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3.A Attachment COS_FinalDraft_December2020Conservation and Open Space 1. Introduction and Purpose The Conservation and Open Space Element of the combined Pismo Beach General Plan/Local Coastal Program (GP/LCP) guides the protection of natural, scenic, and cultural resources and conservation areas important to the environment and sustained economic prosperity of Pismo Beach. How the City of Pismo Beach (City) manages its resources directly relates to the overall quality of life in Pismo Beach. The Conservation and Open Space Element identifies local goals that presents how Pismo Beach’s local natural environment will look in 2040, policies that measure progress toward the goals, and actions that identify the regulatory tools the City can use to meet those goals. 1.1 Relationship to State Law The Conservation and Open Space Elements are required elements of General Plans that work together to protect, preserve, and enhance environmental quality (OPR 2017). The Conservation Element identifies natural resource areas and ecosystem benefits which should be preserved and enhanced, whereas the Open Space Element identifies and designates areas that should be preserved as undeveloped and that may be used by the community as natural and/or recreational resources. As these elements work together, they are combined in this GP/LCP. Consistent with the Coastal Act, this GP/LCP also includes protections for coastal resources, including the scenic and visual qualities of coastal areas, open space along the coast, marine and upland habitats and sensitive coastal biodiversity, air quality, and water quality (Coastal Act Sections 30230, 30231, 30240, 30251, 30252, 30253). These coastal resources are afforded high priority for protection under the Coastal Act, and by extension, the GP/LCP. In addition, per the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the City shall provide protections for the breeding, roosting, and nesting habitat of bird species listed pursuant to the federal or California Endangered Species Acts, California bird species of special concern, and wading birds (herons or egrets), as well as owls or raptors. This element provides standards and regulations for development within or in proximity to nesting and foraging bird habitat that is consistent with federal and state laws. 1.2 Relationship to Other General Plan Elements The Conservation and Open Space Element is closely related to both the Land Use Element and Safety Element. The conservation areas identified in the Conservation and Open Space Element will be reflected in the Land Use Element and inform the surrounding uses to be compatible with the natural functions and benefits of such uses. The Safety Element identifies areas and resources that are at risk from natural hazards and forecasted changes due to climate change, as well as areas unsuitable for development. 1.3 Relationship to Community Vision 2 Consistent with the Community Vision described in the introductory chapter, the City has developed guiding principles to set the framework for this Conservation and Open Space Element. This element strives to implement the community vision through its goals, policies, and actions, and is built around the following guiding principles: Enrich Natural Resources Essential to Protecting Pismo Beach from Health and Natural Hazards Together, the Pacific Ocean, beaches, hills, climate, and related ecosystems create the foundation of Pismo Beach. These natural resources have steered the development of Pismo Beach into the quaint beach town it is today. The unique geographical character of Pismo Beach provides for both benefits and constraints for future development within the City. For example, the hills and ocean that flank Pismo Beach on either side expose the community to certain hazards while providing rich amenities that contribute to its beautiful and attractive environment. This element shall provide guidance and provisions for development that avoid geologic and other hazards while protecting and enhancing the City’s natural resources. Natural resources enhance the quality of life of residents and visitors and should not be wasted, destroyed, or neglected. In particular, clean air and water are essential to the health of the community and therefore the City will strive to protect and responsibly manage these invaluable resources. Pismo Beach is an integral part of the larger California coastal community, linked by shared resources that are prized by the state, national, and even international community. Solutions for cooperative use will always be based on retaining the area's fragile charm and resources. Pismo Beach will continue to cooperate with all regional agencies to meet or exceed both federal and state clean air and water standards. Support Access to Coastal Resources and Open Spaces Pismo Beach’s coastal resources and open spaces are key factors in what makes the community a tourist destination. Therefore, preserving the productivity and accessibility of the City’s coastal resources and open spaces is essential to enhancing the visitor- based economy. These areas generally provide many of the scenic, historic, economic, recreation, open space, and ecological values for the community. The City will strive to enhance and protect the various conservation areas that act as suitable coastal and inland habitat, migratory corridors, and ecologically valuable topography. These conservation areas enhance the quality of life of residents and visitors and shall not be wasted, destroyed, or neglected. Conserve and Protect Pismo Beach’s Unique Coastal Geography that is a Key Factor in Ecological Function The ocean, coastal cliffs, riparian, and shoreline resources are vital to Pismo Beach for their wildlife habitat, recreational use, open space, scenic value, and the City's overall economy. These areas have been conserved through conservation easements, environmental protection regulations, and jurisdictional authorities. Continuing and improving upon the City’s efforts to conserve and protect these conservation areas discourages and constrains the expansion of urban sprawl. The freeway foothills northwest of Pismo Heights are both a visual and open space asset to the community as well as a sensitive environmental resource. The City will preserve the area's native flora and fauna and preserve the foothills as an undeveloped 3 visual backdrop for Pismo Beach. The Pismo Creek/Price Canyon and environs are another key natural resource and open space area and the major inland entrance to the City, which the City will continue to manage as a public resource for the community. Protect Pismo Beach’s Past, Present, and Future Culture It is important that the City protect its tribal cultural, historic, and archaeological resources to tell the story of the community’s past and protect resources that lend importance to the community’s unique character and identity. This element will provide the tools for the City to preserve, protect, and responsibly manage historical, tribal cultural, archaeological, and paleontological resources. The policies and actions provided herein are intended to supplement the relevant state laws such as Senate Bill 18 and Assembly Bill 52 and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). 2. Natural Resources Pismo Beach is located in a special environmental setting on a narrow marine terrace bordered by the beach and ocean on one side and the hills on the other. The Conservation and Open Space Element focuses on the natural resources of Pismo Beach including air, solar energy, soils, water, and dark skies. The intent of policies and actions in this element is to guide the management of these natural resources to enhance the quality of life of residents and visitors and to prevent waste, exploitation, destruction, or neglect. Because the supply of natural resources is limited, the importance of conservation planning cannot be underestimated. Pismo Beach residents and visitors depend heavily on natural resources, whether they be safe water, clean air, renewable energy sources, or healthy soils. The natural resources of Pismo Beach are highly inter-related and must be viewed in context with one another when considering development within the City. Responsibility for conservation of natural resources lies not only with the City Council, Planning Commission, California Coastal Commission, and other governmental and permitting bodies, but also depends on the wise use of natural resources by every resident and visitor to the community. 2.1 Air Quality The clean air and pleasant climate of Pismo Beach are an important asset of the City that attracts residents and visitors alike. Rising population and increased tourism have caused some degradation of the air quality of the region, most notably through the increase in the number of vehicles in the City, subsequent increase in vehicle miles traveled in recent years, and particulate matter emissions from the Oceano Dunes to the south due to high winds blowing sand and dust into the air. Air quality is regulated by various state and federal agencies and must meet certain standards to comply with the law. Pismo Beach is in an air quality basin known as the Coastal Plateau. This plateau is 5 to 10 miles wide and varies in elevation from sea level to about 500 feet above mean sea level. Stationary sources of pollutants in the region are controlled through the permit processes and monitoring of the Air Pollution Control District (APCD). In the Pismo Beach area, major stationary sources include the Avila tank farm, UNOCAL and the oil wells in Price Canyon. Smaller sources include gas stations and dry-cleaning establishments. The APCD monitors vapor recovery equipment and processes at these sources. 4 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and California Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) are clean air standards established to protect the public from high levels of air pollutants. The San Luis Obispo County APCD is a regional agency that works to preserve air quality through implementing regulations and programs to assist the county in reaching attainment for those NAAQS and CAAQS. San Luis Obispo County suffers from high levels of particulate matter several times a year and has received the nonattainment designation for current ozone standards. Table CO-1 details San Luis Obispo County’s NAAQS and CAAQS attainment status based on pollutants defined by the California Air Resources Board. If pollutants are in nonattainment, implementation plans are put in place to outline actionable steps for the county to work towards attainment. The GP/LCP should be consistent with these implementation plans. 5 Table CO-1 San Luis Obispo County Air Quality Attainment Status Pollutant Federal Designation California Designation Ozone (O 3 ) Nonattainment Eastern San Luis Obispo County - Attainment Western San Luis Obispo County Non-Attainment Respirable Particulate Matter (PM 10 ) Unclassified/Attainment Non-Attainment Fine Particulate Matter (PM 2.5 ) Unclassified/Attainment Attainment Carbon Monoxide (CO) Unclassified Attainment Nitrogen Dioxide (NO 2 ) Unclassified Attainment Sulfur Dioxide (SO 2 ) Unclassified Attainment Lead No Attainment Information Attainment Visibility Reducing Particles No Federal Standards Attainment Sulfates No Federal Standards Attainment Hydrogen Sulfide No Federal Standards Attainment Vinyl Chloride No Federal Standards No Attainment Information Source: APCD 2019. Note: Attainment = meets the standards; Nonattainment = does not meet the standards; Unclassified = insufficient data to classify; Unclassified/Attainment = meets the standard or is expected to be meet the standard despite a lack of monitoring data. 2.2 Renewable Energy Pismo Beach has multiple resources that can be used to generate energy including solar. Passive solar-powered homes and businesses ensure that City operations are as energy-efficient as possible. The Renewables Portfolio Standard is a state law mandating increased procurement of renewable energy by California utilities. Under the targets of the Renewables Portfolio Standard, all electricity providers in the state must procure at least 50% of the electricity they sell from eligible renewable resources by 2030. The Renewables Portfolio Standard is administered jointly by the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission. These mandates along with technology advances increase the demand for renewable energy. 2.3 Geology, Soils, and Minerals The City has no active mineral operations within their jurisdiction, nor does it have any land classified as a grade II machine-readable zone (MRZ-2) for containing concrete-grade aggregate within their jurisdiction. No oil fields lie within Pismo Beach, nor are there any active offshore drilling operations. New offshore drilling would require not only federal and state permits, but also 6 county voter approval for onshore facilities supporting offshore drilling. This is due to Measure A, a measure adopted by San Luis Obispo County in 1986 (County of San Luis Obispo 1992). Class I soil is considered to have slight limitations for agricultural use, while Class II soil has moderate limitations for agricultural uses, which could include a reduction of plant choices or a need for moderate conservation practices. Approximately 18 acres of prime, Class I soil exists within the City; however, this area is currently used for recreation as it covers Pismo Beach Golf Course and North Beach Campground (County of San Luis Obispo n.d.). Approximately 33 acres of Class II soil is contained within the City, which is used primarily for residential or commercial purposes. All soils below Class II have severe limitations for agricultural uses and will not be addressed in this element (USDA n.d.). 