Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I find a permit or project by record number?

    Select the Search Applications option on the main page. Enter the permit or project number in the Record Number field. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Search button. Select your record of interest from the search results at the bottom of the page.

    Instructional sheet link or info here

  • How do I find permit or project by address?

    Select the Search Applications option on the main page. Enter the Street Number, Street Name, and City in the appropriate fields. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Search button. Select your record of interest from the search results at the bottom of the page.

    Tip: It is recommended to start your search with basic information (for example, a street number, street name and name of city) and let the system return the available results, then select your record from those results. This avoids errors where, for example, the street type is designated as an Avenue or Drive, but the user enters an incorrect designation as Street.)

    Instructional sheet link or info here

  • How do I search for a Record by APN (Assessor Parcel Number)?

    In this system, each county has a unique 5-digit code (called a FIPS code) and APN formatting scheme (for example, some counties use hyphens and some don’t) to differentiate their respective parcel numbers from each other. Counties may have the same parcel number in their data, however, using the FIPS code allows the user to find the correct parcel number for each county. A guide illustrating the FIPS code for each county and how their respective parcel data is formatted is provided in the link below.

    Tip: If you see a parcel without an APN on an Assessor’s Map, that usually indicates the parcel is owned by a public agency, such as a city or county.

    Instructional sheet link or info here

  • How do I search for a permit or project by an applicant name or other contact type?

    Select the Search Applications option on the main page. In the field labeled General Search select type: Search by Contact.

    On the Search by Contact screen, select the Contact Type from the drop-down menu (e.g., Applicant), then enter the contact name in the appropriate fields. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Search button. Your contact search results will appear at the bottom of the page when there is more than one record associated with a contact name. Select your contact of interest to see records associated with the contact’s name.

    Instructional sheet link or info here

  • Why does the map not always display the address?

    The data system creates a map based on the parcel associated with the permit or project location. Unfortunately, some older and a few newer permits and projects do not display on the map properly due to a project location not having an associated parcel (e.g., a project located offshore or along a highway right of way) or where problems occurred when the record was entered into the system. Currently, approximately 15% of the 150,000+ records in the data system do not display on the map. Commission staff are continuing to update these data and correct this problem as time and resources allow.

  • How do I translate information from English to Spanish?

    The Public Data Portal is currently only available in English. Once you have selected a record to review, you may copy specific text into a translation service (such as Google Translate) to view information in Spanish (or any other language). Please see the User guide “How to copy text for translation” for additional instructions.

    Instructional sheet link or info here

  • What are the different types of Commission records?

    Appeals: Certain types of Coastal Development Permits issued by a local jurisdiction with a certified local coastal program (LCP) may be appealed to the Coastal Commission for review. See Appeals FAQs on the Commission’s website for additional information regarding the Appeal process.

    City of LA Local Permit: These are Coastal Development Permits issued by the City of Los Angeles that may be appealed to the Coastal Commission.

    Coastal Development Permit – CCC Jurisdiction: These are permits issued directly by the Coastal Commission for development within its retained jurisdiction within the Coastal Zone.

    Emergency Permits: Certain temporary activities that are immediately necessary to protect coastal resources or existing development may apply for an emergency permit from the Commission. An application for a regular Coastal Development Permit may be required following the issuance of an emergency permit.

    Emergency Permit Waiver: Certain types of development projects with no impact to coastal resources may be exempt from requirements to obtain a Coastal Development Permit.

    Exemptions: These are Coastal Development Permits issued by the City of Los Angeles that may be appealed to the Coastal Commission.

    Federal Consistency Certifications, Federal Consistency Determinations, Federal Consistency Negative Determinations and Federal Consistency No Effects: The Federal Consistency Unit of the California Coastal Commission implements the federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) of 1972 as it applies to federal activities and private development projects, permits and licenses with a federal component. In the CZMA, Congress created a federal and state partnership for management of coastal resources. See the Federal Consistency page on the Commission’s website for further information regarding the Federal Consistency Program.

    Local Coastal Plans: Local Coastal Programs (LCPs) are basic planning tools used by local governments to guide development in the coastal zone, in partnership with the Coastal Commission. LCPs contain the policies and ordinances for future development and protection of coastal resources in coastal cities and counties. The LCPs specify the appropriate location, type, and scale of new or changed uses of land and water. See Local Coastal Programs on the Commission’s website for additional information regarding LCPs.

    Long Range Development Plans: Certain colleges and universities with locations in the coastal zone may propose a coastal permitting component in their Long-Range Development Plans. Those components must be certified by the Coastal Commission.

    NOID – PWP: Notice of Impending Development for a Public Works Plan. The Commission receives a notice of an impending development for a project being issued under an approved Public Works Plan.

    NOID – LRDP: Notice of Impending Development for a Long Range Development Plan. The Commission receives a notice of an impending development for a project being issued under an approved Long Range Development Plan.

    Port Master Plan: Certain ports with locations in the coastal zone regulate development under a Port Master Plan. The Plan must be certified by the Coastal Commission.

    Post Certification Monitoring: Local governments with certified Local Coastal Plans must notify the Coastal Commission of Coastal Development Permits issued under their LCP and must indicate whether the permit is potentially appealable to the Commission. These Post Certification Monitoring records are the mechanism by which the Commission reviews the implementation of the Coastal Act by the local jurisdiction.

    Public Works Plan: Local and regional governments may propose certain large and long-term projects as Public Work Plans to make permitting more efficient. The Plan must be certified by the Coastal Commission.

  • How can I find older records or permits issued before 1981?

    The Public Data Portal provides access to all records that are currently available electronically in the Commission’s data management system. However, not all Commission records created since 1972 are currently available electronically in the data system. Older records, typically contained in paper-based files, are maintained in Commission archives located in the State Records Center. Commission staff continue to add historic record information to the data management system as time and resources allow. The Commission continues to seek funding to scan and create digital copies of paper-based records for inclusion in the data management system.

    Generally, data for Commission actions are available as follows.

    • Coastal Development Permits (issued by the Commission): 1981-Present
    • Emergency Permits: 1983-Present
    • Appeals: Mid 1980’s-Present
    • Local Coastal Plans: Early 1980’s- Present
    • CDPs issued by Local Governments: Mid 1980’s-Present
    • Federal Consistency Items: 1978-Present
  • Why do some records have very limited data?

    Many records that were previously entered in the Commission’s older data systems had limited data entry options and limited data available at the time. Commission staff will continue to add historic record information to the data management system as time and resources allow.

  • How do I find documents or staff reports for these records?

    Currently the Commission is unable to provide access to documents through the Public Data Portal. Commission staff are working to provide access to key documents soon. In the meantime, you may search for staff reports and related materials presented to the Commission via the Commission’s Meeting Agenda Archive on the Commission’s webpage.

    Please note that the Commission does not always adopt the staff recommendation, so the staff report may not reflect the final action taken by the Commission. Agendas once final are marked up to reflect the action of the Commission. You may also watch the hearing for any item heard by the Commission after 2006 by going to this website: https://cal-span.org/static/meetings-CCC.php, locating the hearing item in which you are interested, and listening to the Commissioners’ debate and final vote on an item.

  • How can I search for additional types of information?

    In addition to searching for a specific permit, you may also look for information on types of records or records in a specific area. For example, you can search for all records of a specific type (e.g., Coastal Development Permits, Local Coastal Plans or Emergency Permits), records in a specific city or county, all local permits issued by a city or on a specific street, permits issued in a specific year, or Appeals filed in a city over the last 10 years.

    Instructional sheet link or info here