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Coastal Commission

July 12, 2013 | By Tony Barboza
Like many defenders of the beach bonfire, Chris Epting has questioned the priorities of air quality regulators who want to clamp down on the hundreds of fire rings that blaze nightly on Los Angeles and Orange County beaches, sending pollutants into beachfront neighborhoods. "I've wondered why they haven't focused on other areas: inland, the ports or the nightly Disneyland fireworks," said Epting, who writes a column for the Huntington Beach Independent. "There are a lot of trouble spots and yet there's been a laser-like focus on something that is almost statistically zero compared to those other sources.
June 19, 2013 | By Maria La Ganga
MENLO PARK, Calif. - In their first joint interview since their multimillion-dollar Big Sur wedding drew controversy and a $2.5-million Coastal Commission fine, billionaire Napster founder Sean Parker and his newlywed wife, Alexandra Lenas, said they tried to do everything right to ensure their event was environmentally sensitive. For the former Facebook president's June wedding, the couple trucked in plants and flowers, dug an artificial pond and erected a stone bridge and elevated dance floor amid the old-growth forest near the Ventana Inn & Spa. The one thing they did not do was apply for a permit.
June 18, 2013 | By Maria L. La Ganga, Los Angeles Times
MENLO PARK, Calif. - It was bad enough that his multimillion-dollar wedding became a symbol of Silicon Valley excess. But then billionaire tech guru Sean Parker was blasted in the headlines as an environmental menace over party preparations that had allegedly damaged Big Sur's storied redwoods. The Napster co-founder and former Facebook president wed singer-songwriter Alexandra Lenas on June 1 in a campground owned by the posh Ventana Inn & Spa. To set the scene for their fantasy, the couple trucked in plants and flowers, dug an artificial pond and erected a stone bridge and elevated dance floor amid the old-growth forest.
June 14, 2013 | By Carla Hall
The California Coastal Commission unanimously - and rather scathingly - rebuffed a request for overnight parking restrictions in Venice.   This was the third time since 2009 that the request came before the commission--and the third time was not a charm. The commissioners, also, blew off the L.A. Times editorial board's advice to them on this issue.  Los Angeles city officials offered to mitigate the creation of an overnight parking district - that would allow only residents and their guests to park west of Lincoln in Venice from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. - by making available 350 new spots in city parking lots overnight near the beach and making sure another 350 on-street spots in the area were exempt from the restriction.  We thought that seemed reasonable - and suggested that the Coastal Commission simply cap the number of parking permits it issued at 700.  One-to-one mitigation.
June 12, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
In a car-culture city like Los Angeles, the issue of parking is always a big deal. It is even more fraught in a community near the beach, which draws people from all over the city and beyond. So it's not terribly surprising that the issue of who has the right to park overnight in Venice is provoking passionate debate. Twice, the city of Los Angeles and some Venice community groups have requested that the California Coastal Commission grant them overnight parking restrictions for the area between Lincoln Boulevard and the ocean.
May 29, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
A new smartphone app, debuting next month for iPhones and iPads, will help people locate legal but often hidden access points to Malibu beaches as well as places to plop down on the sand once they get there. The app, called Our Malibu Beaches, is the enterprising idea of Jenny Price, an environmental writer who has made a mission of seeking out beach access through some of the least accessible and most coveted land along the coast of California. If only Los Angeles County and the state could be as ingenious in helping beachgoers use those paths.
March 28, 2013 | By Gale Holland, Los Angeles Times
We Southern Californians love our beach bonfires. The marshmallow roasts and fireside family singalongs are a rite of summer that exemplifies our do-your-own-thing, hang-loose lifestyle. The fires have been under attack for decades, most recently by the city of Newport Beach, which is trying to yank dozens of fire rings off the sand on the Balboa Strand and Corona del Mar State Beach. Newport Beach, which has long complained of late-night partying and the messes left behind, cited health risks from the smoke, and safety issues for people who might fall in a fire ring with hot ashes.
March 15, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
A fight over bonfire pits in Newport Beach went regional Friday, when air quality officials proposed a year-round ban on open burning on all Los Angeles and Orange County beaches. Officials cited health concerns for beachgoers. They said the proposal is part of an effort to strengthen regional air quality regulations to meet stricter federal clean air standards for fine-particulate pollutants by 2015. "This is not going to be the end of California's storied beach culture and history," said Sam Atwood, spokesman for the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
March 5, 2013 | By Mike Anton, Los Angeles Times
Summer is nearly here, and with it the concrete fire rings at Big Corona in Newport Beach will be ablaze in a postcard-worthy California tradition as enduring as riding longboards. Picture it: Hot dogs and s'mores and flickering flames. Snuggling under blankets. Some dude strumming a guitar. Barbara Peters sees it differently: Plumes of smoke wafting back from the beach and into her home steps away from Big Corona. "At times it can get so bad that it will set off peoples' smoke detectors," Peters said.
January 7, 2013 | By Jill Cowen
The California Coastal Commission is expected to give itself more time to review a proposed rule change that would allow a 73-foot faux lighthouse to be built at Newport Beach's planned Marina Park. The city needs the commission's approval to make an exception in its Shoreline Height Limitation Zone, which limits structures in that area to 35 feet. If approved at its Jan. 11 meeting, the commission's deadline for action on the matter would move to February 2014, but according to a commission staff report, the group would probably decide on the issue in March.
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