2.4 Water Supply and Quality Water supply is an important resource that needs to be used efficiently. Pismo Beach currently receives water from three sources: Lopez Lake, the State Water Project, and groundwater (Pismo Beach 2015). A formal groundwater management plan has not been prepared for the City, Tri-Cities area, or the Northern Cities Management Area. The City is a participant in Central Coast Blue, a regional recycled water project that will create a new, high-quality, and reliable water supply for the Five Cities communities. Currently the water from the Pismo Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant and the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District Wastewater Treatment Plants is being treated and discharged to the ocean. Central Coast Blue will provide an opportunity to capture this lost water and use it to recharge the Santa Maria Groundwater Basin (SMGB) to create a drought-proof, sustainable water supply for the community. Central Coast Blue is expected to be operational in 2024. Water quality is regulated by various state and federal agencies and must meet certain standards to comply with the law. The Pacific Ocean is among the City’s most significant natural water resources and is protected against development that would significantly alter its quality as a natural resource and the quality of the surrounding landscape and natural features. Pismo Marsh and Pismo Creek are among Pismo Beach’s most significant inland freshwater resources, and as such have been protected by the City against significant alteration. Urban runoff from the surrounding watershed impacts the biological diversity and water quality of the Pacific Ocean, Pismo Marsh, and Pismo Creek. The Coastal Act requires the protection and enhancement of marine and coastal water resources, including water quality. Protection of coastal water resources requires not only minimizing pollutants in runoff, but also minimizing alterations in a site’s natural hydrologic balance, including the runoff flow regime. The City’s GP/LCP establishes a high standard for coastal water resource protection and provides an important planning and regulatory framework for enhancing coastal nonpoint source (NPS) pollution control and minimizing changes in watershed hydrology. The primary threat to the City’s water quality is intrusion of seawater into groundwater aquifers, which has been mitigated by maintaining a net outflow of groundwater into the ocean and reducing groundwater pumping to maintain levels above mean sea level. The City has met all federal and state standards for drinking water in 2018 and abides by their own certified LCP that aids in maintaining high standards for resource protection of 7 water and coastal assets. The County of San Luis Obispo routinely monitors the water supply for chlorite and chlorate presence, both byproducts of the water treatment process. The City maintains best practices by alternating disinfectants used in water treatment and monitoring chemical levels that can potentially degrade the quality of water or pose a risk to residents. Nonpoint Source Pollution NPS pollution is the most significant cause of water pollution in the nation in both coastal and inland regions. NPS pollution is pollution from many sources, diffused over space and time. Common occurrences of NPS are excessive use of fertilizer; pesticide runoff from upstream agricultural areas; and oil, grease, and other toxic chemicals running off from energy generation sites or industrial production zones. This type of water pollution likely affects Pismo Beach through runoff from agricultural installations and through excess soil and dust entering water from grading and construction. The City complies with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and State Water Resources Board approved Total Maximum Daily Load to monitor and maintain water quality for use and particulate material. The Total Maximum Daily Load identifies maximum levels of given pollutants that are acceptable per volume in a water body, designates responsible parties for managing and controlling pollutant levels, establishes quantitative measurements of water quality, and sets forth implementation to achieve acceptable levels of pollutant loading. Point Source Pollution Point source pollution is any singular, identifiable source that discharges pollutants. In Pismo Beach, sewage systems and factories present the most significant production of point source po llution. 2.5 Dark Skies Preserving dark sky from light pollution at night is important for sustaining the life and health of wildlife. The presence of bright lights at night has been proven to disrupt the normal foraging and breeding behaviors of seabirds. These birds can also experience “light entrapment,” a state in which they continually circle around light sources and become confused or disoriented, and as a result are trapped near the light source until the next dawn. Plankton and fish are also adversely affected by bright artificial light sources, as they tend to be attracted to water that is typically better lit by artificial lighting. This behavior has been observed by predators, who recognize and use the artificial light to aid in hunting. The main sources of light pollution in Pismo Beach are streetlights and exterior lighting for the downtown area, as well as lighting bordering scenic Highway 101. 8 3. Scenic Roadways and Vistas 3.1 Scenic Roadways As shown in Figure CO-1, Scenic Roadways and Vistas, there are scenic roadways throughout Pismo Beach offering views of a variety of landscapes. The policies and actions provided in this element supplement federal and state mandates relating to scenic resources and highways. There are no California register scenic highways within the City limits; however, there are multiple eligible scenic highways. Additionally, the City has designated the following roadways as scenic: • Highway 101 • Price Canyon Road • Highway 1/Dolliver Street • Shell Beach Road • Ocean Boulevard 3.2 Scenic Vistas As indicated throughout this GP/LCP, what draws people to Pismo Beach is its small beach town character and its sweeping coastal views. Pismo Beach’s scenic value boosts the City’s tourist-based economy while enhancing the residents’ quality of life. With these benefits in mind, this element provides policies and actions that protect and enhance the scenic roadways and vistas in Pismo Beach. As shown in Figure CO-1, Scenic Roadways and Vistas, the City has designated areas along the coast as scenic vistas that offer panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and coastline. Additional scenic resources that are not depicted on Figure CO-1 may exist and are also protected by this GP/LCP. 9 Figure CO -1 Scenic Roadways and Vistas 10 4. Cultural Resources 4.1 Historical, Archaeological and Tribal Resources Cultural resources include archaeological, tribal, and historic resources. Archaeological sites resulting from thousands of years of human settlement along the coast are among the most fragile of resources. These sites are declared culturally and historically important and should be conserved. Protection of these resources is established in CEQA, the California Public Resources Code, and the California Health and Safety Code. The Central Coast area, including Pismo Beach, was the home of the Chumash people at the time of early explorations and settlements by Europeans. Evidence of the culture and occupations by the Chumash may be found at numerous sites in the vicinity of Pismo Beach. In addition, an important archaeological site directly adjacent to Francis Judkins Junior High School, on Lucia Mar School District Property, exists in the Pismo Heights planning area. Most of the City's archaeological data comes from studies conducted as part of the CEQA process. The City maintains an updated classified record of this data for the use in the processing of development proposals. In addition to policy requirements related to archaeological or paleontological resources, the Coastal Act was updated in 2004 to require intergovernmental consultation with Native American tribes. The new provisions require cities and counties to contact, and consult with, California Native American tribes prior to amending or adopting a general plan or specific plan, or designating land as open space. There is one officially designated historic building in Pismo Beach, listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the John Price House. The Price Historical Park was later formed and dedicated to the City and a private non-profit group was established to care for the Price House and grounds. The Price House Park contains many historical components, including the Meherin House and the Ortega-Price Adobes. The Meherin House was home to the daughter of John Price, Mary Anne Price, and her large family. The house was originally constructed in Shell Beach, but was relocated twice to where it now rests in the Price Historical Park. The Ortega-Price Adobe area is a registered archaeological area with restricted public access. The Ortega-Price Adobes reflect the progress in adobe construction and use. As one of the largest City Parks in Pismo Beach, the 7.15-acre Price Historical Park provides a ri ch and interesting historical context for the City. 5. Conservation Areas Pismo Beach contains important conservation areas, or areas within the community that contain a large number of diverse plant and animal species. These areas include the ocean and shoreline habitats, butterfly grove s, riparian and wetland habitats, and foothills. These conservation areas vary in plant and animal communities, location, ownership, and use. In addition, many of these areas are designated as environmentally sensitive habitat area (ESHA) and some of the areas, such as Pismo Marsh and Pismo Creek, are wetlands. Figure CO-2, Conservation Areas, displays the location of each conservation area. 11 Figure CO -2 Conservation Areas 12 Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area Some of the conservation areas within the City’s Coastal Zone are considered environmentally sensitive habitat area (ESHA) (as identified by the coastal icon) and thus are afforded additional protection under the Coastal Act and therefore, this GP/LCP. ESHA is defined in the Coastal Act as “any area in which plant or animal life or their habitats are either rare or especially valuable because of their special nature or role in an ecosystem and which could be easily disturbed or degraded by human activities and developments” (Section 30107.5). ESHA designations are based on the presence of rare, sensitive, or especially valuable species or habitats. Historically, the following types of habitats have generally been found to meet the definition of ESHA: • Habitat areas that are rare or especially valuable from a local, regional, or statewide basis. • Habitat areas that support plant or animal species designated or candidates for listing as rare, threatened, or endangered under State or Federal law. • Habitat areas that support species designated as Fully Protected or Species of Special Concern under State law or regulations. • Habitat areas that support plant species for which there is compelling evidence of rarity (e.g., those designated 1b (rare or endangered in California and elsewhere) or 2 (rare, threatened, or endangered in California but more common elsewhere) by the California Native Plant Society). • Areas of particular biological, scientific, or educational interest, including large continuous expanses of native trees and vegetation. Examples of ESHA in Pismo Beach include portions of Pismo State Beach, Pismo Marsh, Price Canyon, Pismo Creek, Pismo Preserve, Meadow Creek, the Oceano Dunes, and the Monarch Butterfly Grove. An important component of the combined GP/LCP is to ensure that ESHA is identified and protected in future development proposals consistent with Coastal Act requirements. See Policy 3.2, Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas, for policies related to ESHA determinations, protections, and buffers, among other related policies. 5.1 Ocean/Shoreline Habitats The Pacific Ocean is the most significant conservation area for Pismo Beach. It is also the most vulnerable and complex of resources due to the varied and intense uses to which it is subjected. The City's shoreline can be divided into six areas: Northern 13 Rocky Beaches, Southern Beach Community, Intertidal Zone, Subtidal Zone, coastal bluffs, and coastal dunes. These shoreline areas host a large number of diverse plant and animal species, from tide pool organisms to shore birds and terrestrial mammals. In addition to being Pismo Beach’s most significant conservation area, the ocean is Pismo Beach’s largest and most valuable marine and coastal resource and thus is protected consistent with the Coastal Act (Section 30230). The ocean provides ecological, recreational, economic, and aesthetic value, among others. The community's lineal physical form and related circulation patterns reflect the residents' strong desire to be as close as possible to the water. Historically, the community's economic basis was the ocean, and today Pismo Beach still heavily depends on the ocean for tourism. The kelp beds and sand dunes and other coastal habitats are also important marine resources that preserve biodiversity and the overall health of the coastal region. Northern Rocky Beaches North of Pismo State Beach is an area defined by rocky beaches and points and sea cliffs. This area includes the Dinosaur Caves, Shell Beach, and Sunset Palisades locations. Many birds nest, feed, roost, and float in these areas, such as black oystercatcher, Brandt’s cormorant, brown pelican, double-crested cormorant, pelagic cormorant, peregrine falcon, pigeon guillemot, and western gull. Shell Beach includes cliffs and a small sand and cobble beach. Seal haul-outs (i.e., sites where seals temporarily leave the water) may also occur for California sea lions and harbor seals. Marine life is abundant within the reefs and rocky area abutting the beach, and is covered in the intertidal and subtidal sections, below. North of Shell Beach are the South Palisades and Sunset Palisades areas, which continue the line of cliffs, rocky points, and reefs, with occasional sandy pocket beaches dotting the coastline. Southern Beach Community The beach from the southern City limits to approximately 3 miles north is predominantly an area called Pismo State Beach, which is under the ownership of the State of California, controlled by the California Department of Parks and Recreation and managed by the City. This location is a wide, sandy beach that provides the opportunity for both passive and active recreational and educational activities. At the southern end of the City are sand dunes that are considered part of the coastal strand community, which is composed mainly of beach and primary dunes, with some coastal dune scrub habitat mixed in. Since the plant life must adapt to constantly shifting sand conditions created by the winds, plants that are low growing and often succulent are typical