Re: Letter from the Big Sur LCP Defense Committee legal counsel regarding the County Issuance of the Estoppel Letter Dated June 16, 2022 (Link to letter here)

08/02/22 Message from Kirk Gafill

Following the unfortunate and problematic decision by Monterey County to issue an estoppel letter to effectively end enforcement of Short Term Rentals, the Defense Committee has been in discussions with our legal counsel to evaluate how we can best seek to have the County reverse or modify this decision to protect the Big Sur Planning Area from current and additional illegal and unpermitted Short Term Rental activity.

We believe that there is a strong case based on law and factual evidence to support the exclusion of the Big Sur Planning Area from the estoppel letter and the attached Comment Letter from our counsel makes this case.  It is our hope that the County will respond in a timely manner and enter into a tolling agreement to allow for discussions on how to best modify the estoppel letter to ensure its provisions are not in conflict with the Big Sur Land Use Plan.  

Should the County choose not to work with the Defense Committee to reach a workable solution, then the Defense Committee is seriously considering filing a lawsuit against the County on the grounds provided in the letter. (Letter Attached here)


Kirk Gafill

Big Sur Local Coastal Program Defense Committee


In all cases, new land uses must remain subordinate to the character and grandeur of the Big Sur coast. All proposed uses, whether public or private, must meet the same exacting environmental standards and must not degrade the Big Sur landscape.  / Big Sur LUP


This website is published by The Big Sur Local Coastal Program Defense Committee, a group concerned with the protection of the natural and cultural values of Big Sur. Currently over 250 members of the Big Sur community are supporters of the Defense Committee.

There are few places in the world that have been subject to more thoughtful and passionate efforts directed towards preservation of its natural and cultural values than Big Sur. The legal document in place to help accomplish this is the Big Sur Land Use Plan.

The Coastal Act of 1974 include provisions for the protecting of public access and the protecting of the cultural and natural resources of the Big Sur Coast. The Big Sur Local Coastal Program of 1985 implements some of those provisions. Unfortunately there are reasons to believe that local Government is unable to to uphold and enforce some of the most important of these provisions thereby threatening to dramatically undermine the Big Sur LUP .

This would be devastating but we trust that by working together to uphold the LUP we will be able to continue to provide for both the maximum public access and the best resource protection.