Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development title=
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development
97 Comments
Reads 15394

By edhat staff

Eight local activists were arrested during a "sit-in" to prevent the construction of the San Marcos Foothills.

The event started on Wednesday afternoon and continued into Thursday at the end of Via Gaitero off Highway 154 near the "Bridge to Nowhere."

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office reported eight people were arrested and an additional person was cited.

The San Marcos Foothills Preserve is a protected area of 200 acres between Santa Barbara and Goleta in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains. The Save San Marcos Foothills nonprofit has been attempting to purchase a parcel of undeveloped open space adjacent to the preserve that's scheduled to have eight homes built on the West Mesa.

Videos posted online showed approximately 20-30 people standing near the gate holding signs, some singing indigenous chants stating they are protecting native land and animals. Activists remained in the area overnight and into Thursday morning.

"Deputies became aware of the protest around 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, when contractors called to report a potential for conflict with the protesters at a construction site on the north end of Via Gaitero. Deputies monitored the area overnight," the Sheriff's Office said in a statement. "This morning, as construction equipment arrived, several people prevented the contractors from accessing private property at the north end of Via Gaitero."

The Sheriff's Office stated protesters "willfully obstructed the free movement of the contractors, who were in possession of a valid permit to access and work on the property."

A video posted on social media showed two bulldozers parked near several Sheriff's vehicles facing the protestors. Sheriff Sgt. Calderon introduced himself to the crowd and stated he appreciated what everyone was doing but the crew behind him had a job to do and they will be bringing equipment through the area. He asked for voluntary compliance for the group to move out of the way or else people will be arrested and booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail.

Six women and two men were arrested on the scene and transported to the County Main Jail at 7:19 a.m. All were booked for willfully obstructing the free movement of any person, a misdemeanor violation. A man received the same citation for using a V-arm tube to chain himself to a gate post at the entrance to the property.

"No force other than handcuffing was used to effect the arrests, and no protesters or deputies were injured during the incident," the Sheriff's Office states. "After the booking process, each arrestee was issued a citation and released from jail upon their promise to appear in court."

Deputies remained on scene until shortly after noon Thursday, when the contractor and protesters arrived at an agreement and law enforcement was no longer needed to access the property, said the Sheriff's Office.

An Instagram account titled "savethesanmarcosfoothills" stated they are asking the developers of the project to pause the construction and give the community more time to raise money to purchase the foothills. 

The Chadmar Group, developers of the project, purchased the 350 acres of foothills in 2005 with the intent of donating 300 acres to the county. This current project would be 25 acres. 

[Ed Note: This article has been updated with information from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office]

Login to add Comments

97 Comments

Show Comments
dukemunson Feb 25, 2021 12:15 PM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

Chillin -

THE PRESERVE IS HERE TO STAY FOREVER BECAUSE OF THESE 8 HOUSES!!! What do you not understand about that???? This was private land that made an agreement to create a 300 acre preserve for all to enjoy...and through that be allowed to build 8 houses on their property. And what would you have the police do...fight for whatever cause they personally believe instead of enforcing the law???

ChillinGrillin Feb 25, 2021 01:12 PM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

The developers agreed to preserve a fraction of that. Is that really your argument, that developers are how we preserve things? Pearl Chase and people who saved SB from becoming an extension of LA are rolling in their graves watching fools like you become the voice of "conservatives." Pathetic.

dukemunson Feb 25, 2021 01:20 PM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

You obviously have no knowledge OR understanding of this project. This is private land. A deal was made to open up virtually the entire property as a preserve in exchange for 8 houses being built. That's a big win for the community...as this was land that was private and fenced...and suddenly became a wonderful spot for all to enjoy. Within that agreement, which also included the owners putting aside money for the development of the trails, they were allowed to build 8 houses on THEIR property! It was heralded as a massive win for conservationists and environmentalists 15 years ago...and in the ensuing years has become a cherished open spot for people to enjoy. You wanting to break that agreement and steal all the land is beyond pathetic...it's crazy...and is the voice of "craziness".

