sins of commission


about the film sins of commission

Archive for November, 2008

California Coastal Commission - Land Grab?

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

Lawyer Ronald Zumbrun recounts one coastal commission land grab scheme thwarted.


The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The concept of insulating a commission, charged with protecting vast natural resources from the politics of politics, is a good idea.

Unfortunately, this insulated configuration allows abusive agents within the quasi-judicial regulatory agency to usurp abilities beyond its original scope. They grew to create their own laws, judge the legitimacy of the laws they created, and enforce these laws.

They became the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government in one body. Now the commission, armed with absolute power, can do whatever it wants. If the desire for a particular rule comes up, and it didn’t previously exist, they can create the necessary rule, ratify it themselves, and enforce it ruthlessly, free from any encumbrance of rationality.

For instance, in homeowner Kathleen Kenny’s case, for the permit discrepancy on her 741 sq.ft home, a $2.4 million dollar fine was renewed post mortem, and still stands against her surviving mate.

Urban Wild Land Fires Ravished California Again

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Sylmar Fire

1 month after the Porter Ranch Fire, California was once again under siege from devastating fire storms.

As we take stock of the events that led up to these firestorms, we might want to evaluate how our land management agencies, conservancies, and other organizations charged with protecting our valuable natural resources are facing these mounting challenges. 


Deer Lost

Deer Lost

California will double its population.

The desire to live further away from cities and be in more rural areas has been thoroughly documented. 

As population and land preservation mix, SINS OF COMMISSION suggests this may also be an appropriate time to take a fresh look at how we are protecting these large unbroken swaths of Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHA) in these interface zones.

Building codes updates are important, but they’re half the equation.

Without a willingness to explore new possibilities of vegetation modification (brush clearance)  and apply it to these large wilderness areas,  a/k/a/ fuel beds in fire department lingo, we are continuing to put people’s lives, property, and the environment we all wish to preserve at risk from repeated burning. Not to mention the huge cost in men and machines to fight the fires.

In the Beginning…

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

SINS OF COMMISSION discovered The California Coastal Act came into being in response to people’s fears that the coast would be over -built and off limits. The notion that a coastal act was necessary sounds reasonable, but upon further investigation, I discovered how the best of intentions can become corrupt when absolute power is added into the equation.

Most people consider a ‘coast’ to be the place where the land meets the ocean. The commission arbitrarily decreed that the coast reaches 5 miles inland. I discovered this wide belt of land that stretches from Mexico to Oregon is another world.

For instance, the legal process in the coastal zone bears no resemblance to how we grew up - believing law is supposed to work in America, that people are innocent until proven guilty, and that their day in court is swift and fair. Under the commission’s rule, you are guilty until proven innocent, your day in court can last for years, and your testimony is completely ignored. Sounds like a kangaroo court.*

Homeowners Milos and Trish Douda tell how commissioners overtly ignored them at hearing.

The Commission Couldn’t Care Less

-Milos and Trisha Douda

SINS OF COMMISSION also found out that people are subject to capricious rules, onerous fines, no representative government, and live in a constant state of fear of retribution and retaliation carried out in the name of the people, at the hands of the state, and all because they bought land along the coast of California.

Cease and Desist Orders were prohibited in the original California Coastal Act but the commission pressured the legislature, and acquired a new incomparable power for a regulatory commission. Perhaps that kind of power is a good thing if it’s used properly in cases of egregious abuse of the coast, but when these same awesome powers are turned toward homeowners, this disproportionaly suggests a covert ulterior motive. One such objective is a systematic bankrupting of individual homeowners so that their land can be picked up on the cheap.


Monday, November 24th, 2008

Pacific Coast Highway Productions, Inc. announces the pending release of its first feature length documentary film, SINS OF COMMISSION .   

SINS OF COMMISSION is the first documentary film to expose the decades of abuse of power by the California Coastal Commission, and the first documentary film to investigate the possible link between this abuse and the increasing intensity of recent wildfires in California. 

A Sin of Omission is a failure to do what one must do.
A Sin of Commission is to know something is wrong… and do it anyway.


Log Line: 

SINS OF COMMISSION slips behind the veil of secrecy into the invisible world of the California Coastal Commission to reveal how they have corrupted environmentalism and risk people’s lives while fueling California’s wildfires… and why no one does anything about it. 

SINS OF COMMISSION was written, directed, and produced by Richard Oshen for Pacific Coast Highway Productions, Inc. For festival inquiries contact SINS OF COMMISSION directly at



Subscribe for Updates
First name
facebook international documentary association imdb youtube