Naples Development Appeal
updated: Dec 13, 2012, 4:37 PM
Source: Environmental Defense Center
LOCAL GROUPS APPEAL SUPERIOR COURT DECISION ALLOWING DEVELOPMENT AT NAPLES ON THE
Today, the Environmental Defense Center (EDC), Naples Coalition and Surfrider Foundation filed a Notice
of Appeal in state court, marking the beginning of another chapter in the long-running dispute over
residential development at Naples. The appeal challenges a July 2012 decision by the Santa Barbara
Superior Court that upheld the County's 2008 approval of a 71-unit McMansion subdivision.
"This appeal is necessary to preserve the public's interest," said Sandy Lejeune of Surfrider. "We will
continue to do everything possible to save Naples in its entirety."
The groups' original lawsuit alleged that the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors' approval of the
Santa Barbara Ranch Project and the certification of its Environmental Impact Report (EIR) violated the
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the California Coastal Act, and other state and local laws.
Naples is home to rare species, sensitive habitats, cultural and historic resources, breathtaking views
and active agriculture. It is the eastern gateway to Gaviota and a buffer against suburban sprawl.
"The approval of a 71-unit luxury residential subdivision on the rural Gaviota Coast will cause
significant and unavoidable environmental impacts and forever alter the rural character of eastern
Gaviota," said Greg Helms, President of the Naples Coalition.
Since the 2008 approvals, the original Project applicant lost Santa Barbara Ranch to Project lenders in
foreclosure. First Bank of Missouri, which is now trying to sell the property through its holding
company SBRHC, Inc., has entertained several interested parties, but each withdrew after undertaking
"due diligence" review of the property and recognizing the extraordinary challenges to any form of
development at Naples.
The Superior Court decision only affected the inland area of Santa Barbara Ranch. Any proposed
development south of Highway 101 must still be reviewed by the California Coastal Commission.
"We are committed to preserving this land," said EDC Staff Attorney Nathan Alley. "It's just a matter of
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