Navigating the California Coastal Act
Navigating the California Coastal Act
Jana Zimmer

Navigating the California Coastal Act

Regular price $80.00
  • Item #NCA
  • ISBN: 978-1-938166-21-1
  • Copyright (c) 2018
  • Paperback
  • 276 pp.
  • Price: $80.00

Kindle e-book available at

  • ISBN: 978-1-938166-29-7
  • Price:  $40.00


The only book that provides a comprehensive but concise overview and guide to practice under the California Coastal Act.  Offers a clear understanding of current substantive standards and procedures—including how development along the coast is defined, where it may be permitted and under what substantive and procedural standards, and how jurisdiction over planning for development and conservation in coastal areas is determined. Practice tips throughout the book suggest ways to work effectively with Coastal Commission staff and present cases to the Commission.

Navigating the California Coastal Act is intended for planners and officials at local, state, and federal agencies, as well as property owners, real estate developers, attorneys and judges, interested citizen activists, and students.

Topics include:

  • The Coastal Commission—its qualifications, organization, and role in implementation of the Coastal Act
  • The Local Coastal Program—its purposes, processes, and common issues
  • Coastal development permit requirements—types of permits, and emerging or recurring issues
  • The Coastal Commission hearing and appeal process
  • Interpreting and applying Coastal Act standards
  • Other relevant agencies and laws
  • Enforcement of the Coastal Act
  • Judicial review

Appendices contain a glossary of terms and summaries of key legal cases.

The e-book edition includes hyperlinks to the resources listed in the endnotes to each chapter. Consult the original documents without leaving your e-book! (Please note: links were current as of the publication of this book in January 2018.)

The book reflects both a love of the coast, and a love of the law, and is enhanced by extraordinary photography, courtesy of Reeve Woolpert, and the artwork of the author.


Jana Zimmer is a Santa Barbara-based attorney, arbitrator, and former Coastal Commissioner with over 35 years of experience in work under the California Coastal Act.  During her legal career, she represented public agencies, environmental organizations, and private parties with issues before local government and the Coastal Commission.  From 2011 to 2015, she served as an “at large” appointee of the Speaker of the Assembly, John Perez. She served as Vice-Chair of the Coastal Commission from December 2013 to July 2015. Ms. Zimmer currently works as an expert witness, facilitator, and governmental relations consultant specializing in Coastal Act matters.  She remains licensed to practice in California, the 9th Circuit, and before the U.S. Supreme Court.


See the front cover

See the back cover

Read the Foreward and Preface

Read Chapters-At-A-Glance and the detailed TOC (PDF)

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