Local Coastal Program Amendment

San Francisco's Local Coastal Program amendment was approved by the California Coastal Commission on May 10th, 2018 and is now in effect. The amended plan can be found here.


view of ocean beach and dune grass

The San Francisco Coastal Zone extends approximately 6 miles along the western shoreline, from the Point Lobos recreational area in the north to the Fort Funston cliff area in the south.

The Local Coastal Program Amendment is an update to the 1986 Western Shoreline Area Plan that will specifically address sea level rise and coastal erosion concerns along the area.

photo credit: AECOM

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Portions of San Francisco's dynamic Ocean Beach – particularly the area between Sloat and Skyline boulevards – have experienced substantial erosion over the past few decades. Shoreline erosion has already damaged the Great Highway and beach parking lots and threatens to damage critical wastewater system infrastructure. Sea level rise and the increased frequency and severity of coastal storms anticipated due to global climate change will likely exacerbate these effects in the decades to come.

The Local Coastal Program (LCP) is a policy and regulatory document required by the California Coastal Act that establishes land use, development, natural resource protection, coastal access, and public recreation policies for San Francisco's Coastal Zone. San Francisco's Local Coastal Program was originally certified in 1986. The policies of the LCP were incorporated into the Western Shoreline Area Plan, the element of the General Plan that establishes land use, development, and environmental policies for this area.

In 2015, San Francisco Planning secured funding from the California Coastal Commission and the Ocean Protection Council to lead the effort to amend the Western Shoreline Area Plan, specifically to address climate change, sea level rise, and coastal erosion concerns.

Using the best available science, San Francisco amended its Local Coastal Program to provide for long-term resiliency by balancing environmental resources, maintaining coastal access, addressing community needs, and protecting our investment in public infrastructure, such as roads and wastewater treatment facilities. The LCP amendment covers the entire Coastal Zone, but implementation will largely occur south of Sloat Boulevard, where coastal vulnerabilities are most acute.

Ocean Beach Master Plan

The LCP Amendment will define the City's approach for implementing the sea level rise and coastal erosion recommendations in the Ocean Beach Master Plan (OBMP), an interagency effort to develop a sustainable long-term strategy for Ocean Beach. The Plan represents the cooperation and involvement of SPUR, San Francisco Planning, federal, state, and local agencies, and community stakeholders in addressing seven focus areas: ecology, utility infrastructure, coastal dynamics, image and character, program and activities, access and connectivity, and management and stewardship.

The City's plan for Ocean Beach must be adopted by the San Francisco Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors prior to review and certification by the California Coastal Commission as an amendment to San Francisco's Local Coastal Program.

SPUR Ocean Beach Master Plan Cover The Ocean Beach Master Plan recommendations focus on six "Key Moves":
  1. Reroute the Great Highway behind the San Francisco Zoo via Sloat and Skyline Boulevards*
  2. Introduce a multipurpose coastal protection/restoration/access system*
  3. Reduce the width of the Great Highway to provide amenities and facilitate managed retreat
  4. Restore the dunes along the middle reach
  5. Create a better connection between Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach
  6. Introduce bicycle and pedestrian improvements north of Balboa Street
*Because of the urgent need for action, this Local Coastal Program (LCP) amendment will only address implementation of the master plan recommendations related to sea level rise and coastal erosion (Key Moves 1 and 2). Master plan recommendations not addressed in this LCP amendment are anticipated to be addressed in future amendments.

Planning and Approval Process for Completing the LCP Amendment

Extensive community outreach and involvement took place throughout this process, including several public meetings and a Community Advisory Group.

The amendment was heard by the San Francisco Planning Commission, Board of Supervisors, and the California Coastal Commission in 2017 and 2018, with final Coastal Commission certification in May 2018. The adopted Coastal Hazards policies can be found here.

Public Involvement/Timeline

Since the Project Launch in fall 2015, there have been a series of public meetings and hearings conducted by both San Francisco and the California Coastal Commission.

STEP 1 - Project Launch Fall 2015
  • LCP Advisory Group Meeting, October 14, 2015
STEP 2 - Sea Level Rise
Data Summary
Spring 2016
  • LCP Advisory Group Meeting, April 5, 2016
STEP 3 - LCP Amendment
Scope Definition
Spring-Summer 2016
  • Community Meeting, April 19, 2016
  • LCP Advisory Group Meeting, July 27, 2016
STEP 4 - Policy Development
Public Review
Spring-Fall 2016
  • LCP Advisory Group Meeting, October 24, 2016
  • Draft LCPA released November 7, 2016 for public review
  • Community Meeting on Draft LCPA, November 17, 2016
  • Planning Commission Briefing, December 1, 2016
STEP 5 - Local Approval Process 2017-2018
  • Planning Commission Initiation Hearing, March 2, 2017
  • Planning Commission Adoption Hearing, October 5, 2017
  • Board of Supervisors Land Use and Transportation Committee, January 8, 2018
  • Board of Supervisors Introductory Hearing, January 9, 2018
  • Board of Supervisors Adoption Hearing, January 23, 2018
STEP 6 - California Coastal Commission
Approval Process
  • Coastal Commission Hearing, May 10, 2018

Coastal Zone Map

The San Francisco Coastal Zone extends approximately 6 miles along the western shoreline from the Fort Funston cliff area in the south to the Point Lobos recreational area in the north. The south end of the Coastal Zone includes the Lake Merced area, the Zoo, the Olympic Club, and the seashore and bluff area of Fort Funston. The Coastal Zone spans the Ocean Beach shoreline and includes Golden Gate Park west of Fortieth Avenue, the Great Highway corridor and the adjacent residential blocks in the Sunset and Richmond districts. The north end of the seashore includes the Cliff House and Sutro Baths area, Sutro Heights Park, and Point Lobos recreational area.


Background Documents

Existing Shoreline Management Plans

Sea Level Rise


Application Packet


To receive updates about the LCP Amendment process and announcements about upcoming public meetings, sign up for automated email notifications, or contact:

Maggie Wenger
LCP Amendment Project Manager
SF Planning Department
(415) 575-9126

The LCP Amendment is largely funded by a grant from the California Coastal Commission and the Ocean Protection Council.