program work program approved by the commission, or for work that is not part of an approved work program if the work can be shown to be necessary for the completion of a certifiable local coastal program or if new information or other circumstances cause the commission to require that the work be carried out.

(f) The executive director of the commission shall submit to the Controller, on behalf of each claimant local government, all claims submitted pursuant to this section together with his or her recommendation whether the Controller should allow or deny, in whole or in part, the claim. The executive director’s recommendation shall be based on his or her determinations made pursuant to subdivision (e). If the executive director fails to make a recommendation by the time a claim is required to be submitted to the Controller as provided in subdivision (c), the executive director is deemed to have recommended approval of the claim.

(g) Section 17561 of the Government Code shall apply to a claim filed pursuant to this section. However, where a conflict between Section 17561 of the Government Code and this section occurs, the conflict shall be resolved in a manner that best carries out the purposes of this section. The Controller shall apply the criteria of subdivision (e) in determining whether to allow or deny, in whole or in part, a claim and shall consider the recommendations of the executive director of the commission.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 130, Sec. 214. Effective January 1, 2008.)


(a) It is the intent of the Legislature that all costs mandated by the operation of this division be paid either with state or federal funds or both. The Legislature hereby declares that Section 30340.5 is designed to ensure that local governments are paid for legitimate claims for costs mandated by this division or the commission, costs for work which is not optional, and costs which are not otherwise reimbursed.

(b) In the event a claimed mandated cost has been approved by the Controller pursuant to Section 30340.5 and the Legislature fails to appropriate the funds to pay such claims by special legislation or in the annual state budget for the fiscal year following approval of such claims by the Controller, except the date specified in Section 30518, any dates specified in this division or by order of the commission for the submission of a local coastal program or any portion thereof or for the performance of any task or duty by a claimant local government whose approved claim has not been paid shall, at the request of such claimant local government, be postponed by the number of years elapsing between such specified date and the year in which the funds to pay the approved claim are provided.

(c) The provisions of subdivision (b) shall not apply to any local government if the Legislature determines that such local government’s claim should not be paid because such claim is not of the type intended to be subject to reimbursement pursuant to Section 30340.5.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1075.)


The commission may prepare and adopt any additional plans and maps and undertake any studies it determines to be necessary and appropriate to better accomplish the purposes, goals, and policies of this division; provided, however, that the plans and maps shall only be adopted after public hearing.

(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 285, Sec. 22.)


(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the coastal zone is one of its most precious natural resources, rich in diversity of living and nonliving resources and in the wide range of opportunities it provides for the use and conservation by the people of this state and nation. The Legislature further finds that, in order to promote the wise use of coastal resources for, among other things, recreation, habitat conservation, educational, and scientific study, the production of food and fiber, residential purposes, and economic growth, it is necessary to provide the public with an informative and educational guide to coastal resources.

(b) The commission shall, not later than July 1, 1984, prepare a guide to coastal resources. The guide shall include, but not be limited to, the following components:

(1) An inventory of the natural resources which are of environmental, social, economic, and educational importance to the public. The inventory shall include a description of the resources, their location, and their significance to the people and the natural environment.

(2) An inventory of manmade resources of cultural, historic, economic, and educational importance to the public. The inventory shall focus on those resources which, by virtue of their location in or near the coastal zone, take on a special character or which, because of their nature, require a coastal location. The inventory shall include a description of the resource and any historic, educational, and technical notes of interest.

(3) A listing of public and private entities having responsibility for the planning, management, use, and restoration of the coastal resources and how interested persons can contact those entities for further information about their projects and programs.

The purpose of this guide shall be to contribute to a better understanding by the public of the importance of coastal resources, both to the quality of life for people and to the maintenance of a healthy and productive natural environment. The guide shall be sensitive to the need for a balanced approach to the conservation and use of coastal resources, to the rights and responsibilities of individuals and the public in the protection and use of these resources, and the need to limit human use of some resources in order to avoid their degradation or destruction. The guide shall not be a policy guide, but rather it shall be an educational tool to increase the public understanding and appreciation of the value of California’s coastal resources.

(c) The commission shall utilize innovative techniques for the preparation, production, and distribution of the guide so as to minimize costs to the public. To this end, the commission is encouraged to enlist the voluntary assistance of private and public organizations with appropriate expertise. In addition, the commission shall seek grants from private and public institutions to augment its limited funding.

Notwithstanding Section 14850 of the Government Code or any other provision of law, the commission may contract for the production of this guide with any public or private entity in order to meet the objective of this section.

(d) The guide shall be written and illustrated so as to be easily understood by the general public and shall be set forth in a format that ensures its usefulness.

(e) The guide shall be made available to the public at a reasonable cost.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 1470, Sec. 3. Effective September 28, 1982.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC3.