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Davis Eyes Ways to Aid Coast Panel

January 05, 2003|Carl Ingram | Times Staff Writer

Gov. Gray Davis is inclined to call a special legislative session to restore the California Coastal Commission as a constitutional agency, a spokesman said Saturday.

Spokesman Steve Maviglio said the governor does not have a specific remedy in mind and first would consider other legal options. A special session would probably take place the week of Jan. 13, he said.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento ruled Monday that the Legislature's broad authority to appoint and remove a majority of the commissioners violates the separation of powers doctrine of the state Constitution. The decision is expected to be appealed.

The 12-member commission, which regulates development along the 1,150-mile coastline from tiny Fort Dick in the north to San Diego in the south, was created by voters in a 1972 initiative. The commission has been praised by conservationists as a vigilant protector of the natural environment and criticized by detractors as a ruthless oppressor of private property rights.

Senate President Pro Tem John Burton (D-San Francisco) had urged Davis to call the special session to save the commission.

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