of the plant community. Intertidal Zone The intertidal zone is a unique area between the high tide and low tide lines. This stretch of shoreline spends multiple times each day covered and uncovered by water. Its form varies and can include hard, fine sand or a rocky tide-pool substrate. Within the boundaries of Pismo State Beach, the State Lands Commission has jurisdiction over all matters concerning the area’s wildlife populations and manages the intertidal zone. 14 Populations of the Pismo clam live in the intertidal zone and a variety of bird species also feed in the intertidal zone. The federally endangered black abalone also has a chance of living in rocky intertidal reefs off of Pismo Beach. Recreational activities include bird watching, tide-pooling, walking, and jogging. At high tides, this zone is also popular for surf fishing. In the past this area was used intensively by clammers until the clams disappeared from the area; however, management of the area by the California State Department of Parks has allowed for clams to repopulate to a degree. Despite this, there is only a limited possibility that the clam beds will ever reach the population size they once had. Subtidal Zone The subtidal zone is an area between the mean-lower low tide line and the point where the ocean reaches a depth of 100 feet. Subtidal land is under the jurisdiction of the State Lands Commission. Along Pismo State Beach, this area is generally a sand or mud bottom and is relatively level. In the northern half of the City, the subtidal zone is rocky near the shore. Portions of Pismo Beach’s subtidal zone are home to kelp beds which are a supremely important habitat. The federally endangered black abalone can be found in rocky reefs in the subtidal zone. The threatened sea turtles found at times in the subtidal zone are East Pacific Green Turtles and Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. The Leatherback Sea Turtle and North Pacific Loggerhead Sea Turtle are found in the area and are endangered. The subtidal zone also includes the following endangered mammals: Blue Whale, Fin Whale, Guadalupe Fur Seal, Humpback Whale, Southern Reside nt Killer Whale, North Pacific Right Whale, Sea Otter, Sei Whale, and Sperm Whale (NOAA 2012). Other marine mammals found in this area are the Dali Porpoise, Gray Whale, North Pacific Pilot Whale, and Pacific White Sided Dolphin. Coastal Bluffs The coastal bluffs of Pismo Beach include an approximately five-mile shoreline planning area characterized by sheer cliffs that end directly in the Pacific Ocean. The bluffs range from ten to one hundred feet in height and recede rapidly due to both natural events and development that has caused fluctuation in the stability of the cliffs and outermost sediment. The bluffs represent significant recreational and aesthetic resources that are an important piece of the community’s character and play a large role in both current and future development along the shoreline. Development s on top of the bluffs are endangered by erosion and subject to considerable setbacks and other mitigation measures to ensure that development will not occur in locations that are in imminent danger of erosion. Residential and recreational development are the primary uses that occupy bluff areas, including The Bluffs residential planning area and South Palisades Park. Coastal bluff erosion is addressed in the Safety Element. Coastal Dunes Dunes are formed from beach sand that is blown inland by prevailing winds and stabilized gradually over time by vegetation. The dunes within the City boundary border the coast west of Pismo Creek. They developed as a series of parallel ridges generally 15 aligned with the prevailing northwesterly winds. The dunes extend up to a third of a mile from the north to south. The dune vegetation is a mosaic of native and exotic species. The coastal dunes also pose a threat to air quality in Pismo Beach as dust and particulate matter from the dunes gets swept off into the air, causing a reduction in air quality. However, because of their ecological importance and rarity, coastal dunes are likely to be considered ESHA. 5. 2 Monarch Butterfly Grove Pismo Beach is among the top five cities in the state for annual butterfly population, a result of massive migrations of Monarch Butterflies between October and late February. The City’s Eucalyptus trees provide shelter for the thousands of butterflies that seek safety from freezing winters. Pismo Beach's most significant butterfly habitat is the Monarch Butterfly Grove at Meadow Creek, located at the southern boundary of the City. This area is a sanctuary for butterflies in the winter, which is the most sensitive part of the monarch’s life cycle. Land uses for this area include educational, scientific, and recreational use. 5.3 Riparian and Wetland Habitat Riparian habitat is the environment associated with lands adjacent to freshwater sources. These areas fulfill an important role in Central California, performing a variety of biological and recreational functions. Habitat can vary but is generally characterized by plant and animal communities requiring more moisture than that which is available from precipitation. Pismo Beach has three such areas of importance including the Pismo Marsh, Pismo Creek, and Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove. Each supports a different variety of species and are unique features in Pismo Beach. Wetlands are defined in the Coastal Act as “lands within the coastal zone which may be covered periodically or permanently with shallow water and include saltwater marshes, freshwater marshes, open or closed brackish water marshes, swamps, mudflats, and fens” (Section 30121). California Public Resources Code defines wetlands as “land where the water table is at, near, or above the land surface long enough to promote the formation of hydric soils or to support the growth of hydrophytes, and shall also include those types of wetlands where vegetation is lacking and soil is poorly developed or absent as a result of frequent and drastic fluctuations of surface water levels, wave action, water flow, turbidity or high concentrations of salts or other substances in the substrate” (Section 13577[b]). Based on these definitions, wetlands under the Coastal Act may only display one of the wetland parameters typically used to define wetland areas, unlike the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which uses a three-parameter definition under its federal authorities. In addition, the Coastal Act definition of wetland does not distinguish between wetlands according to their quality; therefore, poorly functioning or degraded wetlands are afforded the same protection under the Coastal Act. Examples of wetlands within Pismo Beach include Pismo Marsh and Pismo Creek. See Policy 3.6, Wetland Protection, for required standards to protect wetlands in Pismo Beach for their scenic, recreational, water quality and habitat values. 16 Pismo Marsh Pismo Marsh, also known as Pismo Lake Ecological Preserve, is a wetland located in the southeastern portion of the City. It is primarily a freshwater marsh, though an area of salt marsh vegetation also exists in the southwest portion of the preserve. Pismo Creek originally fed this marsh, however Meadow Creek is now the sole freshwater water source for Pismo Marsh. The marsh is 54 acres and is under the ownership and management of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has estimated that as many as 59 species of birds, 24 species of mammals and four species of reptiles and amphibians may be found in the relatively undisturbed lake habitats. Therefore, it plays an important role as habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. It also provides a vital link in the Pacific Flyway used by numerous species of migratory birds. Many sensitive plants and plant communities are found here and are identified in Table CO-1. Western pond turtles were the only sensitive reptile or amphibian found in the marsh (Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District 2010). The preserve’s management does not allow interpretive, educational or passive recreational access to the marsh at this time. Pismo Creek The Price Canyon foothills feed Pismo Creek, a 5.5-mile stream originating in the San Luis Valley. This creek flows westward, forming a major inland entrance to Pismo Beach. Pismo Creek is an intermittent creek, meaning the creek bed is generally dry in the summer and fall, but seasonally flows with up to 5 feet of freshwater, defining it as a wetland under the Coastal Act. At low tide, a sand bar prevents the creek from draining into the ocean and creates a small, intermittent lagoon at the mouth of the creek. Pismo Creek offers habitat for various fish including the federally endangered tidewater goby and threatened South-Central California Coast Steelhead and Green Sturgeon (USFWS 2019). 5.4 Foothills Foothills are an important conservation area and a major aspect of the visual character of Pismo Beach. They act as a backdrop for Pismo Beach and a complement to the Pacific Ocean. The City has four major coastal foothill areas: the Freeway Foothills, Pismo Heights Foothills, Oak Park Heights Foothills, and the Price Canyon Foothills. Much of these areas include heavily grazed, open grassland, pockets of oak woodland, riparian corridors, and chaparral vegetation. Portions of steep topography in these foothills have constrained growth and shaped the soil, hazards, and species present in the area. These foothills are designated as Open Space in the Land Use Element and are intended to protect areas with significant natural resources, environmentally sensitive habitats, and/or scenic views. Land use on open space is meant to be less intense, and often includes recreation and limited residential uses. Additionally, open space lands are not intended to be intensively developed with buildings or other structures; however, there are some permits which can be obtained for these structures. Figure CO-3, Open Space and Conservation Areas, displays all open space designated land uses, as well as an overlay showing the aforementioned 17 conservation areas. It should be noted that not all open space areas are conservation areas, as some do not serve as habitat, but rather are used for recreation, education, public assembly, or more. Freeway Foothills The Freeway Foothills abut Highway 101 to the north, and are the predominant landform in northwestern Pismo Beach. The hills consist of grassland with pockets of oak woodlands and coastal scrub. Barrancas, or finger canyons, line the hills and add texture and valuable habitat to the area. The freeway foothills are primarily privately owned, therefore, access to this area is largely restricted. Within and adjacent to the stretch of Freeway Foothills is the Pismo Preserve. The Pismo Preserve is almost 900 acres of open space located on the eastern portion of the Freeway Foothills. It is owned and managed by the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County. Access to the preserve is provided via a parking lot off of Mattie Road whereby visitors can enjoy over 11 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The preserve includes multiple plant communities, including grassland, coastal scrub, maritime chaparral, oak woodlands, and sycamore and willow riparian corridors. The preserve contains oak woodlands and coastal ridgelines that provide ecological value (LCSLO 2019). The Freeway Foothills offer habitat to federally threatened South-Central California Coast Steelhead, federally endangered California red-legged frog, and other species of concern such as the southwestern pond turtle. Pismo Heights Foothills The Pismo Heights Foothills area occupies the northeastern portion of Pismo Beach, on the eastern side of State Highway 101. This area has been almost completely developed by residential and public uses. The developed nature of this area makes the scenic views from the highest geographical areas of Pismo Heights an important element of the area’s open space. Conserving the remaining open space in Pismo Heights is important because of the fragile biodiversity of those areas, the potential for more sites of archaeological importance, and considerable presence of oak trees that are to be preserved. 18 Figure CO -3 Open Space and Conservation Areas 19 Oak Park Heights Foothills The Oak Park area is located in the southeastern portion of Pismo Beach. Due to residential development and grazing, only pockets of grassland, native chaparral, oak woodlands, and riparian corridors remain. The eastern portion of this area contains open land, oak woodlands and riparian area and forms a complex habitat that is particularly sensitive to certain disturbances. It also drains into the sensitive Pismo Marsh habitat area, giving it extra ecological importance. Because only pockets or corridors of biodiversity are left, it’s more important to conserve them and keep connectivity between Pismo Marsh and other areas possible. Price Canyon Foothills The Price Canyon Foothills drain into the northeastern portion of Pismo Creek. It is similar to the Pismo Preserve, and contains pockets of oak woodlands and sycamores, as well as willows and cottonwood and other riparian tree species among the surrounding grazing land. Much of this land is not directly within City limits, but its conservation is integral to the quality of Pismo Creek. The habitat consists of open grazing land, oak woodlands and riparian areas surrounding the creek. 