In the News

Santa Cruz County supervisor chair Mark Stone elected to leadership post on Coastal Commission

By Jason Hoppin
Santa Cruz Sentinel, 6/16/11

Santa Cruz -- County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Stone is the new second-in-command at the California Coastal Commission.

Stone, a commission member since 2009, was elected vice chairman Wednesday by a vote of the commission's 12 members during a meeting in Marina del Rey. Mary Shallenberger was elected to lead the commission, replacing former Chairwoman Sarah Wan.

"I am honored to be chosen by my colleagues to be a part of the leadership of the California Coastal Commission," Stone said. "It is an important time for the commission and I appreciate the confidence that the commissioners have in me."

The Coastal Commission has oversight of land use and development along California's 1,100-mile coastal zone, which includes an area larger than the state of Rhode Island.

Stone's election, along with a reshaped commission that welcomed several new members on Wednesday, could have implications for several local proposals pending or expected to go before the commission.

Both Stone and Shallenberger, for example, voted in a favor of a controversial bike and pedestrian path through Arana Gulch. Some conservationists want the gulch preserved to help protect the endangered Santa Cruz tarplant, and the proposal has twice been narrowly defeated at the commission. It is expected to go before the body again.

In addition, a proposed Santa Cruz desalination plant and beachfront La Bahia Hotel also are likely to go before the commission. La Bahia is expected to be heard in August, but the plant is only in the design phase and won't be heard for some time.
Stone, who represents Scotts Valley and San Lorenzo Valley on the Board of Supervisors, represents Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Mateo counties on the commission.

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