City of Eureka navigating Coastal Commission certification process

EUREKA – Ever wondered why there aren’t food trucks or vacation rentals along Eureka’s Waterfront? Those ordinances are regulated by the California Coastal commission which has taken more than a year to certify them.
The commission holds jurisdiction over coastal waters from Oregon to Mexico extending approximately 1,000 yards inland. That gives the twelve commissioners approval over much of what cities on the water hope to accomplish, and it’s a time consuming process.
First, City Council holds multiple meetings and public hearings to pass an ordinance. Once adopted, city planners begin a back and forth with coastal commission staff to make changes before commissioners vote to certify it. Then council members must hold an additional hearing to adopt the changes.
Holmlund said that while it sometimes seems ridiculous that minor changes like food trucks can take more than a year to approve, it’s also worthwhile. “I think for many years the city avoided making changes to laws in the coastal zone but I really actively tried to do that,” Holmlund said. He continued, “It’s a cumbersome process. It takes a lot of work but it’s something that I think is really important so we put a lot of effort in the past couple of years to changing the city’s regulations in the coastal zone to make things more sensible and even though it’s a difficult process it’s been worth the effort.”