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(A) Purpose - The coastal zone includes substantial opportunities for public access to the ocean and related recreational uses. The purpose of this section is to guide the acquisition and development of access facilities and vertical and lateral easements for public use within the coastal zone as part of a comprehensive program for implementing the Oxnard coastal land use plan.
(`64 Code, Sec. 37-3.8.1)
(B) Applicability and specific standards - All development within the Oxnard Coastal Zone which will have an effect on public access to, and enjoyment of, the coastline shall comply with the provisions of this section.
(1) Specific standards are contained in Policy Nos. 72, 73 and 74 and Appendices Policy Nos. 22 and 23 of the Oxnard coastal land use plan. In addition, the provisions in paragraphs B, C, D of this section and all other applicable LUP policies shall apply;
(2) Public access from the nearest public roadway to the shoreline and along the coast shall be provided in new development except where:
(a) The access is inconsistent with public safety, military security needs, or the protection of fragile coastal resources;
(b) Adequate access exists nearby, consistent with applicable policies of the certified Oxnard coastal land use plan; and
(c) Agriculture would be adversely affected;
(3) Dedicated accessways shall not be required to be open to public use until a public agency or private association agrees to accept responsibility for maintenance of and liability associated with the accessways;
(4) For the purposes of this section, new development, as defined by Section 30212(b) of the Coastal Act, does not include the following:
(a) Structures destroyed by natural disaster - Replacement of any structure pursuant to the provisions of subsection (g) of Section 30610 of the Coastal Act.
(b) Demolition and reconstruction - The demolition and reconstruction of a single-family residence; provided that the reconstructed residence shall not exceed either the floor area, height or bulk of the former structure by more than 10 %, and that the reconstructed residence is sited in the same location on the affected property as the former structure.
(c) Improvements - Improvements to any structure which do not change the intensity of its use, do not increase either the floor area, height or bulk of the structure by more than 10 %, do not block or impede access, and do not result in a seaward encroachment by the structure.
(d) Repair and maintenance - Any repair or maintenance activity for which the city has determined pursuant to Section 30610 of the Coastal Act, that a coastal development permit will not be required, unless the commission determines that such activity will have an adverse impact on lateral public access along the beach.
(`64 Code, Sec. 37-3.8.2)
(C) Waiver of access requirements -
(1) Pursuant to Cal. Pub. Res. Code, Section 30214, with respect to regulating the time, place and manner of public access, the requirements for vertical access may be waived for specific development applications only when the reviewing body vested with the authority to approve the request, finds that adequate vertical access is provided off-site but within the immediate area. Such waiver may be granted subject to the specific finding that the presence of a public beach with adequate access facilities within 500 feet, reduces the needed frequency of vertical accessways in coastal residential areas.
(2) Waiving lateral access is deemed inconsistent with the policies of the Oxnard coastal land use plan, and is therefore prohibited.
(`64 Code, Sec. 37-3.8.3)
(D) General coastal access standards - The following standards apply to all new development subject to Policies 1-34 (Appendix III, Access) of the certified Oxnard coastal land use plan and the provisions of chapter 16, and are intended to provide for the establishment of access right-of-way designations, dedications and easements on both public and private lands:
(1) Coastal access facilities shall be located where they safely accommodate public use and should be distributed throughout an area to prevent crowding, parking congestion and misuse of coastal resources. Accessways shall be sited and designed:
(a) To minimize alteration of natural land forms conforming to the existing contours of the land and be subordinate to the character of their setting;
(b) To prevent unwarranted hazards to the land and public safety;
(c) To provide for the privacy of adjoining residences and to minimize conflicts with adjacent or nearby established uses;
(d) To be consistent with military security needs;
(e) To prevent misuse of environmentally sensitive habitat areas; and
(f) To ensure that agriculture will not be adversely affected.
(2) Public access to the environmentally sensitive habitat areas such as wetlands, sand dunes, tidelands, or riparian areas, shall be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Such accessways shall be designed and constructed so as to avoid adverse effects on the resource, consistent with Policy Nos. 1, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 21 of the certified Oxnard coastal land use plan.
(3) Coastal accessways located in areas of erosion hazard shall be constructed and managed in a manner that does not increase the hazard potential. Access facilities on productive agricultural land may be temporarily closed during harvest or while pesticides are used. Where appropriate, coastal accessways shall be designed to correct abuses resulting from existing use.
(4) Access facilities constructed on access easements should be no wider than necessary to accommodate the numbers and types of users that can be reasonably expected.
(5) The design and placement of accessways shall provide for the privacy of adjoining residences. Each vertical access easement in a residential area shall be sufficiently wide to permit the placement of an appropriate accessway facility, such as a stairway, ramp, walkway and fencing, and/or landscape buffer as necessary to ensure privacy and security. Depending on local considerations in a single-family residential neighborhood, vertical accessways may be fenced on the property line and use restricted to daylight hours.
(6) Unless otherwise authorized in a specific sub-zone, use of lateral accessways shall be limited to the right of public pass and repass, active and passive recreational use, or as otherwise designated by the certified Oxnard coastal land use plan.
(`64 Code, Sec. 37-3.8.4)
(E) Establishing access areas - The establishment of required vertical and lateral accessways shall be accomplished in one of the following methods:
(1) Deed restriction - This method may be used only if an owner, association, or corporation agrees to assume responsibility for the maintenance and liability of the public accessway. City approval is first required of the person or entity assuming responsibility.
