If you believe that government is the most efficient way to go, you need to read this – and do so in its entirety.
I decided to read the Coastal Act and all the additions and amendments to it again. I was sure that somewhere in that lengthy document was a way to get this permit pushed through. And I found that the regulation on this type of work was surprisingly clear. It didn’t need a permit at all. We were merely repairing damage, not expanding the park. I remember bringing up this very argument when I met with the Commission people over a year ago. And they basically laughed it off.
Because it really didn’t matter what the Coastal Act said. In California, codes and regulations are generally considered as minimum requirements by whatever agency is looking at them. So the rules can be modified and reinterpreted at their whim. I have lost track of the unrequired work we have been required to do.
Their main concern was that some of the fill would find it’s way to the river. So they were most unhappy that I had put some rock into the hole before they said I could, even though it was the same rock that had come out of it. And if this was their worry, making me leave the hole open through two rainy seasons did not seem like a good way to deal with it anyways. But apparently this was the issue that was holding things up, so I would give them erosion control on an epic scale.
I wrote up an Erosion Control Master Plan, which involved multiple layers of compacted state-approved road base in the hole itself, topped with organic topsoil. Then, the entire bank from the hole to the high water line would be covered in a specially made natural-fiber erosion blanket for 30 feet along the river. Over this would go several long organic fabric tubes run parallel to the river to redirect any raindrops that may be so bold as to land on the cloth. This would all be painted over with a blend of grass and wildflower seeds and organic nutrients. I had to special order most of this stuff and have it shipped, so it cost about $1500. I sent this plan off to the Coastal Commission. And then I waited.
This is a perfect illustration of F.A. Hayek’s book, The Road to Serfdom.