PLAN Hermosa: City of Hermosa Beach, CA Integrated General Plan and Coastal Land Use Plan

PLAN Hermosa, for the City of Hermosa Beach, California, sets the overall policies and priorities to manage its structural, environmental, social, and economic resources. Climate change is a priority issue addressed in the plan, with a focus on the impacts of sea level rise and extreme heat.

Hermosa Beach is located along the southern end of the Santa Monica Bay in Los Angeles County. It encompass a relatively small land area, approximately 1.4 square miles within city limits, yet includes nearly two miles of shoreline. Approximately 43% of the total land area in Hermosa Beach is located within the Coastal Zone.

PLAN Hermosa was developed under a broad sustainability framework that aims to:

  • Link environmental performance with economic vitality;
  • Enhance coastal protection and sea level rise best practices;
  • Leverage collaborative partnerships; and
  • Advance implementation of sustainability and greenhouse gas reduction legislation.

The plan’s Public Safety Element establishes goals, policies, and actions that protect the community from hazards and public safety risks. The element places specific focus on hazards that could be made more severe with climate change impacts. The report highlights the projections of future increased frequency or severity of disasters like coastal flooding and erosion, heat events, and severe weather - with a focus on the impacts of sea level rise and extreme heat. 

Goals and related Policies were established for each sector element. Climate change resilience measures are discussed in the Public Safety Element as well as the Infrastructure section.

Goal 2 of the Safety Element is focused on sea level rise: The anticipated effects of sea level rise are understood, prepared for, and successfully mitigated. 

The recommended sea level rise Policies include:

2.1 Integrate resilience: Integrate resilience to anticipated sea level rise impacts into project designs when repairing and replacing aging infrastructure within the coastal zone.

2.2 Sea level rise impacts: Require new development and redevelopment projects to consider and address relevant sea level rise impacts.

2.3 Enhance awareness: Enhance local understanding of sea level rise and keep decision-makers and the community aware of potential impacts based on best available science.

2.4 Provide public information: Provide public information describing new flooding risks under a 55-inch sea level rise scenario in areas previously not affected by flooding.

2.5 Maintain beach widths: Maintain or expand current beach widths under changing sea level conditions.

2.6 Consider combined effects of hazards: Consider the combined effects of sea level rise when evaluating potential tsunami and storm surge impacts.

2.7 Support regional approaches: Support regional approaches to sediment management, beach replenishment, and adaptive shoreline protection to allow Hermosa Beach to voice its needs, allow for coordination with neighboring jurisdictions, and identify creative finance mechanisms to continue the replenishment program.

2.8 Identify erosion problems: Continue to monitor beach width and elevations to identify potential erosion problems.

2.9 Beach nourishment and replenishment: Consider allowing construction projects with sand excavation to add sand for beach replenishment or nourishment purposes.

Goal 3 in the Infrastructure Element is: Adequate water supplies from diverse sources provide for the needs of current and future residents, businesses, and visitors

Policy 3.4 - Climate change impacts: Consider the impacts of climate change in projections used to establish which water supply and distribution facilities as well as conservation efforts are necessary to sustain future water demands.

In addition, the Sustainability and Conservation Element addresses the use and preservation of natural resources to improve the environmental quality of Hermosa Beach. This element includes goals, policies, and actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote improved air quality, improve water quality, and promote green building.


Publication Date: August 22, 2017


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