Thank you very much for your reply. I've been looking into the local laws and I'm sort of coming to the same conclusion as you are saying. They are confusing and very subject to interpretation, as well as sometime directly conflicting with FAA control of airspace. So my idea is that the laws are there so that if an irate citizen calls a cop, he'll have some basis for asking you to vacate, but is not likely to cite you if you are polite. I can live with that.
The reason I'm focusing on Pt. Fermin is because it is on a 100ft cliff overlooking the ocean, and it seems fun to get footage of the cliffs/ocean from a different vantage point, it is not FAA-controlled airspace, and it is walking distance from my house. I'm sure there are better places and I'd sure like to hear your suggestions on that.
I'm getting a drone for aerial photos for Youtube etc. I'm thinking of the Mini 2. I envision myself launching it from the sidewalk (easement?) at the corner of Pt Fermin park, buzzing it out 50-100 feet from where I am (at that point nobody will hear it, I think), about 100 ft over the ocean, and explore, unobstrusively. Perhaps I'll hide behind a bush. <<grin>>