Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 1, 2017

Help Protect The Dunes

From West Marin Environmental Action Committee

Coastal Protection  Honor Thy Dunes!

The environment needs your voice. On November 8th, the Coastal Commission will consider a Coastal Development Permit Amendment from Lawson’s Landing, Inc. 

Your participation is critical to this local land use decision. We need your help to let the Coastal Commission better understand the environmental concerns. I have included a summary of the issue below and two “take action” buttons to make it easy to get involved. You do not need to be a resident of Marin to voice your concerns on this issue.

We need your help to:

1) Submit comments to the Coastal Commission by November 3rd,  Submit Comment 

2) Attend the hearing to speak or cede time to EAC and our legal representative. Count Me In

We will be at the November hearing arguing forcefully that the Commission should protect this site, respect the Coastal Act and enforce the 2011 Coastal Development Permit including the special conditions that are an integral part of it, by denying this amendment.

In gratitude,

Morgan Patton 

Executive Director                                 

P.S. If you have any questions concerning this issue, please contact our office.

he Issue:
In 2011, the California Coastal Commission approved a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) that legalized Lawson’s Landing, the long-establishing campground that occupies a sensitive dunes-wetland complex at the mouth of Tomales Bay. That permit required the Lawsons to return to the Commission with an CDP amendment to put a wastewater system on the uphill, agricultural portion of their 960-acre property on a location already reviewed and approved by the Commission. The Lawsons have now submitted an amendment, which will be heard by the Commission on November 8th in Bodega Bay.

There are two main problems with the amendment. First, it proposes to place an administrative and retail complex and a wastewater system in a location (known as Area 6) that has been designated as an Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area (ESHA) and is also the habitat of the endangered California Red-Legged Frog, a federally- and state-protected species. The July 2011 CDP requires that all illegal development in Area 6 be removed and the habitat restored, and it expressly prohibits any future development in Area 6, apart from agriculture and improvements to the road that runs through it.

Second, the 2011 CDP was approved using a process known as conflict resolution, a mechanism that can be used if two equally important aims of the Coastal Act are in conflict. In the case of Lawson’s Landing in 2011, the mandate to provide visitor-serving recreation clashed with the mandate to protect natural resources. Conflict Resolution allowed the Commission to approve some camping in wetlands, which would otherwise be illegal. In return the Commission put strict restrictions on development elsewhere on the property, then and in the future. Conflict resolution has been used once. You cannot now rebalance a balanced permit. 

Doing so would signal that all such protections obtained under conflict resolution can be removed and render the process itself meaningless. This is a threat, not just to this one valuable coastal site, but to the Coastal Act itself and to all permits granted under it.

EAC does not support the proposed amendment and requests that the Commission protect this site, respect the Coastal Act, and enforce the 2011 CDP including the special conditions that are integral, by denying this amendment.

Next Steps

1) Tell the Coastal Commissioners you do not support this amendment by submitting comments.  Submit Comment

2) Attend the hearing on November 8th and tell us if you are coming  Count Me In

Click the “Count Me In” button to send Morgan and Catherine an email letting them know you will be attending the meeting in Bodega Bay. 

UC Davis Bodega Laboratory
2099 Westshore Road
Bodega Bay, CA 94923

9:00 am

Environmental Action Committee of West Marin
PO Box 609
Point Reyes, CA 94956



  1. […] via Help Protect The Dunes — Natural History Wanderings […]


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