After months of lobbying by the California Coastal Commission and its anti-property-rights allies in the Legislature, this afternoon, the California Assembly voted “no” on AB 976. The bill would have given that heavy-handed agency the power to levy hefty fines on property owners for alleged violations of the Coastal Act, without having to go to court to prove its case. You can read one of our recent blog posts about the bill here.
Needless to say, this is a major victory for coastal landowners of all stripes—from homeowners big and small, to farmers. And it’s a major blow to the bill’s sponsor, Assemblymember Toni Atkins, and the Coastal Commission’s Legislative Liaison, Sarah Christie. Christie in particular lobbied hard for the bill, testifying at the Capitol and making numerous media appearances on taxpayers’ dime. But ultimately, Christie failed to dissuade enough legislators that the bill would do anything other than give an already zealous agency yet another tool for abusing the rights of coastal landowners.