(2) Grant of fee interest - This method may be used when a public agency or private organization approved by the city is willing to assume responsibility for ownership, maintenance and liability for the public accessway.
(3) Grant of easement - This method may be used in the same instances as those identified above.
(4) Offer of dedication - This method is to be used when no public agency, private organization or individual is willing to accept a fee interest or easement and the owner is not willing to accept responsibility for the accessway. Any offer of dedication shall be irrevocable for a period of 25 years. Offers of dedication shall not be accepted until responsibility for maintenance and liability is assumed.
(`64 Code, Sec. 37-3.8.5)
(F) Specific coastal access standards - The standards for the location and distribution of both vertical and lateral accessways involving public and private lands contained in this section shall apply to all new development within the city's coastal zone.
(`64 Code, Sec. 37-3.8.6)
(G) Lateral access -
(1) Lateral accessways shall include a minimum width of 25 feet of dry sandy beach to the extent feasible, given periodic climatic conditions, or should include the entire sandy beach area if the width of the beach is less than 25 feet. Said accessways should not extend further landward than the foot of an existing shoreline protective device, or be closer than ten feet to an existing single-family residence unless another distance is specified by the Oxnard coastal land use plan. Where development imposes a greater burden on public access, a larger accessway shall be provided.
(2) Lateral accessways shall be located on all waterfront land to provide continuous and unimpeded lateral access along the entire reach of the sandy beach area or other usable recreational shoreline. Exceptions to this standard may include military installations where public access would compromise military security, industrial developments and operations that would be hazardous to the public safety and developments where topographic features, such as river mouths, could be hazardous to public safety.
(3) The proximity of the Pacific Ocean periodically precludes any development on narrow lateral accessways other than portable support facilities such as trash receptacles, picnic tables and benches, or retractable ramps or boardwalks designed for use by persons with disabilities.
(`64 Code, Sec. 37-3.8.7)
(H) Vertical access -
(1) Vertical accessways shall be a minimum of ten feet wide.
(2) Accessway surface materials shall be as follows:
(a) Where the native soil is sand, no other surfacing material is required, unless accessway is in a dune habitat, where wooden planking shall be required.
(b) Where accessways are to be constructed in areas where sand does not exist, or where conditions required an improved accessway, one of the following materials shall be used:
(i) Asphalt or concrete;
(ii) Masonry paving units including flat stone, concrete blocks, bominite, stamped concrete or other similar materials which provide a smooth, even surface;
(iii) Smooth, rounded gravel, which is approximately½-inch in diameter or less, laid to a minimum depth of five inches within an area contained by wood or concrete headers. Gravel shall be underlaid with plastic which is at least four mil thick;
(iv) Wood platform or walkways, provided that the wood shall be treated and waterproofed; and
(v) Other materials or systems approved by the commission.
(c) All accessways in designated wetlands or resource protection areas shall be subject to the granting of a coastal development permit.
(3) Vertical accessways shall be established in all beachfront areas and should be evenly distributed and carefully located throughout such areas to the maximum extent feasible. They should be located where they provide access to onshore or offshore recreational areas.
(4) Where single-family development exists or is planned, vertical accessways should be located where streets end at the shoreline, once every six residential parcels or not less than once every 500 feet. Multiple-family residential projects of five dwelling units or more should provide sufficient open space within the project for a vertical accessway, a public parking area and for construction of the access facility.
(5) Visitor-serving commercial or recreational developments on shoreline parcels shall enhance the shoreline experience by providing (or preserving) views of the ocean, vertical access through the project, and accessway facilities and maintenance as part of the project. Industrial development near beachfront parcels shall provide vertical access and parking improvements appropriate to safe, public shoreline use and equal to the potential public use of shoreline displaced by the industrial facility.
(6) Subdivision of beachfront parcels shall provide a vertical accessway to the beach area either as a separate parcel or as an easement over the parcels to be created.
(7) Vertical accessways may be developed with a range of facilities including stairways, ramps, trails, right-of-way overpasses and underpasses, or any combination thereof. Vertical accessways shall include design features which minimize bluff and shoreline erosion such as drainage systems, planting of native cover, fencing, and elevation of stairways away from bluff area. Vertical accessways shall include appropriate support facilities, such as signs and fencing.
(8) (a) In determining the specific siting of an accessway, the protection of the right of privacy of the adjacent residence shall be considered. Where a residential structure is located on the beach with no physical barrier, such as a seawall separating the residential structure from the accessway, the accessway shall not extend closer than 10 feet to the occupied residential structure. In such cases, the area from 10 to 20 feet from the residential structure may be used for pass and repass with all areas seaward of the 20-foot line available for passive recreational use. In determining an appropriate access buffer, the need for privacy should be considered in light of the public's right to obtain access and use along the shoreline. The buffered area should not act to preclude the public's right of access to and use of publicly-owned tidelands.
(b) A vertical accessway for pedestrian use on a parcel where a residential structure exists or is anticipated for construction in the proposed project shall not be sited closer than five feet to the residential structure. This five-foot buffer shall be provided to protect the privacy rights of the residents of the site. In some instances, the proposed project may have to be relocated in order to provide the accessway and still allow for a buffer between the accessway and the residential structure.
(`64 Code, Sec. 37-3.8.8)
(Ord. No. 2034, 2716)