6. Climate Change It’s important to note that Pismo Beach’s natural resources and conservation areas will likely be impacted by climate change. In addition to changes in temperature and rainfall, increases in sea level is anticipated to alter the physical characteristics of wildlife habitat and plant/vegetation communities—inundating beaches, converting dry beach to intertidal or subtidal areas, and relocating the intertidal areas of wetlands to a more inland or upland location. The species that depend on these habitat areas will either be lost or relocate with the habitat. Other climate change concerns with regards to sensitive coastal habitats include: 1) increased erosion of habitats due to sea level rise, 2) loss of wetland habitat due to sea level rise, 3) increased competition from non-native species as native species become more vulnerable, 4) increased fires and 5) loss and fragmentation of migration corridors. Each of these concerns will be important policy considerations for the GP/LCP. 20 7. Goals, Policies, and Actions Goal-1 – A community that conserves the important natural resources of Pismo Beach for the community’s health, safety and enjoyment, including air quality, renewable energy, geology and soils, minerals, water quality and supply, and dark skies. Improve Air Quality. The City shall support health and enjoyment for those who live or work in the City and for visitors. Action COS-1.1a: Community Trip Reduction. In order to reduce pollution, the City shall emphasize various procedures to reduce the number of vehicle trips and the number of vehicle miles traveled in the community. Techniques shall include, but not be limited to, transportation management measures such as vanpools, carpools, and subsidized transit passes; jobs/housing balance; bikeways and facilities; pedestrian facilities; electric vehicles and related infrastructure and transit improvements. See the Circulation Element, Land Use Element, and Housing Element for related policies. Action COS-1.1b: City Employee Trip Reduction. Develop, implement, and promote a TDM program for City employees that includes incentives to reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips, such as ride matching services and assistance, flexible work schedules or telecommuting opportunities, end of trip facilities (parking, showers, lockers), subsidized transit passes, etc. Action COS-1.1c: Electric Vehicles. Establish electric vehicle parking spaces and charging requirements to lower pollution, and reduce the City’s reliance on gasoline. Action COS-1.1d: City Fleet Replacement. Develop and adopt a low- and zero- emissions replacement/purchasing policy for official City vehicles and equipment. This would not apply to vehicles with special performance requirements. Action COS-1.1e: Public Outreach. The City shall sponsor and participate in a number of public outreach events such as Bike Week, Rideshare Week, Earth Day, Children’s Day in the Plaza, Clean Air Month, and grant workshops. Through websites, e-newsletters, air quality forecasting, brochures/flyers, media interactions and presentations the City shall work to provide easy to understand information to all individuals throughout Pismo Beach. Action COS-1.1f: Regional Programs. Continue to support and participate in regional air quality planning programs. In addition, continue to support the efforts of the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District Strategic Action Plan, as amended. 21 Action COS-1.1g: Manage Toxic Air Contaminants. Continue to address and enforce federal and state regulation that aim to maintain attainment. Through implementation and enforcement of CEQA mitigation, the City shall manage toxic air contaminants to protect public health and meet state-mandated risk compliance thresholds. Policy COS-1.2: Renewable Energy. Support and incentivize renewable energy and non-renewable energy consumption. Action COS-1.2a: Solar Incentives. The City shall promote and inform development applicants and existing home owners and businesses of the following solar incentives: • California Solar Initiative Rebate Program • California Alternative Rates for Energy Program • California Energy Commission – New Solar Homes Partnership • GRID Alternatives - Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing Program • Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo Energy Services • emPower San Luis Obispo Action COS-1.2b: Community Choice Energy. Evaluate the feasibility of a regional Community Choice Aggregation program to procure electricity from renewable resources. Action COS-1.2c: Energy Audits for Community Buildings. Complete energy audits and benchmarking of all City-owned or -operated facilities, leveraging existing programs, such as Pacific Gas & Electric's Automated Benchmarking Service or the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR Challenge program. Action COS-1.2d: Energy Efficient Upgrades. Establish a prioritized list of energy efficiency upgrade projects and implement them as funding becomes available. Policy COS-1.3: Soil Conservation. The City shall provide regulations that conserve valuable soils. Action COS-1.3a: Mining. Mining and removal of materials (sand, gravel, and other minerals) for commercial use shall be prohibited. Action COS-1.3b: Oil. Offshore drilling or other activities, which may endanger the ecological resources of the coast, shall be prohibited within the City boundaries, which extend outward into the ocean for three miles. These activities shall also be discouraged in nearby offshore areas beyond the City's boundaries. 22 Policy COS-1.4: Water Supply. The City shall provide residents and visitors of Pismo Beach a reliable and sustainable water supply through the use of new or enhanced water supply programs, water conservation efforts, and routine reporting. Action COS-1.4a: Water Supply Programs. Continue to create a new, high quality, and reliable water supply through water programs like Central Coast Blue. Action COS-1.4b: Recycled Water. The City shall encourage, and in some cases require, the use of recycled water when available as a condition of approval for new development where recycled water infrastructure has been extended and is readily available to serve new development. The City will continue to expand its recycled water program and will seek new and improved technologies and best practices to use water more efficiently. Action COS-1.4c: Drought-Tolerant Landscaping. Modify the Water-Efficient Landscape Standards and Requirements to include drought-tolerant non-invasive landscaping with an average plant factor of 0.5 of Reference Evapotranspiration (ETo). Continue to emphasize the use of native, drought-tolerant, and water conserving plants, and evaluate modifications to the Municipal Code as updated iterations of the Model Water Efficiency Ordinance are published by the state. Action COS-1.4d: Groundwater Management Plan. The City may consider coordination with other agencies within the Santa Maria Groundwater Basin to develop a more comprehensive groundwater management plan. Action COS-1.4e: Seawater Intrusion into Groundwater Aquifers. The City shall continue to implement best practices to prevent seawater intrusion into groundwater aquifers, by alternating disinfectants used in water treatment and monitoring chemical levels. Action COS-1.4f: Incentives. Continue and improve upon the Pismo Beach rebates and programs that incentivize water conservation such as the Free Catch Bucket Program and Cash for Grass Rebate. Action COS-1.4g: Track Progress. Continue to track and achieve progress in reaching the City’s target per capita water use, updated every 5 years in the City’s Urban Water Management Plan. Action COS-1.4h: Water Waste Prevention. Prohibit the waste of water through the Water Waste Ordinance which sets guidelines for normal, moderately restricted, severely restricted, and critical water supply conditions. Action COS-1.4i: Metering and Audits. Continue to require that water meters be installed on new service connections and perform retrofits to help optimize the metering program, in accordance with California Water Code Section 527. Using metered water data, the City shall continue to perform water audits and balances to identify the volume of appare nt and 23 real water loss and estimate the impact of these losses on utility operations. The City maintains records of its water production and metered deliveries and can subsequently identify percentage losses within the distribution system. The City shall continue to update and track water loss on an annual basis. Action COS-1.4j: Conservation Pricing. Continue to update the Urban Wastewater Management Plan (UWMP) to routinely apply variable water service rate structures by customer class. The UWMP shall include rates based on volume of use encourage water conservation by customers. Action COS-1.4k: Public Information Programs. Improve upon and adapt to changing technologies in the City’s efforts to establish public outreach programs for water conservation programs, events, and other educational outlets. Action COS-1.4l: City Water Conservation Staffing. As the City sees fit, expand volunteer and/or internship program for water conservation efforts under the direction of the Director of Public Works to facilitate organization coordination, additional water conservation branding, and web-based and public outreach. Policy COS-1.5: Water Quality. The City shall protect and restore the City’s water quality through identifying and managing point sources and non-point sources. Action COS-1.5a: Meadow Creek Watershed Protection. Runoff from any new development projects within the Meadow Creek watershed, which drains to the marsh, shall be evaluated with a hydrology report to determine if its runoff exceeds the existing volume rate of flow or suspended solids content. Existing rates should not be exceeded unless restoration plans are developed. The utilization of permeable ground materials to the greatest extent possible is encouraged as one method of limiting increased runoff. Erosion control measures, such as distillation basins and energy dissipaters, shall be incorporated within any grading plan as necessary. Action COS-1.5b: Watershed Protection. Existing and new development shall not degrade Pismo Beach’s coastal resources or water quality. The City shall require development projects to comply with water quality and watershed protection requirements per the 2013 Phase II Small MS4 General Permit (Order No. 2013-0001 DWQ, effective July 1, 2013, or any amendment to or re-issuance thereof), approved by the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. The City shall continue collaborations with other San Luis Obispo County jurisdictions on the development and implementation of watershed protection principles and implementation of best management practices for specific land uses. 24 Action COS-1.5c: Minimize Adverse Impacts from Stormwater Outfall Discharges. Avoid construction of new stormwater outfalls, and direct stormwater to existing facilities with appropriate treatment and filtration, where feasible. Where new stormwater outfalls cannot be avoided, plan, site, and design outfalls to minimize adverse impacts to coastal resources from outfall discharges. Policy COS -1.6: Coastal Waters. The biological productivity of coastal waters, streams, wetlands, estuaries, and lakes appropriate to maintain optimum populations of marine organisms and for the protection of human health shall be maintained and, where feasible, restored through, among other means, minimizing adverse effects of waste water discharges and entrainment, controlling runoff, preventing depletion of ground water supplies and substantial interference with surface waterflow, encouraging waste water reclamation, maintaining natural vegetation buffer areas that protect riparian habitats, and minimizing alteration of natural streams. Action COS-1.6a: Transport of Pollutants from Development. Plan, site, and design development to minimize the transport of pollutants from development into runoff and coastal waters. The City shall require adequate provision of erosion control measures as part of new development to minimize sedimentation of streams and drainage channels. Action COS-1.6b: Minimize Changes in the Site’s Runoff Flow Regime. Plan, site, and design development to minimize post-development changes in the site’s runoff flow regime (i.e., volume, flow rate, timing, and duration), to preserve the pre-development hydrologic balance and prevent adverse changes in the hydrology of coastal waters (i.e., hydromodification). Action COS-1.6c: Address Runoff Management Early in Site Design Planning Address runoff management early in site design planning and alternatives analysis, integrating existing site characteristics that affect runoff (such as topography, drainage patterns, vegetation, soil conditions, natural hydrologic features, and infiltration conditions) in the design of strategies that minimize post-development changes in the runoff flow regime, control pollutant sources, and, where necessary, remove pollutants. Action COS-1.6d: Low Impact Development Strategies. New development and redevelopment shall give precedence to the use of a Low Impact Development (LID) approach to stormwater management, which integrates site design strategies (e.g., minimizing the building footprint, preserving vegetation, and protecting natural drainage features) with small-scale, distributed Best Management Practices (BMPs) (e.g., permeable pavement surfaces, rain barrels and cisterns, and bioretention techniques) to replicate the sit e’s natural hydrologic balance through infiltration, evapotranspiration, harvesting, detention, or retention of stormwater close to the source, to the maximum extent appropriate and feasible. 25 Action COS-1.6e: Protect and Restore Hydrologic Features. Plan, site, and design development to protect and, where feasible, restore hydrologic features such as stream corridors, drainage swales, topographical depressions, groundwater recharge areas, floodplains, and wetlands. Action COS-1.6f: Preserve or Enhance Vegetation. Plan, site, and design development to preserve or enhance non- invasive vegetation, to achieve water quality benefits such as transpiration, interception of rainfall, pollutant uptake, shading of waterways to maintain water temperature, and erosion control. Action COS-1.6g: Infiltration. Modify the Stormwater regulations in the Municipal Code maintain or enhance on-site infiltration of runoff, where appropriate and feasible. If on-site infiltration of runoff may potentially result in adverse impacts, including, but not limited to, geologic instability, flooding, or pollution of coastal waters, the development shall substitute alternative BMPs (e.g., flow-through planter box, green roof, or cistern) that do not involve on-site infiltration in order to minimize changes in the runoff flow regime to the extent appropriate and feasible. Alternative BMPs shall also be used where infiltration BMPs are not adequate to treat a specific pollutant of concern attributed to the development, or where infiltration practices would conflict with regulations protecting groundwater. Action COS-1.6h: Impervious Surfaces. New development shall be planned, sited and designed to minimize the installation of impervious surfaces, where feasible, especially impervious areas directly connected to the municipal storm drain system, in order to minimize increases in stormwater or dry weather runoff. Redevelopment projects shall, where feasible, increase the area of pervious surfaces. Action COS-1.6i: Priority Development Projects. Require a Water Quality Management Plan for Priority Development Projects, (PDPs) as defined in the NPDES MS4 Permit, that includes permanent post-construction treatment control BMPs to address pollutants of concern specific to the PDP’s land use and impairments of surface waters to which the project drains. PDPs will also require post-construction runoff control BMPs to minimize adverse changes in the PDP’s runoff flow regime. The Water Quality Management Plan will provide for the operation and maintenance of the permanent treatment control and runoff control BMPs and shall be implemented for the life of the development. Policy COS-1.7: Minimization of Water Quality Impacts During Construction Development shall minimize water quality impacts during construction by minimizing land disturbance and soil compaction, minimizing erosion and sedimentation, and minimizing the discharge of other pollutants resulting from construction activities. 