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Naples Development Appeal
updated: Dec 13, 2012, 4:37 PM

Source: Environmental Defense Center


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 time."

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 353779 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 05:27 PM

God bless these people. The land belongs to us all and we have a responsibility to preserve it. I don't understand those sleazeballs trying to corrupt our community with a desecration the community clearly does not want.


 GILBERT agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 05:56 PM

If you feel strongly about the preservation of the Gaviota coastline, you can help by contributing to the cause. Take note of the groups doing the fighting and send them what you can. We should leave that stretch of coast as we found it , but it takes bucks to battle .


 COMMENT 353842 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 08:51 PM

I have sent some funding and encourage everyone else to do so!

I don't know why "people" like matt, lisa, brent, their families are so uncaring about the land and our community. Their thinking is disusting.


 COMMENT 353865P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 09:53 PM

They own the land people. They pay property taxes on the land. You cannot tell people that they cannot do anything with land that they own. If you want it kept pristine, raise the money to buy it. You are advocating the taking of the property without purchasing it. Do you really expect them to keep paying property taxes, but do nothing with the land but leave it for you to play on?


 COMMENT 353884P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-14 01:26 AM

865P No. But I do expect them to leave a lasting and beneficial legacy. Anyone with that much money can step up, man up and go down in history as a forward-thinking and admirable individual.

Donate the land, put your name on it and be a shining example of generosity and preservation and be one who helps the planet instead of harming it.

Yeah. Too much to ask, right?


 GILBERT agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-14 02:04 AM

Thing is , 865 (and like thinkers) we all (well , almost all )recognize that as the last unspoiled stretch of Southern California coastline.
If I have the story right, historically it has been mostly 100 acre ag zoning. In 1888 , a plan was submitted to the county to create a township at Naples. That plan languished , buried for a century until developers dusted off the old records and saw that they had turned to gold. These non-local investors see nothing but dollar signs , where the majority of us see a chance at preservation.
Those who see want to see the coastline filled with wall to wall crud can drive south and get all they want of that. THIS IS SANTA BARBARA !


 COMMENT 353897 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-14 06:12 AM

884P clarified that greed is the motivating factor for sleazeballs like osgood. land is a limited resource, like the air and ocean. if we honored our legal agreements, we would be paying federal tax to the Chumash. We cannot allow archaic western ideas of property to continue. Land is a limited resource, and like Indians know, belongs to us all.


 COMMENT 353915 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-14 07:39 AM

Thank you 897...I was thinking along the same lines. How can the non-Chumash citizenry complain that land is being "taken" or abused without taking into consideration the initial aquisition? If my Gran-pa stole a wagon-wheel which was then sold & re-sold, & then I was caught with it..it would still be considered "Stolen property"...& yes, we had "laws" before 1542....I say, let them develope..


 COMMENT 353937 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-14 08:26 AM

@897 - We (the USA) would not be paying federal tax to the Chumash. The "legal agreements" for the Chumash were established by Spain. The missions controlled the former Chumash lands and "held them in trust." It was Mexico that violated the trust, secularized the missions, and granted the Chumash lands as ranchos. If anything, the Chumash should be suing Mexico for stealing their lands.


 COMMENT 353972 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-14 09:57 AM

I'd wonder if the Williamson Act could be applied to that area so the owners might have less to complain about paying taxes.


 COMMENT 353998 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-14 10:41 AM

yes, Spain/Mexico stole from the Chumash and America from Spain and Mexico. America is built on stolen land.
We can only hope to preserve our land, water, and air from unnecessary development and the filthy pollution it creates.


 COMMENT 354011 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-14 10:56 AM

Does it REALLY matter Western America?...Because in only about 500 years, YOU,& all of your "Fore-Fathers" have ruined the planet for all life which existed well for over 1.8 million years of humanity.
Ask the ancient Egyptians how well the "My land","My gold" concept went. If ANY readers feel they are entitled somehow to the land we find ourselves on,go talk to the Mayor you`ve elected & tell her it`s "Your land". When all is said & done, money will have decided who`s right or wrong & Americans will feel the blight they placed on the Natives of this land. Poisened soil,air,water,food,animals,people...mentality.


 COMMENT 354095 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-14 02:28 PM

There are families who have pieces of art that was stolen during the war and yes, it's considered stolen property. You should be held accountable to some extent for the gain your family illegally obtained.

There is no reason to develop this land. Osgood is no good.


 COMMENT 354202 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-14 05:32 PM

That's the point. There is no reason to put 71 McMansions on this land. Zero. None.


 COMMENT 354280P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-14 11:10 PM

202. You said it all.


 COMMENT 354303P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-15 07:03 AM

202 is right on point: there's no need or reason for 71 (or any?) McMansions on the Gaviota coast.

As for the Chumash peoples, it's too little reminded that they, as all we humans in this country, came from elsewhere, they, across the Bering Strait, traveling south down the coast. Some paused here, as have the rest of us travelers, building with the technology then available, displacing the wildlife that was here.


 COMMENT 354342 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-15 08:48 AM

Science shows that the Chumash peoples did not walk across the Bering strait,but arrived by water some 50,000 years ago as proven by artifacts found in this area. Also, due to the sensitive nature of the purpose of this particular area, the Chumash were "assigned" this area to be it`s care-takers. So the arguement of "We`re ALL immigrants" does`nt apply here...sorry. When it comes to what "Turtle-Island" needs..Westerners will always be wrong, & Indigenous Natives will always be right. As was stated earlier, it only took 500 years to cause planetary destruction once "Civilisation" arrived.


 COMMENT 354636P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-16 06:06 AM

342: arrived by water, arrived by land, still an immigrant! What science is that that shows "arrival by water" 50,000 years ago?


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