Offers to dedicate (OTDs) were required by the California Coastal Commission as a condition for receiving a coastal development permit. These were only offers, and the interest remained with the landowner until the OTDs were accepted by a government or a nonprofit agency. The purpose of the OTD was to mitigate the effect of the proposed project on the public's ability to access the coast. Most of these easements were generated between 1980 and 1986. Court cases in 1987–89 challenged the relationship between “exaction” and development and made it almost impossible for the Commission to acquire any more of these. Thus, the OTDs that the California Coastal Commission have now are very crucial. However, not all the OTDs need be given the same priority in making them open to the public. The need for this study was identified in the Coastal Commission's Public Access Action Plan. As a part of this study, a comprehensive geographic information systems database of all existing OTDs was created. A method of ranking the OTDs with a scoring method was formulated that considered three main criteria: date of expiration, proximity to an existing access point, and topography of the location. These were then used for a feasibility score and subsequently a priority index that ranked the OTDs as highest, high, medium, or low priority for public access. Eleven were found to be of highest priority, 13 of high priority, 25 of medium priority, and seven of low priority. With this prioritization scheme, the state's limited resources could be used in a more effective manner.
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Vol. 2007 • No. 232