26 Action COS-1.7a: Use Source Control BMPs. Require new development to incorporate Source Control BMPs, which can be structural features (such as a roof over an outdoor storage area) or operational actions (such as proper application of pesticides and fertilizers) to control pollutant sources and keep pollutants segregated from runoff, in order to minimize the transport of pollutants in runoff from the development. Action COS-1.7b: Manage BMPs for the Life of the Development. Modify the Stormwater regulations in the Municipal Code to include to implement appropriate protocols to manage BMPs (including installation and removal, ongoing operation, inspection, and maintenance) in all development, to protect coastal water resources for the life of the development. Action COS-1.7c: Minimize Land Disturbance During Construction. When reviewing development applications, the City shall require applicants to exemplify how the development minimizes land disturbance activities of construction (e.g., clearing, grading, cut-and-fill, and soil compaction), especially in erosive areas (including steep slopes, unstable areas, and erosive soils), to avoid detrimental water quality impacts caused by increased erosion or sedimentation. Action COS-1.7d: Minimize Erosion and Sedimentation During Construction. Require that construction be conducted using measures to minimize soil erosion and off-site transport of sediment and debris originating at the construction site. Action COS-1.7e: Minimize Discharge of Construction Pollutants. Development shall minimize pollution of runoff and coastal waters by construction chemicals and materials through waste management BMPs and “good housekeeping” BMPs. Action COS-1.7f: Avoid Construction Staging on the Beach. The City shall require any construction occurring on the beach or beach fronting lots to provide the location of their staging areas within their project plans prior to the issuance of a grading permit. Construction on or adjacent to the sandy beach shall avoid staging/material storage on sandy beaches or within any other biological resource area. Policy COS-1.8: Water Quality BMPs in New Development and Redevelopment. All Coastal Development Permits (CDPs) shall incorporate Best Management Practices in new development and redevelopment. 27 Action COS-1.8a: Stormwater Runoff Plans. All projects that require a CDP and have the potential for adverse water quality or hydrology impacts to coastal waters shall prepare both a construction-phase and a post-development runoff plan. Action COS-1.8b: Runoff Plan Requirements. Runoff management shall be addressed early in the development’s planning and design stages. As part of CDP approval, the City shall require that the runoff plans include stormwater pollution control and runoff control measures or systems, and a maintenance program, as necessary, for both the construction- phase and post-development runoff plans. The post-development maintenance program shall be for the life of the development. The level of detail provided to address the plan’s requirements shall be commensurate with the type and scale of the development, and with the potential for adverse water quality and hydrology impacts to coastal waters. Policy COS-1.9: Minimization of Lighting Impacts. Eliminate or shield and direct exterior lighting away from biological resources to minimize adverse impacts to wildlife and protect the dark sky. Action COS-1.9a: Light Spillover. Prohibit spillover of light into the identified biological resource. Require new development projects and major remodel projects to use minimal exterior lighting (limited to pedestrian safety needs) and to minimize direct upward light, spill light, glare and artificial night sky glow. New lighting fixtures shall be mounted at low elevations and fully shielded to direct lighting downward, and away from the shoreline. Action COS-1.9b: Night Sky Ordinance. Adopt a “night sky” ordinance to preserve nighttime views, prevent light pollution, and to protect public safety by establishing street and public area lighting standards. Action COS-1.9c: Outdoor lighting. Outdoor lighting shall avoid: operating at unnecessary locations, levels, and times; spillage to areas not needing or wanting illumination; glare (intense line-of-site contrast); and frequencies (colors) that interfere with astronomical viewing. Goal COS-2 : A community that protects and enhances scenic roadways and vistas. Policy COS-2.1: Protect Scenic Resources. The scenic and visual qualities of coastal areas shall be considered and protected as a resource of public importance. Permitted development shall be sited and designed to protect views to and along the ocean and scenic coastal areas, to minimize natural landforms, to be visually compatible with the character of surrounding areas, and, where feasible, to restore and enhance visual quality in visually degraded areas. See Figure CO-1, Scenic Roadways and Vistas. 28 Action COS-2.1a: Enforce Height Limits. In order to enforce and improve upon City height limitations with respect to scenic views: (1) The City shall continue to enforce regulations and standards set forth by the Height Limitations Overlay Zone in the PBMC. The intent of the Height Limitation Overlay Zone is to preserve access to extraordinary scenic views and vistas. (2) The City shall enforce the height limitations set forth in the Land Use Element, including the special height limits for ocean-fronting parcels. Action COS-2.1b: View Consideration Overlay Zone. The City shall continue to enforce regulations and standards set forth by the View Consideration Overlay Zone. The purpose of the View Consideration Overlay Zone is to preserve, protect and maintain views of scenic land and water areas, and other areas which are of significant value to the public due to their aesthetic and scenic qualities; preserve, protect and maintain significant views and vistas from major public view corridors, on City-designated scenic highways (U.S. Highway 101, State Highway 1, and Price Canyon Road), public lands, beaches and waters within Pismo Beach which characterize the City's appearance; ensure that site planning, design, grading and landscape techniques will preserve, protect and enhance the visual character of the City's predominant natural landforms, urban form, vegetation and other distinctive features. Action COS-2.1c: Designated Scenic Roadways. The roadways shown on Figure CO-1, Scenic Roadways and Vistas, identify all scenic roadways in Pismo Beach. Ocean views from U.S. Highway 101 and Shell Beach Road shall be protected to the maximum extent possible in the review and approval of development projects. View corridors shall be provided within any proposed development project. Action COS-2.1d: U.S. Highway 101 Design Review Buffer. The City shall require design review (including the review of proposed plantings and structure) of all projects within 200 feet of the edge of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) right-of-way for their visual qualities as seen from U.S. Highway 101. Action COS-2.1e: Structures along U.S Highway 101. New commercial signs, sound walls and other new development shall be modified in height, size, location or design so that existing "blue water” ocean views from U.S. Highway 101 will not be blocked, reduced or degraded; the same policy shall also apply with respect to existing open views from U.S. Highway 101 to the scenic upper slopes, generally above the 200 ft. contour, which provide the visual backdrop for the City. Exceptions will be allowed only for 1) residential or visitor serving commercial structures where no other use of the property is feasible, and 2) signs, utility structures and public buildings where there is no feasible alternative and all appropriate mitigation measure are applied to minimize adverse visual impacts. 29 Action COS-2.1f: Ridgeline and Slope-Side Development. The City shall require that new structures not be placed on ridgelines or slope breaks where they would profile against the sky, as seen from U.S. Highway 101; and that cut slopes, fill slopes, paving and structural development on hillsides in excess of 30% slope will not be allowed in public views from U.S. Highway 101. Action COS-2.1g: Support for Scenic Highway Designations. The City shall promote the designation of Scenic Highways within Pismo Beach and adjoining areas through the review of draft San Luis Obispo County and adjoining cities’ General Plan Updates, and review of changes to the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) as a member of the San Luis Obispo Council Regional Transportation Agency. Action COS-2.1h: Update Existing Documents. The City shall maintain and revise when appropriate the following City- adopted documents to reflect the scenic highway necessities: Grading Ordinance, Street Tree Manual, Construction Codes and Amendments, and Zoning Code. Action COS-2.1i: Scenic Vistas. The vistas shown on Figure CO-1, Scenic Roadways and Vistas, identify some, but not all, of the scenic viewpoints in Pismo Beach. Public scenic vistas, including those not depicted on Figure CO-1, shall be protected by the GP/LCP. Action COS-2.1j: Degradation of Scenic Qualities. In and near public streets, plazas, and parks, features that clutter, degrade, intrude on, or obstruct views shall be avoided. Necessary features, such as utility and communication equipment, and traffic equipment and signs should be designed and placed so as to not impinge upon or degrade scenic views of the Pacific Ocean. Action COS-2.1k: Undergrounding Utilities. Place existing overhead utilities underground, with highest priority for scenic roadways, entries to Pismo Beach, and historical districts. Action COS-2.1l: Commercial Signs and Billboards. To reduce visual impacts from signs and billboards the City shall: (1) Only permit detached commercial signs that are of a size, location, and appearance such that they do not detract from the area’s scenic qualities and cause visual clutter and blight. (2) Not permit any new billboard signs, and existing billboard signs shall be removed as soon as practicable, as provided in the Sign Regulations set forth in the PBMC. Remove existing billboards through amortization, conditions of development approval, and grants for enhancing open-space and transportation corridors, with highest priority for scenic roadways, and entries to the City. (3) When possible, along scenic roadways, the City shall consolidate signs in the public right-of-way on a single low-profile standard. 30 Action COS-2.1m: Scenic Easements. The City shall seek funds to purchase vacant parcels as scenic easements. Scenic easements shall be used as a tool to use an owner’s land for scenic enhancement, such as roadside landscaping or vista preservation. Action COS-2.1n: Viewpoint Marking. The bluff-top access from Naomi Street and the Memory Park area should be clearly signed for public coastal viewing access. Action COS-2.1o: Beaches as Scenic Resources. All beach areas should be preserved as a scenic and recreational asset. Action COS-2.1p: Walls and Blockage. Development projects shall not wall off scenic roadways and block views. Blocking of views along scenic roadw ays should be considered a significant environmental impact in the City’s environmental review process. Goal COS-3 : A community that provides and protects a variety of conservation areas such as the ocean and beaches, bluffs, dunes, foothills, marshes, creeks, and wetlands that act as suitable coastal and inland habitat, migratory corridors, and ecologically valuable topography. Conserve Marine Resources. The Pacific Ocean and shoreline provide a plethora of valuable habitat and resources for marine mammals, fish, plant life, and other wildlife. Marine resources shall be maintained, enhanced, and where feasible, restored. Special protection shall be given to areas and species of special biological or economic significance. Uses of the marine environment shall be carried out in a manner that will (1) sustain the biological productivity of coastal waters, (2) help ensure the continuation of a healthy, self-renewing marine ecosystem, and (3) help ensure the long-term survival of healthy populations of marine plants and animals. To ensure conservation of these resources, the City shall restrict the allowed activities within or in proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Action COS-3.1a: Marine Mammal Habitat. Prohibit Marine Mammal habitats from being altered or disturbed by development of recreational facilities or any other new land uses. Action COS-3.1b: Northern Rocky Beach Areas. In order to preserve the habitat, the clifftops, eroding bluffs, caves, and sandy pocket beaches provided in the northern rocky beach areas, the City shall restrict recreational public access along the eroding bluffs to maintain bluff stability and provide habitat free of human disturbance. 