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Environmental Issues

Big turnout is expected at a showdown over the Coastal Commission chief's future

Big turnout is expected at a showdown over the Coastal Commission chief's future

For more than four decades, the California Coastal Commission has policed land use and preserved public access along more than 1,100 miles of shoreline — some of the most valuable and scenic real estate in the nation.

Now an internal battle over whether to fire its executive director has set off an intense public fight over the direction of the agency and its ability to control development and protect the state's vast coastal resources.

On Wednesday, the commission will consider ousting Charles Lester, a 23-year veteran of the agency, during its regular meeting in Morro Bay. If he is removed, it would be a first in the agency's history.

Lester is the target of a...

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