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California Coastal Commission - A Gaseous, Solid Waste

The California Court of Appeals ruled that a 15-minute, Fourth-of-July fireworks display on private property in Gualala, California, is a “development” that may be regulated by the California Coastal Commission through its permitting process. The reason? A fireworks display emits “gaseous” and “solid” waste. (PLF)

With this decision, the Coastal Commission likely will tout there is no thing nor any limit to the human activities that it can regulate. Last year the coastal Ayatollahs went after night football. Maybe these kinds of capricious lawsuits is why the Department of Justice is over budget $30million?

What next?

Does the California Coastal Commission step in and regulate when, where, and how individual freedoms are exercised in the coastal zone?

It would not be surprising if the Commission began demanding permits from individuals who enter the coastal zone, on the theory that mere breathing, walking, or driving is “development” requiring its permitting oversight. (PLF)

Regulating every aspect of human existence is not what the California Legislature or the electorate had in mind when the Coastal Act was enacted in 1976.

This could very well be the death knell for small town fireworks in America. Once a precedent like this is on the books, other regulatory committees in other states can do the same thing by citing the California ruling.

Learn more bout a “gaseous” and “solid” waste.  Attend a California Coastal Commission meeting. Afterwords, you can also add “financial” waste to the list.

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6 Responses to “California Coastal Commission - A Gaseous, Solid Waste”

  1. Francis Drouillard Says:

    Antother desperate assertion of private property rights by a film maker trying to hawk his anti-CCC film. Richard, this one really is a no-brainer.

    Not even the PLF claimed that private property rights were violated in this case. In fact, the fireworks were launched from an easement for a public trail that is developed and maintained by the Redwood Coast Land Conservancy.

    The issue was whether or not the CCC has the authority to regulate fireworks. The definition of “development” as used within the Coastal Act includes the release of solid and gaseous wastes. Per the Act, the the Commission does have the authority to regulate fireworks, which the appeals court decided almost immediately.

    The Gualala Festivals Committee (an officious-sounding group of private individuals that do not represent the town of Gualala) can apply for a permit. The review process will make sure that any adverse effects of the event are properly mitigated.

    That is both the spirit and intent of the Coastal Act, and one that you should applaud if you want coastal access and resources protected.

  2. admin Says:

    Desperate assertion? Perhaps for you.

    This is not about property rights, Mr. Drouillard - although you’d like to twist it that way. Under the Coastal Act definition of “development” - anything can and often is called development. A child on the beach making a sand castle is development under the Coastal Act…but I digress.

    So - does that mean Santa Monica won’t be having a fireworks display this year? They are in the coastal zone. Wouldn’t the same rules apply? What about Newport Beach… or San Diego? OR is it just small defenseless towns like Gualala the commission bullies over 4th of July fireworks?

    How much of the DOJ buget was spent to litigate that? Which by the way, is a great illustration of the California Coastal Commission’s legacy of frivolous lawsuits - and dovetails nicely into another matter called why the California Coastal Commission needs to pay their own legal bills. Perhaps if the CCC paid their own legal bills that would solve two big problems with the commission 1) diminish the harassment of “private people” and 2) end the severe financial abuse of the taxpaying people of California

    The commission’s contempt for human beings is evident by your disdain for “private individuals” and clearly demonstrates the animosity the commission has for human beings living along the coast.

    The film is not anti-California Coastal Commission. It is anti-extortion, malfeasance, and duplicitous behavior by the coastal commission under the guise of environmental protection, and at the expense of constitutional rights.

  3. Steve W Says:

    I don’t get it. On one hand whatever gaseous or solid waste may exist is dispersed by the wind. On the other hand it is OK to add 73,500 feet to a shopping center? In Melom v. City of Madera, A state appellate court decided that expansion of a mega store in a shopping mall by 73,500 square feet,-fifty-nine percent bigger than had been approved under the project’s Environmental Impact Report- was not a “substantial change” that would require major revisions of the environmental impact report.”