31 Action COS-3.1c: Intertidal Zone. The intertidal zone is a valuable recreational resource area for beach-going, fishing, bird watching and jogging. The City shall seek balance between the recreational uses of the intertidal zone and the preservation of the natural resources in the intertidal zone. In order to preserve and enhance intertidal habitat, the City shall: (1) Maintain and enhance areas of rocky intertidal habitat that provide multiple ecological benefits while also reducing wave energy and erosion at the bluff toe, which are threatened by habitat loss due to sea level rise and coastal squeeze. These areas shall have restricted public access to preserve habitat value. (2) Analyze the effects on intertidal habitat when considering coastal erosion measures such as shoreline protective devices. (3) Prohibit machinery at any time to the extent feasible in the intertidal zone. Action COS-3.1d: Clam Beds. The clam bed preserves within the City of Pismo Beach shall be protected. Action COS-3.1e: Fish Habitat. Nearshore shallow fish habitats and shore fishing shall be preserved, and where appropriate and feasible, restored or enhanced. Action COS-3.1f: Subtidal Zone. Although the subtidal zone is beyond the City’s jurisdiction, the City has an indirect responsibility for activities that affect the natural resources of the zone. Considering the subtidal zone provides habitat for protected wildlife and marine mammals, the City shall: (1) Prevent and capture land sources of trash before they enter the ocean within the City’s jurisdiction. (2) Develop the most effective ways of restoring and protecting listed rare and endangered species such as eelgrass, black abalone, and sea turtles. (3) Discourage offshore federal leasing of offshore land for the purpose of oil drilling operations that would thus jeopardize inhabitants of the lower subtidal zone through accidental oil spills. Action COS-3.1g: Sand Dunes. Protect sand dunes from adverse impacts due to a proposed development project and provide appropriate habitat buffers. Action COS-3.1h: Maintain Beach Resources and Shoreline as Open Space. The ocean shore is, and shall continue to be, the principle open space feature of Pismo Beach. Ocean front land shall be used for open space, recreation and related uses where feasible and where such uses do not deteriorate the natural resource. Reserve sandy beach areas for low intensity recreational activities that do not require intensive development. Any permitted structures shall be the alternative with the least impact on coastal resources and recreation, the minimum size necessary, and shall provide any necessary 32 mitigation. Recreational uses that can be accommodated elsewhere shall be discouraged on the sandy beach (i.e., sport courts and similar facilities permanently displacing sandy beach). Non-sandy beach dependent active recreational activities shall be discouraged and accommodated elsewhere. Action COS-3.1i: Beach Access. Due to public safety and habitat protection considerations, the construction of public vertical access ways to the ocean along the rocky coast area shall be limited to those areas with sandy beaches. Prior to any approval for new access to the shoreline, the request shall first be evaluated in terms of protection of sensitive shoreline resources and safety. See Park and Recreation Element, Access Component. Action COS-3.1j: Beach Grooming. “Beach wrack,” or the mounds of seaweed and other organic material that washes ashore, is an important nutrient source for the beach ecosystem, contributes to the establishment of coastal strand and dune habitat, and provides a micro-habitat for a variety of organisms, including California grunion, as well as the western snowy plover and California least tern. Discourage beach grooming, or the removal of beach wrack in order to maintain species richness, abundance, and diversity and encourage healthy beach ecosystems. Policy COS-3.2: Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area (ESHA). Environmentally sensitive habitat areas (ESHA) shall be protected against any significant disruption of habitat values, and only uses dependent on those resources shall be allowed within those areas. Limited public access improvements, minor educational interpretive and research activities, and restoration may be considered resource-dependent uses. Development in areas adjacent to ESHA and parks and recreation areas shall be sited and designed to prevent impacts which would significantly degrade those areas, and shall be compatible with the continuance of those habitat and recreation areas. Action COS-3.2a: Definition of ESHA. Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area (ESHA) shall be defined as any area in which plant or animal life or their habitats are either rare or especially valuable because of their special nature or role in an ecosystem and which could be easily disturbed or degraded by human activities and developments. An area shall be considered ESHA if it fits this Coastal Act definition, and likely includes portions of Pismo State Beach, Pismo Marsh, Price Canyon, Pismo Creek, Pismo Preserve, Meadow Creek, the Oceano Dunes, and the Monarch Butterfly Grove. Action COS-3.2b: ESHA Assessment. Applications for development within or near ESHA, including wetlands and streams, shall be accompanied by a site-specific habitat assessment prepared by a qualified biologist and a botanical survey by a qualified expert prepared at the owner’s expense, prior to consideration of a project within the City. 33 The habitat assessment and botanical survey shall, at a minimum, identify and confirm the extent of the ESHA, document any site constraints and the presence of sensitive species, recommend buffers and development setbacks and standards to protect the ESHA, recommend mitigation measures to address any allowable impacts, and include any other information and analyses necessary to understand potential ESHA impacts, including cumulative impacts, as well as measures necessary to protect the ESHA resource as required by the GP/LCP. The habitat assessment shall also include an analysis of available literature and biological databases, to determine if any sensitive biological resources have been reported as historically occurring in the proposed development project vicinity. At a minimum, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB) must be used to determine if the site of the proposed project is known to support or has the potential to support sensitive habitat, vegetation communities, plants, and/or animals. Action COS-3.2c: ESHA Buffers. Development adjacent to ESHAs shall minimize impacts to habitat values or sensitive species to the maximum extent feasible. Native vegetation buffer areas shall be provided around ESHAs to serve as transitional habitat (not fuel modification zones) and provide distance and physical barriers to human intrusion. Buffers shall be of a sufficient size to ensure the biological integrity and preservation of the ESHA they are designed to protect. All buffers around (non-wetland) ESHA shall be a minimum of 100 feet in width. A smaller width may be approved by the Planning Division and the Fire Department in consultation with the CDFW, USFWS, and CCC when conditions of the site as demonstrated in a site specific biological survey, the nature of the proposed development, etc. show that a smaller buffer would provide adequate protection. In such cases, the CDFW must be consulted that a reduced buffer is appropriate and the City, or CCC, must find that the development could not be feasibly constructed without a reduced buffer. However, in no case shall the buffer be less than 50 feet, excluding fuel modification zones. Fuel modification zones shall occur outside, not within, ESHA buffers. Action COS-3.2d: Existing Development Within ESHA Buffers. Existing development that was legally permitted and constructed prior to certification of this policy that is located in the required buffers identified in Action 3.2d, ESHA Buffers, is allowed to be maintained or remodeled so long as the remodel or maintenance is not considered a substantial redevelopment, at which point the entire development must conform with all applicable ESHA policies and standards, and the existing development does not increase the encroachment into the required setback/buffer from the ESHA. Any expansion or addition to existing development shall not increase the nonconformity and conform to the required setback. Action COS-3.2e: ESHA Dedication. In conjunction with new development, require that all preserved ESHA, buffers, and all mitigation areas, on site and off site, be conserved/dedicated (e.g., open space direct dedication, offer to dedicate [OTD], conservation easement, or deed restriction), in such a manner as to ensure that the land is conserved in perpetuity. 34 A management plan and funding shall be required to ensure appropriate management of the habitat area in perpetuity. The City shall maintain an inventory of open space dedications or OTDs to ensure such areas are known to the public and are protected through the coastal development permit process. Require all direct open space dedications or OTDs to be made to a public agency or other appropriate entity that will manage the open space area on behalf of the public. Action COS-3.2f: ESHA Mitigation. For allowable resource-dependent development in ESHA that cannot avoid ESHA through siting and design alternatives, habitat creation and/or substantial restoration shall be required. Priority shall be given to on-site mitigation. Off-site mitigation measures shall only be approved when it is not feasible to fully mitigate impacts on site. Mitigation shall not substitute for implementation of a project alternative that would avoid impacts to ESHA. Sea level rise should be incorporated into the planning of any new coastal habitat restoration, creation, or enhancement projects. Apply the following mitigation ratios for allowable impacts to upland vegetation: 4:1 for wetlands; 3:1 for riparian habitats; 3:1 for other habitats that support state or federal rare, threatened, or endangered species, species of special concern or California Rare Plant Society (CNPS) 1b or 2 listed plants; 2:1 for coastal sage scrub not occupied by listed species. The ratios represent the acreage of the area to be restored/created to the acreage impacted. Action COS-3.2g: Habitat Mitigation Plan and Monitoring Plan. Development that would result in impacts to ESHA or significant biological resources shall include a Mitigation Plan and a Mitigation Monitoring Plan as a filing requirement for a Coastal Development Permit application. Mitigation Monitoring Plans shall be for a minimum of 5 years of monitoring to ensure success criteria is met. Action COS-3.2h: Monarch Butterfly Habitat Protection. The City shall cooperate with the California Department of Parks and Recreation to preserve and enhance the monarch butterfly habitat against significant disruption of habitat values and only uses or development dependent on and compatible with maintaining such resources shall be allowed within the habitat area and its buffer areas. Specific actions shall include but not be limited to: a. No development, except as otherwise allowed by this policy shall be allowed within monarch butterfly habitat or habitat buffer, b. If any tree is removed or lost due to disease or threat to life or property, it shall be replaced with appropriate species. c. Development within the park adjacent to the butterfly habitat shall have a minimum setback of 50 feet. d. The City shall pursue, with Grover Beach and the Union Pacific Railroad, mutual regulations to preserve the groves on the east side of Dolliver Street that supplement and support the habitat. 35 e. The City should request the California Department of Parks and Recreation to place appropriate signing and develop adequate visitor parking for the Monarch Butterfly Reserve. Public trails and access ways are considered resource-dependent uses and may be located within a monarch habitat area or its buffer; however, such features shall be sited to avoid or minimize impacts to the habitat. Interpretive signage is allowed within a monarch habitat area or its buffer, but it shall be designed to be visually unobtrusive. Policy COS-3.3: Oak Tree Protection. Native species of oak (e.g., Quercus agrifolia, Quercus chrysolepis) should be preserved within the City of Pismo Beach, both as an aesthetic resource benefiting the entire community and for their ecological value. Action COS-3.3a: Oak Tree Protection Requirements and Mitigation. The City shall require the protection of oak trees when considering discretionary planning permits and shall prepare an oak tree protection ordinance and accompanying standards and guidelines for protection of oak trees. Adverse impacts to and or removal of mature native trees for new development in a highly developed area shall be fully mitigated. Policy COS-3.4: Nesting and Foraging Habitat. The City shall ensure the protection of bird nesting habitat protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the long-term protection of breeding, roosting, and nesting habitat of bird species listed pursuant to the federal or California Endangered Species Acts, California bird species of special concern, and wading birds (herons or egrets) as well as owls or raptors Action COS-3.4a: Trimming and Removal of Trees. The City shall ensure that the trimming and/or removal of any trees that have been used for breeding and nesting by the above identified species within the past five (5) years, as determined by a qualified biologist or ornithologist shall be undertaken in compliance with all applicable codes and regulations of the California Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and shall be conducted under the parameters of a Tree Maintenance Program which shall be prepared and included as part of the GP/LCP’s Implementation Plan. Action COS-3.4b: Construction Near Nesting and Foraging Habitat. The City shall amend the Municipal code to include standards related to construction noise adjacent to nesting and foraging habitat. Action COS-3.4c: Tree Trimming and Removal. The City shall prepare Tree Maintenance Procedures for the trimming and/or removal of trees that directs when tree trimming or removal may occur and ensures that trees which provide habitat for sensitive bird species are preserved to the extent feasible. 