By Glen C. Hansen
In DeCicco v. California Coastal Commission (2011) 199 Cal.App.4th 947, Franco and Sonia DeCicco owned four contiguous lots in the coastal zone in San Luis Obispo County (County). They applied to the County for a permit that would allow them to subdivide their parcels into five parcels and construct four townhouses and a motel. Under the local coastal plan, the principal permitted uses for the DeCicco property were the type of residential multifamily and commercial retail proposed by the DeCiccos. The County approved the DeCiccos’ permit application and sent notice of the approval to the California Coastal Commission (“Commission”). The County and the Commission disagreed as to whether the permit was appealable to the Commission. The Commission made a determination that, although the DeCicco’s project involved principal permitted uses, it also required approval for a subdivision, which conferred appellate jurisdiction on the Commission under Public Resources Code section 30603, subdivision (a)(4). The DeCiccos filed a petition for writ of mandate challenging the Commission’s determination of jurisdiction of the matter. The Commission demurred to the petition on the ground that the DeCiccos failed to allege they exhausted administrative remedies. The trial court sustained the demurrer without leave to amend. Plaintiffs appealed. The Court of Appeal affirmed.