Coastal Resources Commission to Hear Proposed Land Use Plan Changes

At their meeting in Wilmington next week, the Coastal Resources Commission will hear a report on proposed amendments to the 7B CAMA Land Use Planning Requirements and 7L Local Planning and Management Grants. The draft language is in response
to comments and input gathered at two regional workshops held in Wilmington and Plymouth this past year, staff experience implementing the program, and a previous study by the Commission. Comments used in developing the draft represent input from local elected officials, local planning staff, consultants, and other interest stakeholders.

In addition, the draft is reflective of the proposal outlined by DCM Director Braxton Davis at the July 2014 Commission meeting, which include increased flexibility for plan content and format, clarification that updates and amendments are voluntary, a new process option for CAMA Major Permit Review, streamlined plan approval, amendment, and update processes, integrated planning efforts, and an improved Technical Manual.

Specifically, the proposed amendments achieve the following major themes:
• Significantly reduce the regulatory burden on local governments while maintaining coastal management standards for local planning activities.
• Shift emphasis toward local government directed policy and implementation in support of coastal management goals and objectives while reducing data and analysis requirements.
• Institute shorter timelines for state review and certification to speed up the land use plan and amendment review process.
• Delegate land use plan and amendment certification authority to the Division Director, eliminating the need for CRC involvement while maintaining the CRC oversight and standard-setting role.

Next Steps
DCM has distributed the draft language (FOUND HERE, start of page 60) to local government planning staff for review and comment. Upon receipt of comments, staff will prepare a report and present the findings to you at the December 17&18, 2014 CRC Meeting. If the Commission chooses, a panel discussion to discuss the proposed rules will be included as part of the land use planning presentation in December. After comments and any requested changes by the Commission, Staff will formally submit draft language to be sent for public hearing in 2015.

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