Monday, November 07, 2016

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA SIXTH APPELLATE DISTRICT MARINA COAST WATER DISTRICT, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION, Defendant and Respondent; CALIFORNIA-AMERICAN WATER COMPANY, Real Party in Interest and Respondent. H042742 (Santa Cruz County Super. Ct. No. CV180839), Unpublished Opinion, 10/26/2016

ABSTRACT: The unpublished opinion of author Patricia Bamattre-Manoukian, and concurring participants Franklin D. Elia and Nathan D. Mihara, Sixth Appellate District, regarding Marina Coast Water District v. California Coastal Commission (Case Number H042742), document copy is embedded. 
INTRODUCTION Real party in interest California-American Water Company (Cal-Am) wanted to construct and operate a temporary test slant well on private beach property owned by CEMEX, a company that used the site for sand mining. Cal-Am was required to obtain coastal development permits for the project from the California Coastal Commission (Coastal Commission)1 and the City of Marina. In its permit application to the City of Marina, Cal-Am stated that the purpose of the temporary test slant well project was to gather technical data regarding the feasibility of a subsurface water intake system for a potential future desalination project.
The Marina City Council denied Cal-Am’s application for a coastal development permit and Cal-Am filed an appeal to respondent Coastal Commission. After preparing a staff report addressing the environmental impacts of the test slant well project and holding a public hearing, the Coastal Commission issued the coastal development permit sought by Cal-Am.
Appellant Marina Coast Water District (Marina Coast) is a municipal water district that provides water service to 30,000 residential and commercial customers in the City of Marina and the former Ford Ord Army Base. According to Marina Coast, the test slant well will pump groundwater from the Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin from which Marina Coast also pumps groundwater. Marina Coast filed a petition for writ of mandate2 challenging the Coastal Commission’s decision to issue the coastal development permit to Cal-Am, which the trial court denied in its August 24, 2015 judgment.
On appeal, Marina Coast contends that the trial court erred in denying the petition for writ of mandate and the Coastal Commission’s approval of Cal-Am’s coastal development permit should be reversed because the Coastal Commission lacked appellate jurisdiction. Alternatively, Marina Coast contends that the Coastal Commission’s approval violated several provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Public Resources Code § 21000 et seq.) For the reasons stated below, we find no merit in Marina Coast’s contentions and we will affirm the judgment.3
CONCLUSION Under the applicable standards of review, we have determined that the Coastal Commission had jurisdiction to hear Cal-Am’s appeal of the City’s denial of Cal-Am’s application for a coastal development permit for the test slant well, since the City Council’s denial of the application was a final action and there was a substantial issue as to conformity with the City’s LCP. We have also determined that Marina Coast failed to show that the Coastal Commission violated CEQA in approving Cal-Am’s coastal development permit for the test slant well. We will therefore affirm the trial court’s August 24, 2015 judgment, which denied Marina Coast’s petition for a writ of mandate challenging the Coastal Commission’s decision.
Unpublished Opinion

Appellate Courts Case Information
6th Appellate District

Case Summary

No comments: