Coastal Encroachment

The goal of the Coastal Encroachment Program is to identify existing or proposed encroachments within the County-owned properties, including public right-of-way and easements connected to coastal trails, coastal access, beach trails, and beach access.  Encroachments typically are in the form of landscaping but can consist of fencing, walkways, patio furniture, and/or yard adornments that extend beyond the property line. 

When existing or proposed encroachments are identified, County Parks may:

  1. enroll property owners into the Coastal Encroachment Program through a County-issued permit; or
  2. enforce removal of the encroachment.


A Coastal Encroachment Permit is required for any existing or proposed development, encroachment, and/or obstruction within County-owned properties, including easements and County rights-of-way that involve coastal trails, coastal access, beach trails, and beach access.  The Coastal Encroachment Policy was approved by the County Board of Supervisors on June 12, 2018, as Agenda Item #85 and can be read via the link below.  Funds raised through the program are used to improve and maintain coastal access points, including public parking improvements.

Coastal Encroachment Policy

To apply for a Coastal Encroachment Permit, please complete the Coastal Encroachment Permit Application and provide a set of plans that clearly delineates the encroachment area. To demonstrate the extent of coastal encroachment area, the following materials are required with your application: 

  • For Existing Encroachments:
    • Provide a survey showing property boundaries and current location, height, nature and extent of all improvements and objects within the encroachment area.*
  • For New Encroachments:
    • Provide a site plan acceptable to County staff, drawn to scale and fully dimensioned, which accurately depicts the location, height, nature and extent of all proposed improvements and objects within the encroachment area.*
  • For both existing and proposed encroachments:
    • Include a clear delineation and calculation of the encroachment area in square feet.
    • Include recent photos of all property lines including a description of the location and date of each photo.
  • For encroachments involving shoreline protection measures:
    • The associated Geological Report and Coastal Development Permit may be required.
  • For encroachments involving a County-maintained road:
    • Include any existing or prior encroachment permit from the County Department of Public Works, if applicable.

*For non-exclusive encroachments exceeding 1,000 square feet, no survey is required.

Further information may be required as determined by County Staff.


Annual Coastal Encroachment Permits issued pursuant to the County's Coastal Encroachment Policy expire each year on June 30.  For property owners with an existing approved Annual Coastal Encroachment Permit, applications to renew annual permits may be submitted through a renewal process.

An inspection may be required for each Annual Coastal Encroachment Permit as determined by County staff.  To arrange for an inspection, please email or call 831-454-7963.


For property owners in a coastal encroachment zone applying for any permit from the County Planning Department, County Department of Public Works, or California Coastal Commission, where there is no current or proposed encroachment, a signed Coastal Encroachment Waiver is required with the permit application.


Coastal Encroachment Permits and attachments can be submitted via email to or mailed/hand delivery to: 
Santa Cruz County Parks
Attn: Coastal Encroachment Permits
979 17th Ave.,
Santa Cruz,CA 95062

For questions regarding Coastal Encroachment Permits please call 831-454-7963 or  

Fees for Fiscal Year 2020/2021
Application Fee: $1,123.63
Annual Exclusive Encroachment Fee: $17.17 per square foot annually
Annual Non-Exclusive Encroachment Fee: $6.76 per square foot annually, capped at $5,202 per parcel annually

Payment for application fees and Annual Coastal Encroachment Fees can be paid by check to the address above

For most current fees, please visit the County's  Unified Fee Schedule.  Funds raised through the program are used to improve and maintain coastal access points, including public parking improvements.

There is a 2% cost of living increase assessed annually to all fees associated with the encroachment policy (Section L5).


Santa Cruz County Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services
979 17th Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
General Information (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
Phone: (831)