Commission increases coastal access – accepts 200th access easement

Aug 8, 2005 | Press Release, Public Access

EL SEGUNDO — The California State Lands Commission today secured public ownership of a coastal access easement in the Malibu area of Los Angeles County. The Commission’s action means Californians will obtain additional public access to a portion of Carbon Beach in Malibu through an easement that would otherwise have in 2006 reverted to private ownership.

The Commission accepted this 200th Offer to Dedicate (OTDs) at their meeting in the El Segundo City Council Chambers. OTDs are recorded legal documents required by the California Coastal Commission as conditions of approval of beachfront projects. Once an OTD is accepted, the beach covered by the easement is available for public use. In the Malibu area alone 200 of the 286 outstanding OTDs have been accepted.

Lieutenant Governor Cruz M. Bustamante stated, “As Chair of the State Lands Commission, one of my top priorities has been increasing public access to our beaches. I asked the Commission staff to be diligent in accepting OTDs, and I am proud that we have saved so many of these accessways.”

The Commission’s 200 easements are the most accepted by any entity. The California Coastal Conservancy has accepted 113 OTDs – various state and local governments and nonprofit organizations have taken the remainder of the 787 OTDs that are now available for public use.

Beginning in 1879, California’s Constitution has had provisions intended to protect access to California’s waterways. Proposition 20 in 1972 and the Coastal Act in 1976 established statutory requirements for public access to the coast. The OTDs required by the Coastal Commission have implemented those statutes. Most OTDs allow public use of sections of sandy beach areas lying between private structures built on the upper beach and the tidelands that are already state owned and under the Lands Commission’s jurisdiction.

“Our vote today is a milestone in our continuing effort to give people access to California’s beaches and incredible coastline,” commented Commissioner and State Controller Steve Westly. “The Commission is committed to guaranteeing Californians’ Constitutional right of access to their coast.”

Success in the OTD program has been achieved in a variety of ways in addition to the Lands Commission’s participation. For example the counties of Orange, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Marin, and Del Norte have accepted virtually all of the OTDs in their counties. Cities and nonprofit groups such as “Access for All” have been active participants in the OTD program as well.

“Today’s Commission action is consistent with Governor Schwarzenegger’s policies to protect and enhance recreational opportunities for Californians while continuing environmental protections. We’re also pleased that acceptance of this easement involves little or no cost to the state,” noted State Director of Finance Tom Campbell, the Governor’s representative on the Lands Commission.

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Stephen Green | 916.445.9053
Office of the Lieutenant Governor

Russ Lopez | 916.445.2636
Office of the State Controller

H.D. Palmer | 916.445.4141
Department of Finance