What is the Local Coastal Program?

In 1976, the California Legislature enacted the Coastal Act, which created a mandate for coastal counties to manage the conservation and development of coastal resources through a comprehensive planning and regulatory program called the Local Coastal Program.

Ventura County’s Coastal Area Plan and the Coastal Zoning Ordinance together constitute the "Local Coastal Program" (LCP) for the unincorporated portions of Ventura County’s coastal zone. The primary goal of the LCP is to ensure that the local government's land use plans, zoning ordinances, zoning maps, and implemented actions meet the requirements of, and implement the provisions and polices of the Coastal Act at the local level. Click here for information about updates to the Local Coastal Program.

The Ventura County Coastal Area Plan

In addition to being an element of Ventura County’s Local Coastal Program, the Coastal Area Plan is also an Area Plan for the unincorporated coastal portions of Ventura County and, as such, is part of the County's General Plan.

The Coastal Area Plan addresses topics such as shoreline access and public trails; development in scenic areas, coastal hazards, and coastal bluffs; environmentally sensitive habitat areas; cultural resources; transportation; public services; and more. The LCP specifically applies to development undertaken in the unincorporated portions of the Coastal Zone of Ventura County.

The Ventura County Coastal Area Plan was last amended on December 5, 2000 and November 20, 2001, specifically with regard to oil and energy facilities. The California Coastal Commission certified these amendments on January 11, 2002.

The Ventura County Coastal Zoning Ordinance

The Coastal Zoning Ordinance contains the comprehensive zoning regulations for the unincorporated coastal zone of the County of Ventura. The Coastal Zoning Ordinance is a planning document that identifies the location, type, densities, and other ground rules for development in the coastal zone.

These regulations are adopted to protect and promote public health, safety, and general welfare; and to provide the environmental, economic, and social advantages which result from an orderly, planned use of resources; and to protect public and private property, wildlife, marine fisheries, and other ocean resources and the natural environment protecting the ecological balance of the coastal zone and preventing its destruction and deterioration.

The Ventura County Coastal Zoning Ordinance was last amended on September 16, 2008 and these amendments were certified by the California Coastal Commission on October 16, 2008 (these updates became legally effective on November 14, 2008).

Categorical Exclusion Order E-83-1

A Categorical Exclusion Order is a regulatory document adopted by the Board of Supervisors and the California Coastal Commission to specifically exempt certain categories of development from Coastal Development Permit requirements. These exemptions may be listed in the Coastal Zoning Ordinance, but in cases of discrepancies between the two documents, the Categorical Exclusion Order preempts the Coastal Zoning Ordinance.

The County of Ventura has one effective Categorical Exclusion Order, known as E-83-1. It was originally effective in late 1986, and has been amended once. The amendment, E-83-1A, was effective in early 1987. Amendment E-83-1A adds to--but does not supersede--the original Categorical Exclusion Order.