LCP stands for Local Coastal Program. A good place to start learning about LCPs is the California Coastal Commission's own "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)" (PDF).
Since you're already here, we'll do what we can here to give you the 5¢ tour.
The Coastal Act has policies that the Coastal Commission uses when making decisions about permits and when considering LCPs for approval. Coastal cities and counties must include those policies in their Local Coastal Programs. Those policies require (as taken from the FAQ):
The California Coastal Act requires that each coastal city or county has to have a plan to implement their portion of the Coastal Act.
From the CCC's FAQ,
Local Coastal Programs (LCPs) are the basic planning tools used to carry out the partnership between the State and local government as stewards of Californias spectacular and precious natural treasure its 1,100 mile coastline. LCPs identify the location, type, densities, and other groundrules for future development in the coastal zone portions of the 73 cities and counties along the coast.
Each LCP includes a land use plan and its implementing measures (e.g., zoning ordinances). Prepared by local government, these program govern decisions that determine the short- and long-term conservation and use of coastal resources.
While each LCP reflects unique characteristics of individual local coastal communities, regional and statewide interests and concerns must also be addressed in conformity with Coastal Act goals and policies. Working with local government, the Coastal Commission helps shape each LCP and then formally reviews them for consistency with Coastal Act standards.
What pieces make up an LCP?
Land use plan (LUP)
Sensitive habitat maps
anything else that helps define the implementing measures
San Mateo County is preparing (as of 2001) to review and update the San Mateo County LCP. The current LCP is available online.
Half Moon Bay is in the midst of updating the Half Moon Bay LCP. This one is not yet available online.
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