Proposed Local Coastal Plan Update

Permit and Resource Management Department Banner 750

Public Review Draft Documents Available

Public Review Draft has been updated and Revised Public Review Draft - June 2021 is now available below.


The State requires Sonoma County to develop a Local Coastal Plan (LCP) to regulates land use, protect coastal resources, and guide coastal development.  In the last several decades, we have learned about changing conditions on the Coast including the need for:

  • adapting to climate change, including sea level rise;
  • safeguarding public access;
  • protecting of water resources;
  • conserving of coastal ecosystems;
  • preserving of agriculture;
  • mitigating hazards and wildfire resiliency.

The Local Coastal Plan update will address these areas while making the plan more modern and easier to understand and use.

What is a Local Coastal Program?

Find Out More

Public Process and Next Steps

Citizen Participation

From the beginning of the County’s Local Coastal Program, there has been strong citizen participation. The  Preliminary Draft Local Coastal Plan (LCP) was published in June 2015, and five public workshops were held during the summer of 2015. After integrating community feedback, the  Public Review Draft (PDF) was published in September 2019, with public workshops to introduce the plan beginning in fall 2019 and finishing in March 2021.  Six public workshops and four topic specific workshops were held in 2021. Over 500 members of coastal communities have participated and these workshops generated over 400 comments from individuals, interest groups, agencies, and research organizations. 

Public Review Draft Document

The Revised Public Review Draft - June 2021, developed in consideration to the public and agency comments received on the 2019 Draft, is now available. This plan is currently before the Planning Commission for their review, direction, and recommendation.

Public Hearings, Consideration, Review, and Certification

On October 7, 2021, the Sonoma County Planning Commission will continue the virtual public hearing opened on July 26, 2021 to receive public comment, consider recommendations, and provide policy direction on the Public Review Draft of the Local Coastal Plan. Staff is recommending that the Planning Commission consider additional extensions of this hearing to future dates to allow sufficient time for public input and for staff to respond to policy direction from the Commission as a result of the hearing.
View Calendar Item

The Planning Commission is only the beginning of the public hearing process. The Planning Commission hearing is not limited to a specific deadline or date and may take multiple meetings to provide direction to staff and finalize the development of the Planning Commission Recommended Draft to the Board of Supervisors. The draft will be scheduled for public hearing(s) before the Board of Supervisors at a later date. Once the Board reviews and adopts the Local Coastal Plan, the Board adopted Local Coastal Plan will go to the Coastal Commission for review and certification in public hearing.


After certification, the Local Coastal Plan will be implemented though an updated Coastal Zoning Ordinance and revised Administration Manual. These documents are subject to the same public review, hearings, and certification process as the Local Coastal Plan, with opportunities for public input and recommendations at each step.

Our Local Coastal Plan History

1980 Local Coastal Plan

The process of preparing the Sonoma County Local Coastal Plan (LCP) began in 1978, and from the beginning included strong citizen participation. The Draft LCP was completed and adopted by the Board of Supervisors in May 1980, certified by the Coastal Commission in December 1980, and became effective in January 1981.

However, adoption and certification of The Sea Ranch portion of the LCP was deferred due to disagreement about public access and pending litigation between the developer Oceanic and the Coastal Commission. Following resolution of these issues with a settlement agreement, the County developed the Land Use Plan for The Sea Ranch. In 1982 the Coastal Commission certified The Sea Ranch portion of the LCP and the LCP implementation plan that included the Administrative Manual and the Coastal Zoning Ordinance.

1989 General Plan & Local Coastal Plan

In 1989 the County adopted a new General Plan, which directed the County to update and revise the Local Coastal Plan to be consistent with the new General Plan. In 1993, 1995, 1999, and 2001 the Coastal Commission certified amendments to the LCP, which adopted technical changes to ensure consistency with the General Plan.

2008 General Plan & Local Coastal Plan

In 2001 the County started revising and updating the 1989 General Plan and simultaneously the Local Coastal Plan. The County adopted Sonoma County General Plan 2020 on September 23, 2008. Accordingly, the Local Coastal Plan Update incorporates applicable General Plan 2020 goals, objectives, and policies; and includes objectives and policies unique to the Coastal Zone and the larger Sonoma Coast/Gualala Basin Planning Area.