This document lists the most common questions and answers associated with sea level rise in Venice, CA. The responses are designed to be short, but provide resources for further in depth reading.
WHY DOES THE LCP HAVE TO ADDRESS SEA LEVEL RISE?
The California Coastal Act requires coastal communities to prepare a Local Coastal Program (LCP), which must address potential hazards associated with coastal areas and establish policies and implementation measures to avoid and/or reduce coastal hazards. Sea level rise is a coastal hazard scientific research has linked to climate change. Because the State of California and City of Los Angeles have made it a priority to prepare for climate change, the Venice LCP must include a section on coastal hazards related to sea level rise along with policies and implementation measures to avoid and/or reduce risks. Based on a Venice-specific sea level rise vulnerability assessment. Sea level rise and climate change present challenges of a new magnitude. Sea level rise has the potential to significantly threaten many coastal resources, including shoreline development, coastal beach access and recreation, natural habitats, cultural and scenic resources, all of which are subject to specific protections and regulations in the California Coastal Act. Sea level rise in Venice also has the potential to threaten critical infrastructure, transportation systems, canal and oceanfront communities, and public facilities, which could affect safety, health, economic, and environmental sustainability.
WHERE CAN I FIND INFORMATION ABOUT SEA LEVEL RISE PREDICTIONS AND ASSOCIATED COASTAL HAZARDS?
Coastal California is already experiencing the early impacts of rising sea levels, including more extensive coastal flooding during storms, periodic tidal flooding and increased coastal erosion. Sea level rise science is constantly being improved upon to become more fine-tuned and to accommodate new information and technological innovation. While specific impacts and timelines are always becoming more refined, we will use the best available science to plan for and adapt to sea level rise in Venice, consistent with state guidance.
THE PREDICTIONS SHOW THAT SIGNIFICANT FLOODING AND TIDAL INUNDATION WON’T HAPPEN IN THE SHORT TERM. WHY DOES ADAPTATION NEED TO BE ESTABLISHED NOW?
While mid and long term increases in sea-level rise will undoubtedly cause significant flooding and tidal inundation, it is the short-term increases in sea-level rise that are expected to become the driver of the strongest impacts to infrastructure and coastal development in California. Short-term processes, including Pacific Basin climate fluctuations (Pacific Decadal Oscillation, El Niño Southern Oscillation, and North Pacific Gyre Oscillation), King tides (perigean high tides), seasonal cycles, and winter storms, will produce significantly higher ocean water levels along the California coast.
These short term processes, combined with sea-level rise and storm events will present significant risks. Anticipating and planning for sea level rise related coastal hazards now can help avoid or reduce the extent and severity of any sea level rise related damages or impacts Venice may experience in the future. Additionally, the Community of Venice has many unique features, such as the beach area and canal system, that are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise already and are being specifically analyzed in the context of a Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment. The Vulnerability Assessment will detail Venice’s unique sensitivities to Sea Level Rise and provide a basis for the development of polices intended to help the City adapt to Sea Level rise related coastal hazards.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TIDAL INUNDATION AND FLOODING?
The terms “flooding” and “tidal inundation” are two important sea level rise effects. “Flooding” refers to the process of dry areas becoming wet temporarily, either periodically or episodically. “Tidal inundation” refers to the process of a dry area being permanently drowned or submerged by water.
WHAT IS A VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT?
An important component of sea level rise adaptation planning is preparation of a vulnerability assessment. The main steps in a vulnerability assessment include the following: 1) Determine the range of projections relevant to the LCP planning area/segment 2) Identify potential physical sea level rise impacts in the LCP planning area/segment 3) Assess potential risks from sea level rise to coastal resources and development
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS?
Venice can improve its resiliency by becoming an active participant in the LCP process to help shape the plan. Remaining engaged and connected in the planning process after it is adopted will ensure the plan is implemented accordingly. Staying connected to local academic research centers are a great way to incorporate the newest information and science into implementing the plan and adapting to sea level rise. Please refer back to our events page and resources page for more information.
WHO WILL PAY FOR SEA LEVEL RISE ADAPTATION PROJECTS?
While CCC contributes to the Planning aspects of Sea Level Rise, the cost and who pays for adaptation projects is another discussion that will need to occur over the course of developing the LCP. These discussions must consider how to incorporate extensive feedback in order to develop the right equitable approach. Some measures will need to be implemented by private property owners through the land use development process. Other adaptation measures that have community-wide benefits may be funded by government agencies.
