California Coastal Commission executive director Peter Douglas, as Pacific Swell noted yesterday, is 2 days away from the end of his effective career. I mentioned in yesterday's post that the Pacific Legal Foundation sparred frequently with Douglas. Afterward, Paul Beard of the Pacific Legal Foundation said:
While we all wish Peter Douglas the best in his fight against a terrible illness, let's hope a new chapter will now open at the Coastal Commission -- an era with much more respect for the constitutional rights of property owners. The California Coastal Commission has made itself nationally notorious for abuse of rights and arrogance toward landowners.
No wonder it has been slapped down again and again by courts, for unconstitutional policies and actions. The U.S. Supreme Court itself blasted the commission for "an out-and-out plan of extortion" when it was using the permitting process as a way to get around eminent domain and take property without paying for it. Property rights form the basis of all our liberties, and it is time for the Coastal Commission to stop eroding them.
Late in the day, yesterday, Douglas offered a retirement statement. Excerpted in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, he said in part:
I think the California coast is one of the greatest repositories of untold stories. People have to understand, it's like all relationships. You can't take our relationship with the coast for granted, because it took a lot of sweat, blood and tears to preserve it so we have what we have today.
That's probably it for now. A lot's happened since 1976. It'll take a little time to figure out what it all adds up to. It's worth taking more than a news cycle to do it.