CITY HALL — Santa Monica City Councilman Richard Bloom has been appointed to the California Coastal Commission, a 12-member panel charged with regulating the use of land and water in the state’s coastal zone, including promoting access to public beaches.
Bloom learned of the appointment on Tuesday after traveling to Sacramento last week to interview for the position with state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. Steinberg chairs the Senate Rules Committee, which appoints four members of the commission. The rest of the commission is appointed equally by the governor and the speaker of the state Assembly.
At least 11 candidates were considered for the position as the commission’s South Coast representative, Bloom said.
“I’m especially honored to have been chosen from among a great group of advocates for the environment,” he said.
Bloom was nominated for the position by Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Santa Monica Mayor Pro Tem Pam O’Connor also was nominated for the seat.
In announcing the appointment on Tuesday, Steinberg’s office released a statement that read in part, “Mr. Bloom is a committed advocate for our environment. He will contribute greatly to the commission’s efforts to protect and preserve our precious coast.”
Bloom was first elected to the Santa Monica City Council in 1999 and served as mayor from 2002 until 2004 and again in 2007. He is an attorney who since 2003 has served on the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission.
“Philosophically, I am very much an environmentalist, but at the same time I want to make sure during my tenure that we’re respecting property rights and bearing in mind the full impact of the decisions that we make on the commission,” he said. “We are the guardians and protectors of an extraordinary asset that we need to preserve and enhance for future generations.”
The California Coastal Commission was established by a voter initiative in 1972 and four years later was made permanent by the Legislature. The commission, in partnership with local jurisdictions, is responsible for regulating development activities that affect the intensity of coastal land use or the public’s access to the coastline.
The coastal zone covers an area larger than Rhode Island that spans the state. The zone includes a 3-mile wide swath of ocean; on land it varies from a few hundred feet wide in urban areas to five miles wide in some rural areas.