As an example of how a California community is financing sea level rise adaptation, 2016, San Francisco Bay voters passed Measure AA with 69% of the vote, to pay for sea level rise adaptation measures through a $12 per year parcel tax over 20 years. In Los Angeles, we will need to develop our own local for financing adaptation projects.
HOW DOES THE LCP SEA LEVEL RISE PLANNING DIFFER FROM FEMA FLOOD RISK MAPPING?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) performs Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP) which is designed to help identify flood risk and promote informed planning and development practices on a nationwide level. FEMA maps community wide flood risks on flood maps called Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), which provide detail about different flood hazard zones but do not incorporate or address anticipated sea level rise. FEMA is in the process of updating the FIRMs for Venice and has released preliminary revised FIRMs to the public, which are expected to be adopted in 2018. The LCP sea level rise planning is developed at the local government level and is a comprehensive local plan to adapt to sea level rise unique to the Venice Coastal Zone.
HOW WILL INPUT FROM THE COMMUNITY BE USED IN SEA LEVEL RISE PLANNING LOCALLY?
Community input is critical to ensure that sea level rise planning incorporates varied values, specific needs and diverse ideas to tailor a sea level rise plan that works for everyone who lives in and visits Venice. The plan must be uniquely tailored in order to ensure for its implementation. The City is hosting a 4 part workshop series on Sea Level Rise –all open to the public, in order to involve Venice residents, business owners, and other stakeholders in sea level rise planning. In addition there will be public hearing processes, likely in 2019.
WHO CAN I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?
The Venice LCP Team can be reached at: EMAIL ADDRESS VeniceLCP@lacity.org
The Local Coastal Program outlines the need, process, and outcomes of a Local Coastal Program (LCP) in Venice. The California Coastal Zone Conservation Act of 1972 (Proposition 20) was a temporary measure passed by the voters of the state. The California Coastal Act of 1976 is the permanent enacting law approved by the State legislature. A certified LCP will create compliance with the California Coastal Act.
What are the components of a local coastal program (LCP)?
Used by local governments, in partnership with the California Coastal Commission, LCPs are basic planning tools that guide development in the coastal zone. In order to establish the kind, location, and intensity of land and water uses appropriate to its portion of the coastal zone, an LCP has two components: the Land Use Plan (LUP) and the Local Implementation Plan (LIP). These components are described below. A Land Use Plan details the land uses which are permissible and specifies the general policies which apply to each Land Use. The Implementation Plan is responsible for implementing the policies contained in the Land Use Plan through various zoning regulations and development standards.
WHY DOES VENICE NEED A LOCAL COASTAL PROGRAM?
The Coastal Act requires coastal communities to prepare an LCP. At present, Venice does not have a certified Local Coastal Program (LCP). While the Venice Coastal Zone Land Use Plan (LUP) was certified in 2001, the Local Implementation Plan (LIP) was not certified in 2004. Both are ready for updating. Much has changed in the past 15 years. Coastal zones yet-to-be certified, as well as many LCPs certified in the 1980s-early 2000s, are outdated and would benefit from updates to reflect changed conditions, new information and knowledge, and new programs and policies – especially those related to climate change and Sea Level Rise. Updated LCPs provide stronger coastal resource protection in light of current environmental conditions and create more predictability and transparency in development. A certified Venice LCP will better respond to today's physical environment, as well as policy goals of the future.
WHAT DOES A CERTIFIED LOCAL COASTAL PROGRAM ACCOMPLISH?
After the LCP has been certified by the California Coastal Commission, the Commission’s coastal permitting authority over most new development is transferred to the local government. The local government then applies the requirements of the LCP in reviewing proposed projects and developments. However, the Commission retains coastal permit jurisdiction over development proposed on land adjacent to public waterways like tidelands and submerged lands, as well as public trust lands; the 2 Commission also acts on appeals from certain local government coastal permit decisions. Furthermore, the Commission reviews and approves any amendments to previously certified Local Coastal Programs.
HOW DOES THE VENICE LCP GET CERTIFIED?
Certifying the Venice Local Coastal Program will require: 1. updating the Venice Coastal Zone Land Use Plan and 2. Preparing the Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan for certification, which makes up the Local Implementation Plan. In order to have a certified LCP, both components of the plan need to be adopted locally as well as certified by the Coastal Commission.
WHO CAN I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?
You can email email@example.com or call Jonathan Hershey, Senior City Planner at 213.978.1337, Hagu Solomon-Cary, City Planner, at 213.978.1394, or Laura MacPherson, City Planner at 213.978.1187