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Why We’re Opposing SB 1077 (Blakespear)

Take Action! If you represent an NGO that can join our sign on letter against this bill, email Laura Walsh. We're also looking for people to attend the upcoming bill hearing on April 9 in Sacramento. lwalsh@surfriderorg.


Senate Bill 1077 proposes to exempt Accessory Dwelling Units and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units from having to comply with the Coastal Act and Local Coastal Programs. The author’s statement on this bill is that many people build ADUs on their properties as a way to house someone, i.e. a renter or aging family member, and the state should be encouraging this kind of dense housing development.

Our main problem with this bill is that the ADUs that Surfrider tends to see being reviewed by the Coastal Commission for Coastal Act compliance are home additions like yoga studios and art workshops. These are developments that can and do get added to existing coastal mansions, which of course should be reviewed for compliance with the Coastal Act. 

If a homeowner wants to build a fitness studio on a crumbling coastal bluff for instance; we firmly believe that the State should approve, modify or adapt the project based on whether the development impacts the bluffs, impedes public access to the coast, or adds to erosion hazards in light of sea level rise.

SB 1077 could give a free pass for expanded development footprints even when such projects would degrade the environment or reduce public access to the coast, without any assurance that it would provide housing. The bill’s proposed process is ripe for abuse by the wealthiest coastal zone property owners, because it contains no requirement that the ADUs in question be used as housing.

Additionally there are no resource protection, public access, public safety, or sea level rise preparedness guardrails required by the bill. The bill allows local governments, if they choose, to require coastal permits for ADUs in very narrowly defined areas (near bluff edges or adjacent to wetlands), but no permits are required under the bill.

We oppose SB 1077 and hope to support future efforts aimed at effectively promoting ADUs for housing in the Coastal Zone. Read more about why Surfrider, NRDC, and Azul are currently opposing this bill.

Read more about how SB 1077 is part of a broader trend of anti-Coastal Act legislation this year.

Photo by Steve Iverson 

Want to make a difference on this bill? We’re looking for people to reach out to Senator Blakespear’s office ASAP or attend the upcoming bill hearing on April 9 in Sacramento. If you think you’re a fit, email Laura Walsh