36 Policy COS-3.5: Wetland Protection. The diking, filling, or dredging of open coastal waters, wetlands, estuaries, and lakes shall be permitted in accordance with the other applicable policies of the GP/LCP, where there is no feasible less environmentally damaging alternative, and where feasible mitigation measures have been provided to minimize adverse environmental effects, and shall be limited to the following: a. New or expanded port, energy, and coastal-dependent industrial facilities, including commercial fishing facilities. b. Maintaining existing, or restoring previously dredged, depths in existing navigational channels, turning basins, vessel berthing and mooring areas, and boat launching ramps. c. In open coastal waters, other than wetlands, including streams, estuaries, and lakes, new or expanded boating facilities and the placement of structural pilings for public recreational piers that provide public access and recreational opportunities. d. Incidental public service purposes including, but not limited to, burying cables and pipes or inspection of piers and maintenance of existing intake and outfall lines; e. Mineral extraction, including sand for restoring beaches, except in environmentally sensitive areas. f. Restoration purposes; and g. Nature study, aquaculture, or similar resource-dependent activities. Action COS-3.5a: Definition of Wetlands. Wetlands shall include lands within the coastal zone which may be covered periodically or permanently with shallow water and include saltwater marshes, freshwater marshes, open or closed brackish water marshes, swamps, mudflats, and fens. Wetlands, as detailed by Section 13577 (b)(l) of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations, also include land where the water table is at, near, or above the land surface long enough to promote the formation of hydric soils or to support the growth of hydrophytes, and shall also include those types of wetlands where vegetation is lacking and soil is poorly developed or absent as a result of frequent and drastic fluctuations of surface water levels, wave action, water flow, turbidity or high concentrations of salts or other substances in the substrate. Such wetlands can be recognized by the presence of surface water or saturated substrate at some time during each year and their location within, or adjacent to vegetated wetlands or deep-water habitats. Any areas that meet the above wetlands criteria are deemed wetlands and shall be accorded all of the protections provided for wetlands in the GP/LCP. An area shall be considered a wetland if it fits these Coastal Act and California Public Resources Code definitions, regardless of its quality; poorly functioning or degraded wetlands are afforded the same protection under the Coastal Act. 37 Action COS-3.5b: Wetland Protection. Any area determined to have previously been wetland shall not be deprived of protection, as required by the policies and provisions of the GP/LCP, on the basis that habitat has been illegally removed, filled, degraded, or that species of concern have been illegally eliminated. Action COS-3.5c: Biological Study/Wetland Delineation. Where a project site has the potential for wetlands to be present, the City shall require the submittal of a detailed biological study of the site, prepared by a qualified biologist, including a formal wetland delineation of all wetland areas on the project site. Wetland delineations shall be conducted according to the protocols developed by the Army Corp of Engineers. Wetland delineations involve surveying for three parameters; hydrology, hydric soils, and hydrophytic plants. This policy incorporates the Coastal Commission’s one parameter definition for wetlands. That is, if a wetland delineation study finds evidence of hydric soils, or hydrophytic vegetation, or hydrology in the form of areas lacking hydric soils and hydrophytic vegetation as a result of frequent and drastic fluctuation of surface water levels, wave action, water flow, turbidity or high concentrations of salts or other substances in the substrate, then the area meets the definition of a Coastal Commission wetland. The delineation report shall include at a minimum a map at a scale of 1”:200’ or larger with polygons delineating all wetland areas, polygons delineating all areas of vegetation with a preponderance of wetland indicator species, and the location of sampling points. The report should also include a description of the surface indicators used for delineating the wetland polygons. Wetland polygons shall be based on paired sample points that indicate inside vs. outside wetland boundaries. Action COS-3.5d: Wetland Buffers. Buffer areas shall be provided around wetlands to serve as transitional habitat and provide distance and physical barriers to human intrusion. Buffers shall be of a sufficient size to ensure the biological integrity and preservation of the wetland they are designed to protect. All wetland buffers shall be a minimum of 100-feet in width. A wetland buffer may be reduced only where it can be demonstrated that (1) the required buffer width is not possible due to site-specific constraints, and (2) the proposed narrower buffer would be sufficiently protective of the biological integrity of the wetland to avoid significant adverse impacts to the wetland given the site-specific characteristics of the resource, and the type and intensity of disturbance. In such cases, the CDFW must be consulted and agree that a reduced buffer is appropriate and the City, or CCC, must find that the development could not be feasibly constructed without a reduced buffer. Action COS-3.5e: Existing Development Within Wetlands Buffers. Existing development that was legally permitted and constructed prior to certification of this policy that is located within the required buffers identified in Action 3.2d, Existing Development Within ESHA Buffers, are allowed to be maintained or remodeled so long as the remodel or maintenance is 38 not considered a substantial redevelopment and the existing development does not increase the encroachment into the required setback/buffer from the wetland. Any expansion or addition to existing development shall not increase the nonconformity and conform to the required setback. Action COS-3.5f: Wetlands Restoration and Monitoring. All preferred restoration programs should remove fill from a formerly productive wetland or estuary that is now biologically unproductive dry land. Restoration programs should incorporate sea level rise into the planning of any coastal wetland habitat projects. Since restoration projects necessarily involve many uncertainties, restoration should precede the diking or filling project. When a restoration project is mitigation for a new development project, a Restoration and Monitoring Plan shall be included with the CDP application. A Restoration Monitoring Plan shall include a minimum of 5 years monitoring to ensure success criteria are met. The CDP shall be conditioned to require that restoration will occur prior to, or simultaneously with project construction. Policy COS-3.6: Riparian Habitat and Natural Drainage Protection. Protect riparian and natural drainage areas as these resources support a variety of species and are unique features in Pismo Beach. Action COS-3.6a: Water supply and flood control. Channelizations, dams, or other substantial alterations of rivers and streams shall incorporate the best mitigation measures feasible, and be limited to: a. necessary water supply projects, b. flood control projects were no other method for protecting existing structures in the flood plain is feasible and where such protection is necessary for public safety or to protect existing development, or c. developments where the primary function is the improvement of fish and wildlife habitat. Action COS-3.6b: Riparian Corridors. Development adjacent to streams or riparian corridors shall avoid removal of native vegetation; prevent erosion, sedimentation and runoff; provide for sufficient passage of native and anadromous fish; prevent wastewater discharges and entrapment; prevent groundwater depletion or substantial interference with surface and subsurface flows; and protect and re-establish natural vegetation buffers. Action COS-3.6c: Drainage Channels. Drainage channels shall remain in a natural open space state with minimal or no use of concrete channels. Dredging, filling and grading within stream corridors shall be limited to activities necessary for flood control purposes, bridge construction, water supply projects, or laying of pipelines when no alternative route is feasible. Revegetation and restoration of the natural setting shall be required. Alteration of existing drainage patterns shall 39 be prohibited unless special studies prove that the proposed alteration will not cause any adverse impacts down- stream or to other aspects of the environment. Prior to approval of any new development, a detailed analysis of surface water runoff patterns shall be undertaken to determine storm drain needs and identify mitigations for any with possible adverse environmental impacts. No runoff that will negatively affect the Pismo Marsh shall be permitted. Policy COS-3.7: Pismo Creek. Pismo Creek shall be retained in its natural state and protected from significant alterations. Action COS-3.7a: Streamside Protection Zone. There shall be a minimum streamside protection zone to conserve the environmentally sensitive habitats of the creek. This buffer zone shall be measured from the outer edge of the riparian vegetation or, where there is no riparian vegetation, from the top of the creek bank. The minimum width of the buffer shall be as follows: West Bank 100 feet/Cypress northward to City limits 25 feet/Cypress to the ocean East Bank 100 feet/U.S. 101 northward to City limits 50 feet/U.S. 101 to Dolliver Street 25 feet/Dolliver to the ocean A lesser buffer may be permitted if: 1) the minimum widths set forth above would render a parcel inaccessible or unusable for the purpose designated in the land-use plan; or 2) there is a showing by an applicant through the resource assessment study identified in item "h" that a lesser buffer will not result in loss of, or adverse effects on, streamside vegetation or the biotic quality of the stream. Alternative mitigations shall be required where lesser buffers are authorized. No new construction or vegetation removal, except for normal maintenance, shall be allowed in the buffer zone with the exception of public roadways or bridges identified in the Circulation Element, paths, trails, fences, flood control structures, and other similar structures deemed not to adversely affect the creek. Action COS-3.7b: Pismo Creek Regulations. New development proposed adjacent to Pismo Creek shall comply with the ESHA and/or wetland policies of this GP/LCP. Action COS-3.7c: Open Space. The sandpit and ch annel where Pismo Creek enters the ocean and those portions of parcels located within the creek channel shall remain as open space and no structures or fill shall be permitted thereon. 40 Action COS-3.7d: Conservation Dedication. Any new development shall be required to dedicate as a condition of any discretionary approval, an easement for the protection of the streamside buffer area. In addition, new development shall provide access amenities adjacent to the creek for the City to use as a greenbelt and/or recreation corridor. Action COS-3.7e: Financial Support. The City shall seek and secure funding to complete restoration projects to the Pismo Creek defined in the Pismo Creek/Edna Area Watershed Management Plan. Action COS-3.7f: Riparian Woodland. The City should protect and enhance the riparian woodland along Pismo Creek for the purpose of improving the scenic quality as well as its ecological value. Action COS-3.7g: Open Space or Recreational Use. Reach an agreement with State Lands Commission that a trail will be incorporated on properties immediately adjacent to Pismo Creek, on the north side of the creek. Action COS-3.7h: Public Trails. Public trails shall be developed along the entire length of Pismo Creek adjacent to both the RV parks and behind the 7-11 store. Action COS-3.7i: Remodel of 7-11 store. The 7-11 store should be encouraged to remodel in keeping with the creek/recreation atmosphere. Action COS-3.7j: Signage. Benches, paved paths, and signs should be provided for Pismo Creek trail and for the North Beach day-use area as soon as the access to these areas is established. Action COS-3.7k: Channeling. No concrete channeling or other major creek alteration shall be permitted, unless no viable alternative exists. Action COS-3.7l: Resource Protection Plan. A Resource Assessment and Protection Plan shall be required and approved concurrent with City action on projects located on parcels which have a portion within the streamside protection zone. The plan shall include appropriate measures to protect the creeks biological and visual aspects. 