Coastal Commission Administrative Fine Authority Bill Signed into Law

Budget trailer legislation has been signed into law to authorize the California Coastal Commission with administrative fine authority in certain situations.

  • SB 861 allows the Commission to impose an administrative civil penalty upon a person who violates public access provisions of the Coastal Act, by a majority vote of the commissioners, upon consideration of various factors.
  • The fine could be in an amount not to exceed 75% of the maximum civil penalty that may be imposed in the superior court.
  • The bill authorizes the penalty to be assessed for each day the violation persists, but for no more than 5 years.
  • The bill prohibits a person from being subject to both this monetary civil liability imposed by the commission and a monetary civil liability imposed by the superior court for the same act or failure to act.
  • The bill also allows the commission to record a lien on the property of a violator in the amount of the penalty assessed by the commission if the violator fails to pay the penalty.
  • The bill prohibits the assessment of administrative penalties in certain cases if the property owner corrects the violations.