The Coastal Commission is not "a good idea gone wrong;" it was a wretched idea to begin with. The commission concept is essentially fascist--property is left nominally in private hands, but ultimate control is seized by an agency of the state. The abuses recited in your article are not mere aberrations; they are the inevitable consequences of a corrupt concept.
If environmentalists are concerned about a particular scenic area, they should do what the Nature Conservancy organization has done with more than 2 million acres over the past 30 years--they should buy it. Unfortunately, the parlor fascists seem more interested in wielding political power through the abusive machinery of the Coastal Commission.