41 Policy COS-3.8: Price Canyon. Enhance the visual, recreational, and biological quality of Price Canyon. Action COS-3.8a: Open Space emphasis. Any development in Price Canyon and the surrounding hills shall emphasize the open space aspects of the Price Canyon corridor. Preferred views from Price Canyon Road shall be of open space rather than development. Action COS-3.8b: Visual and Open Space Study. Pismo Beach, in cooperation with San Luis Obispo County and affected property owners, shall prepare a visual and open space study for the Price Canyon corridor as illustrated in Figure CO-2. This plan shall focus on retaining the corridor as a scenic entrance to Pismo Beach and an open space corridor separating Pismo Beach from the Route 227 corridor. Action COS-3.8c: Recreation Opportunities. Explore the opportunity for a Pismo Creek Linear Park/Trail system as well as the possibilities for a Price Canyon Regional Park. Considerations shall be in compliance with applicable policies of the Safety Element and the Price Canyon Master Plan Constraints Analysis. Action COS-3.8d: Preserve Drainage and Riparian Vegetation. Considering the Price Canyon foothills drain into Pismo Creek and form the major inland entry to the City, the City shall restore and preserve drainage channel and riparian vegetation to protect water quality, sensitive habitat, and slope stability. Action COS-3.8e: Riparian Protection. Enforce state and federal conservation and avoidance regulations, through the development review process, for all new development projects on private property that may potentially impact affect the natural riparian habitat of Price Canyon. Considering the sensitive topography and geology of Price Canyon, please see also Safety Element for slope stability and erosion control measures to be enforced in the Price Canyon area. See also LU-4.4b, Hazards and Protection Overlay Zone. Policy COS-3.9: Pismo Marsh Protection. Pismo Marsh shall be retained in its natural state and protected from significant alteration. Action COS-3.9a: Protection Program. The City shall develop a resource protection program for Pismo Marsh in coordination with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and City of Grover Beach. Action COS-3.9b: ESHA Compliance. New development proposed adjacent to Pismo Marsh shall comply with the ESHA and/or wetlands policies of the GP/LCP. 42 Action COS-3.9c: Oak Protection. Preserve and protect oaks along Pismo Marsh’s margins and especially along the southern property line where heritage oaks greater than 46 inches in diameter at breast height likely occur. Action COS-3.9d: Implement Habitat Objectives. Seek funding to implement the following objectives for the habitat value of Pismo Marsh: a. Continue to collect data on breeding birds and habitat quality for breeding bird activity around Pismo Marsh. b. Continue to conduct amphibian and fish surveys to monitor species population. c. Implement management practices/strategies to remove and restore areas dominated by veldt grass to native coastal grassland and scrub. d. Conduct seasonally timed weed abatement to reduce competition with natives, especially on islands. e. Develop revegetation plan to screen the adjacent commercial areas from the Pismo Marsh. f. Develop revegetation plan for the four islands to include soil building, non-native plant removal and native plantings that increase wildlife habitat. g. Reduce non-native fish and bullfrog populations as feasible to decrease predation on western pond turtle and red-legged frog. h. Develop a program to reduce or exterminate the population of invasive rats which will in turn reduce predation on nesting birds. i. Attempt to remove all PVC pipe irrigation left from previous restoration projects from the Pismo Marsh. j. Deter homeless camps and their effects on native vegetation and wildlife habitat. k. Limit potential public access to areas with low plant and wildlife diversity, and exclude access from known sensitive areas such as red-tailed hawk nesting sites, wetlands and culturally sensitive areas. l. Restrict dog access to protect nesting, wading, foraging, and roosting birds. Action COS-3.9e: Prevent Runoff Impacts on Pismo Marsh. Pesticides and other toxic substances, nutrient- laden agricultural runoff, and urban wastewater could also constitute problems in maintaining water quality and wildlife habitat. The City shall implement City-wide runoff prevention measures consistent with Policy 1.5, Water Quality, of this element. Action COS-3.9f: Prevent Sedimentation of Pismo Marsh. Sedimentation of Pismo Marsh decreases open water areas and circulation necessary to support marsh vegetation and migratory birds. The City shall: (1) Continue to support restoration efforts aimed to reduce sedimentation of the Pismo Marsh. (2) Require replacement of inadequate erosion control measures with appropriate features. 43 Action COS-3.9g: Erosion Control Measures. Any development within the ESHA buffer shall incorporate erosion control measures such as distillation basins and energy dissipaters, within grading plans as necessary. Action COS-3.9h: Department of Fish and Wildlife. The City shall consult with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife with regards to project design and mitigation measures when a private development could potentially affect the marsh. Action COS-3.9i: Visual and Interpretive Access. The unique ecological system of Pismo Marsh needs to be made available to the community as a whole. Since protection of the habitat is the primary concern of the Department of Fish and Game, physical access to the preserve has generally been prohibited by the state. Therefore, it is essential to make the marsh available visually. Private developments adjacent to the marsh shall use it as a key visual and open space feature of the development. Pedestrian spaces shall be oriented to the marsh and view corridors to the marsh provided. Additionally, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, in cooperation with Pismo Beach and Grover Beach, shall be encouraged to develop the potential of Pismo Marsh as an educational and passive recreational resource. See Safety Element for additional guidance on Erosion Control Measures. Policy COS-3.10: Foothills. The coastal and upland foothills of Pismo Beach, located in the Freeway Foothills, Pismo Oaks, and Pismo Heights planning areas, shall be conserved and enhanced to provide valuable recreational and habitat resources. Action COS-3.10a: Preserve Ocean Facing Slopes. This open space area shall for all time preserve the ocean facing slopes overlooking U.S. 101 as an undeveloped natural area and as a scenic backdrop to the Pismo Beach and the Shell Beach area. See also Action LU-1.7c, Minimize Land Disturbance During Construction, for relevant land use guidance. Action COS-3.10b: Retain Low Density. The City shall support retention of the existing restrictive low development intensity land use and resource policies of the county as they apply to these lands. Action COS-3.10c: Development Review. The City shall request that any development reviewed by San Luis Obispo County in the SOI that is designated as open space be consistent with the open space land use requirements in the Land Use Element Policy 1.7. Action COS-3.10d: Acquire Permanent Open Space. The City shall encourage and support efforts to acquire the area as permanent open space including: 44 • County park funds • Creation of open space districts • Developer financial contributions • Developer land dedications • Private donations and loans • State and federal park funds Action COS-3.10e: Land Above 200-Foot Contour. All the land above the 200-foot contour line, in the ocean facing slopes of the coastal foothills northwest of Pismo Heights facing U.S. 101 shall be designated as permanent open space. Development standards for parcels, which extend above the 200-foot contours, are as follows: a. The maximum permitted number of dwelling units shall be calculated on the basis of the amount of land up to the 200-foot contour but shall exclude any such lands with on an existing natural slope greater than 30%. b. No building pads or structures shall be permitted above the 200-foot contour. Until such time that properties in this area request annexation to Pismo Beach, the City shall request the County of San Luis Obispo to maintain the open areas of the ocean-facing slopes as described herein. c. A scenic or open space easement prohibiting any development above the 200-foot contour shall be required to be dedicated to the City as a condition of approval of any development below the 200-foot contour. Goal COS-4 : A community that celebrates and protects its historical, tribal cultural, archaeological, and paleontological resources. Policy COS-4.1: Historical Resources. Preserve, protect, and make accessible sites of historical significance, where feasible. Action COS-4.1a: CEQA Determination. As part of the CEQA review process, the City shall require a professional, qualified historian to conduct a literature search and/or survey for any project that entails demolition or modification of an existing structure that may be of historical value in relation to the City’s cultural heritage. Sites of statewide or national significance shall be nominated for inclusion in the Registry of California Historic Landmarks or National Historic Landmark Program. Action COS-4.1b: Historic Building Guidelines. Require projects involving modification or rehabilitation of structures that may be of historical value to incorporate the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings. 45 Action COS-4.1c: Resources Inventory. The City shall create, maintain and periodically update Pismo Beach’s inventory of historic properties for buildings, objects, structures, and monuments having importance to the history or architecture of Pismo Beach. Maintain a liaison between State Historic Preservation Officer and the City relative to cultural/historic structures and properties to advise and assist the City, as appropriate, in carrying out their historic preservation responsibilities. Action COS-4.1d: Protect Landmarks. Ensure that listed landmarks and cultural resources identified by ordinance are not demolished without notice and hearing. Action COS-4.1e: Historic Demolition. Require projects involving demolition of an existing structure that may be of historical value to consult with local museums or cultural societies and incorporate mitigation, such as photo documentation, collection of oral histories, and physical or digital model, as necessary. Action COS-4.1f: Seek Funding. Continue to seek funding that can be used to further the City’s historic preservation goals and policies. Policy COS-4.2: Cultural Resources. Protect cultural resources, including historical, archaeological and paleontological features, in the Coastal Zone. Action COS-4.2a: Native American Consultation. As part of the CEQA process for all new development projects, the City will conduct consultations with any federally-recognized California Tribal government listed on the most recent notice of the United States Federal Register, and/or any non-federally recognized California Tribe listed on the California Tribal Consultation List maintained by the California Native American Heritage Commission that identifies as native to the Pismo Beach area, including the Chumash, in accordance with state law. Native American tribal groups with cultural affiliation to the project site area as identified by the Native American Heritage Commission shall have the opportunity to review and comment on the pre-development plan as required by AB52 (2014). Archaeologists and representatives from Native American tribal groups shall provide monitoring during grading/excavation and construction activities of any approved development that has the potential to adversely impact any on-site significant cultural resources, based on the results of a Phase 1 cultural assessment. Action COS-4.2b: Chumash Cultural Resources Preservation. The coastal Chumash are the dominant archaeological group in Pismo Beach. Appropriate measures for Chumash Cultural Resources Preservation shall be provided with future development of private and public property, including California Environmental Quality Act compliance and meaningful 46 consultation with local Chumash groups, as noted on the Native American Heritage Commission’s “California Tribal Consultation List.” Archaeological studies shall be performed by members of the Register of Professional Archaeologists and should follow the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archaeology and Historic Preservation. Action COS-4.2c: Protect Archaeological and Paleontological Resources. The City shall have available a map that identifies the possible location of archaeological resources. As part of the CEQA process for all new development projects, all known or potential archaeological resources shall be fully investigated by a qualified archaeologist recognized by the State Historic Preservation Office. While most sites are currently developed, appropriate protections shall be established to avoid impacts to archaeological and paleontological resources with new development, with part of the review process including: a. Locations within the City known to have a high probability of occurrence of archaeological sites shall be zoned in the Archaeology-Historic Sites overlay district. b. Specific recommendations prepared by the archaeologist shall be incorporated into project approval including: avoidance of portions of sites containing resources, minimizing the impacts of the development on the archaeological resources, preserving a full archaeological record, and/or partial site dedication, and providing a native American monitor on site to observe excavations in locations where there is a possibility of discovery of human remains. In situ preservation and avoidance are the preferred alternative over recovery and/or relocation in the protection of paleontological and archaeological resources. When in situ preservation or site capping is not feasible, recovery and/or relocation may be considered. Action COS-4.2d: Mitigation Plan. Where development would adversely impact archaeological or paleontological resources as identified by the State Historic Preservation Officer, reasonable mitigation measures shall be required pursuant to Section 30244 of the Coastal Act. Require that a mitigation plan, adequate to protect the archaeological resource and prepared by a qualified archaeologist, be submitted for review and, if approved, be implemented as part of the project. Action COS-4.2e: Archaeology – Historic Sites Overlay Zone. Continue to implement and designate new areas as the Archaeology – Historic Sites Overlay Zone. The archaeology – Historic Sites Overlay Zone is intended to preserve, protect and maintain land and water areas, structures and other sites which have significant, historical, archaeological or cultural importance and provide for the designation of areas which may be of unique value for scientific or educational purposes. Action COS-4.2f: Construction Suspension. Should archaeological or paleontological resources be disclosed during any construction activity, all activity that could damage or destroy the resources shall be suspended until a qualified 47 archaeologist has examined the site. Construction shall not resume until mitigation measures have been developed and carried out to address the impacts of the project on these resources. Action COS-4.2g: Confidentiality of Archaeological Sites. The City shall, within its power, maintain confidentiality regarding the locations of archaeological and paleontological sites in order to preserve and protect these resources from vandalism and the unauthorized removal of artifacts. Action COS-4.2h: Protect and Preserve Artifacts. Ensure the protection and preservation of artifacts in those areas already identified as containing archaeological remains and require that all sites with potential resources likely to be disturbed by a proposed project be analyzed by a qualified archaeologist with local expertise. Action COS-4.2i: Human Remains. Treat with respect and dignity any human remains discovered during implementation of public and private projects within the City and fully comply with the California Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and other appropriate laws.