Carlsbad Signs the First-Ever Agreement for Expedited Permitting at State LevelJanuary 6, 2016
Late December, the City of Carlsbad signed the first-of-its-kind agreement for enhanced services and expedited review of project applications that require approval by the California Coastal Commission. The agreement is intended to result in faster approvals from the state agency, which has been notoriously slow in processing projects due to a significant workload and a lack of staff and resources.
Under the 30-month agreement, the city will pay $166,000 per year for the California Coastal Commission to hire an additional staff member to work on key public and private projects in Carlsbad. The City of Carlsbad is the only city in the state to enter into such an agreement. Reducing the time it takes to process projects at the state level, will result in significant improvements for those looking to do business in Carlsbad. Eight anticipated planning projects involving the Coastal Commission review and approval are listed in the agreement and are noted to have a significant impact to the city’s economy and desire to implement the General Plan. One project for example is the Carlsbad Boulevard Corridor Project, which is a phased program to reconfigure the road along the coastline to expand biking and walking paths, create a linear park and public gathering places and create a safer and quieter roadway along Highway 101.
This isn’t the first time Carlsbad has worked to improve permitting. In 2012, the city modified its regulations to reduce decision-making authority and make various components for each permit consistent, like expiration periods and noticing requirements. The city cares about its coast and wants to protect this natural asset for many generations. As recently as 2015, the city entered into an agreement with the state to improve and maintain a portion of the state-owned beach allowing greater amenities and attention to facilities tourists and residents use along the coast.