    I would also be curious to see if there are fireworks in Santa Monica.

    Like the image above says… It all smells like Bullshit!

  4. Francis Drouillard Says:

    @admin — I agree, this is not a private property rights case, which makes your emphasis of the phrase “private property” in your opening paragraph all the more confusing.

    This case was about whether the CCC has the authority to regulate fireworks. The courts have held that they do. What counts is the definition of the word “development” as used in the Coastal Act.

    The last part of the opening paragraph of the decision says it all:

    “Although such a display may not be a “development” in the ordinary sense of the word, the Commission’s interpretation conforms both with the expansive statutory definition of the term and the purpose of the statute. Hence we shall affirm the trial court’s judgment upholding the Commission’s action.”

    You should also know that the CCC reluctantly injected themselves into this case, and only did so after it was shown that the displays disrupted nesting seabirds, and those disruptions led to a “take” of the birds.

    Disruptions were observed as a result of the first displays in 2006, and more detailed observations during the second displays in 2007 provided clear evidence of the loss of chicks due to abandonment or predation. (The opportunistic seagulls weren’t as disrupted as other birds nesting on the island.) It was only after US Fish and Wildlife scientists presented that data that the CCC got serious about enforcing a cease and desist order.

    Observations during nesting season have resumed for both 2008 and 2009. In fact, they are groundbreaking “citizen science” efforts in which citizens conduct observations for science projects designed and analyzed by scientists from the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

    Last year I had an opportunity to observe some of the activities on the island during nesting season using equipment provided by USFW. Pretty spectacular stuff if you’re into observing happy healthy wildlife. But the significant result of the observations is that the number of failed nests have decreased over those observed in 2006 and 2007.

    So the Commission’s actions in this case definitely saved coastal resources. And more importantly, they didn’t say “no” to coastal fireworks. What they did say was that they could not exempt the Gualala Fireworks from obtaining a CDP. (The coastal city of Point Arena is exempt because those displays do not harm coastal resources, or “critters” for those that prefer layman’s terms.)

    They also gave the City of Capitola a CDP for fireworks. If the GFC really wants a fireworks display, they can apply for a CDP so that the adverse effects of said display can be mitigated. For the GFC, the biggest mitigation is to have the display outside of nesting season for local birds.

    In other words, the CCC action isn’t as draconian as you make it out to be. Then again, it rarely is.

  5. admin Says:

    Thank you for your reply. I am all for preserving habitat as I am liberty and do not see them as mutually exclusive but interdependent. As for data submitted by any government agency - that opens a huge door, an Oystergate, if you will. It is also is about the way words seem to stretch and take on new meaning with all things California coastal, e.g., the word “development” that gives many cause for alarm. Everyone wants “critters” safe but not everyone wants people’s liberty and property secure. As far as the commission being Draconian - the record speaks for itself.

  6. Sid Waterman Says:


    Again your propiganda is full of lies. Like most extremalists * the truth avoids you. You
    arn’t a resident here you own a lot. Referancing yopur comment about the 2006
    fireworks display, only 1 individual was at the site where the birds are.Her claim about birds flocking up off the island is another lie, as NO BIRDS FLEW in 2007 when the study was done, (see report) only a few squawks from the island. The real culprits of
    this situation is the CCC itself. When the Bane bill was introduced, the CCC gave up all their rights to the 10 miles of coastline. This allowed people like Dr. Richard kuhn the ability to build his home within a few hundred yards from Gualala point island with
    years of backhoes, nail guns, heavy equipment ect, followed by 4 neighbors doing the same. Dr. Kuhn, a self proclaimed bird specialists should be ashamed of himself, after all he is at the head of this whole sham. Are you telling me there are no birds at the fireworks shows in Point Arena, or Monterey or Bodega Bay? If so, more lies. *Definition
    of EXTREMELISTS is extreme envirmentalists. You Qualify!

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