Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Jan 30th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Supervisor Mark Stone

Mark_StoneYou are currently serving your first year on the California Coastal Commission. What has your experience been like, and what can we expect from the commission in the near future?

I was very honored last August, when Assembly Speaker Karen Bass appointed me to serve on the California Coastal Commission.  It is an amazing responsibility to represent the Central Coast on a body—with the stated mission to "Protect, conserve, restore, and enhance environmental and human-based resources of the California coast."

The Coastal Commission was established by Proposition 20 in 1972 and made permanent by the legislative adoption of the California Coastal Act of 1976.  Since that time the commission has had a primary function to protect the coastal environment for future generations. I am particularly pleased the commission will soon meet here in Santa Cruz for the first time since 1986.  We will meet from March 10 to 12 in the County Board of Supervisors chambers, giving local people a great chance to observe and participate.

The job of the commission is to apply the Coastal Act to land use decisions made along California's 1,100-mile coastal zone. The act protects coastal resources, with specific emphasis on shoreline public access and recreation, lower cost visitor accommodations, terrestrial and marine habitat protection, visual resources, landform alteration, agricultural lands, commercial fisheries, industrial uses, water quality, offshore oil and gas development, transportation, development design, power plants, ports, and public works.  The responsibility of the commission virtually includes every human activity along the coast.  The Coastal Zone itself varies quite a bit based on local topography and urban facilities. Along the North Coast of Santa Cruz County, for example, the Coastal Zone extends approximately five miles inland. In our cities and the urban core of the county, it generally goes to the first parallel major public street. South of Capitola, the Coastal Zone is everything south and/or west of Highway 1.

The commission itself is made up of 12 commissioners. The governor, the Senate Rules Committee, and the Speaker of the Assembly each appoint four members, two from local government from specific regions and two public members. For example, the seat I hold is a speaker's appointment of a local elected official from Monterey, San Mateo or Santa Cruz counties. The public appointments are entirely at the discretion of the appointing authority. The public members run the gamut from dedicated environmentalists to developers, to the governor's former entertainment attorney. The governor may remove his or her appointments at any time, but  the legislative appointments serve for fixed terms and cannot be removed for merely political reasons. My term runs through May 2012.

The commission meets every month for either two or three days, depending upon the size of the agenda in different cities along the coast. Virtually every coastal community has the eventual opportunity to observe at close hand a Coastal Commission meeting.

There are two significant local issues pending before the commission. The first is the Arana Gulch Master Plan that will be heard at the March meeting to be held here in Santa Cruz. The second is the La Bahia Development near the Boardwalk that will be scheduled for a later date. Both are complex significant issues and have had their share of local controversy.

Being a part of the Coastal Commission has been a tremendous journey for me. I have met some great people and I have been learning a lot. I am proud to serve and to bring a Santa Cruz County perspective to these important, statewide decisions.

Comments (1)Add Comment
Great Choice
written by 4oceans, February 24, 2010
Having watched the Coastal Commission for many years and now Mark Stone for several months, it is clear that Speaker Karen Bass made a great choice for the Coastal Commission. She could not have done better. Mark is thoughtful, considerate, compassionate and appreciative of the need to protect coastal resources for future generations in the context of rapidly rising seas and an exploding population. An impossible job, sure, but Mark's dedication is inspiring.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Jeffrey’s Restaurant

Why quick and friendly service matters at a local diner.

 

If you didn't live in Santa Cruz, where would you be living?

I would live in Kauai because the water is warmer, and I just love it there. Maureen Niehaus, Santa Cruz, Dental Assistant

 

Clos LaChance Wines

Pinot Noir 2012

 

Striking Gold

A taste of Soquel Vineyards’ five gold medal-winning Pinots