Caltrans Coastal Program

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When Caltrans works on projects that are within the California coastal zone, a coastal development permit is often required. These permits are issued by the California Coastal Commission (Commission) or coastal cities and counties with certified Local Coastal Programs (LCPs). Coastal permitting is subject to standards of the California Coastal Act. Caltrans Division of Environmental Analysis has established a Coastal Program to assist District staff in understanding the requirements and complexities of the Coastal Act and coastal permitting process. The Coastal Program trains, educates and coordinates with Caltrans staff working on projects in the coastal zone.

The Coastal Program has developed informational fact sheets on the following topics:

Caltrans Coastal Program and the Interagency Agreement

Early and Ongoing Coordination with the Coastal Commission

Coastal Commission Hearing Preparation

Federal Consistency

Additionally, online tutorials are available with general background for Caltrans staff working on projects in the coastal zone.

Tutorial #1: Introduction to Delivering Projects in the Coastal Zone

Tutorial #2: Preparing a Complete Coastal Development Permit Application

Further resources related to environmental planning, case studies, and example plans and programs for projects and resources in the coastal zone can be found at the following links:

Caltrans Standard Environmental Reference (SER) Volume 5 – Coastal Requirements

The SER is an on-line resource to help state and local agency staff plan, prepare, submit, and evaluate environmental documents for transportation projects. The SER contains information appropriate to all transportation projects developed under the auspices of Caltrans, and to all local agency highway or local streets and roads projects with funding or approvals by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). SER Volume 5 provides detailed information on the coastal permitting process.

Caltrans Annotated Outline

The Env ironmental Document Annotated Outline (AO) is a guide for preparing environmental documents addressing both the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The AOs provide a consistent document format for the presentation of required content and give guidance on information to include for projects in the coastal zone.

Bridge Rails and Barriers - A Reference Guide for Transportation Projects in the Coastal Zone

The Bridge and Rails Barriers Reference Guide was developed in collaboration by Caltrans and the Coastal Commission as a tool in designing rails and barriers in the coastal zone for successful coastal development permitting.

North Coast Corridor Public Works Plan

The North Coastal Corridor Public Works Plan/Transportation and Resource Enhancement Program includes highway, rail, transit, bike/pedestrian, environmental, and coastal access improvements along the 27-mile North Coast Corridor in San Diego County. The Program is an example of a comprehensive transportation and environmental program that includes coordination and approval with the Coastal Commission for project permitting.

Big Sur Coast Highway Management Plan

The Big Sur Coast Highway Management Plan is a collaborative document that outlines a Corridor Management Plan (CMP) for the Big Sur Highway and a series of Management Guidelines that address corridor aesthetics, landside management and storm damage response, and vegetation management. The Plan is a framework for ongoing collaboration for the corridor, and is useful for reviewing resource considerations in the coastal zone.

California Coastal Commission

The California Coastal Commission’s website contains important information for planners working on transportation projects in the coastal zone, such as links to the Coastal Act, LCPs, guidance on federal consistency, climate chance and sea level rise, and links to staff reports for Caltrans coastal development permits.

For questions regarding the Costal Program web page, contact the webmaster.

Statewide Alerts and Other Information

Contact Information

Tammy Massengale, Office Chief
Scott Williams, Senior Environmental Planner

For questions regarding the Coastal Program - Caltrans Division of Environmental Analysis web page, contact the webmaster.

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