ChillinGrillin Feb 25, 2021 01:44 PM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

The voice of craziness is breaking the initial agreement and carving out more of the preserve to build mini-mansions. On hillside SB land with astronomical fire insurance rates. Watch, they'll build some ugly garbage and it will burn down in 5 years.

dukemunson Feb 25, 2021 01:54 PM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

What are you talking about ? The initial agreement was to build 8 houses...which they are now starting to build! There has been no break of the agreement...the only break is the psychotic one that people who have no concept of reality (or understanding of the project) in thinking the preserve is being taken over by 8 houses...when it's the exact opposite! The preserve was created out of this 8 house development! So what break are you talking about?????

It's (I guess) fine that you are seemingly hoping for these houses to burn down in 5 years...but do you really want to steal peoples land? And if so...Why stop here? There are houses above the preserve (and below)! We should take the Trout Club! And Painted Cave!

dukemunson Feb 25, 2021 03:26 PM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

I'd wait for you to check and do some research...but we know each other better than that don't we Pit? You don't know what your talking about...you think you do...and then when confronted with the truth...you double down and then go on to the next topic. Look it up though...the affordable units were sold for 171k. I agree they would have been hard to aquire as that is a LONG WAITLIST!!!! But...they were truly affordable units that are bound for life as affordable units.

dukemunson Feb 25, 2021 06:46 PM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

Chillin - have you ever presented a fact on here... about anything?

You were going to present something about how the deal was broken somehow... what happened to that... still coming up with it? I’d say I’m still waiting but you don’t have anything so... I’m not actually waiting... and I’m not angry about it all! Beautiful night! Union Jack hitting the spot!

Just to reiterate though... from this privately owned and held land came a preserve and 5 (actually and truly) affordable houses... win win win!

Not for crazy anti everything edhatters... but for people with the capacity for thought... win win win!

a-1614361287 Feb 26, 2021 09:41 AM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

The sheriff is not backing up developers, they are doing their job. Same thing they would do for any other property owner. The deputy in the video was extremely polite explaining everything. The way these protesters acted against someone doing their job was reprehensible. I despise developers and this development, not really a fan of our current sheriff either but this was a waste of everyone’s time.

dukemunson Feb 26, 2021 11:16 AM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

I have a stake in correcting ridiculous (and wrong) beliefs. I will admit that this is a nice diversion from the school board nonsense! So tell me BigUgly...why shouldn't the deal be honored again? Private property that followed and jumped through every hoop, created a preserve for us (and 5 affordable units)...why shouldn't they be allowed to build again?

AQUAHOLIC Feb 25, 2021 02:00 PM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

Sadly, they are building the remaining 8 homes on the best part of the preserve. (IMO)
Nearly all the rest have been built. We have been enjoying the solitude of the preserve long before it was a preserve. It's sad that no one has come forward to pony up the remaining $$$ to buy the last remaining acres of open space. (yes, I did donate). These community gems are disappearing fast, with other open spaces are also slated for luxury homes. Joni Mitchell wrote a song about it.

Map of the proposed homes here: https://www.sanmarcospreserve.com/the-estates

Babycakes Feb 25, 2021 02:08 PM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

They have every right to protest and I commend them for that. But c'mon, what an embarrassment to protestors around the world. Santa Barbara has a core group of folks who do not miss any opportunity to protest....they even reuse their signs and slogans over and over. This is not some sort of grass-roots protest, these are serial protesters who need something to do with their lives, then meet up at Spices/Vices (or wherever) afterwards to happily discuss the protest de jour. Such small "per-tay-terz" as my Papa would say.

SBZZ Feb 25, 2021 02:13 PM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

Wow, impressive. While I do not want the homes there either, this is a reality of free enterprise - the deal for a preserve in exchange for 8 house was not so bad. Please leave the sheriffs out of it - they were doing their job and they seemed on top of the situation.

dukemunson Feb 25, 2021 03:13 PM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

The entire project (when adding in the houses right next to SB Community Church off Cieneguitas) is 15 houses plus 5 affordable housing units! Pretty remarkable to get the preserve and 5 affordable housing units on this deal...truly a slam dunk! Let them build and lets hope on the next deal we get something remotely close to this good of a deal for SB!

PitMix Feb 25, 2021 03:14 PM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

20 homes total, 5 of them "affordable". That means less than the $2.85-4M the rest have sold for but I doubt you and I will be able to buy them. Remember the "affordable" apts at the Mark that were $3,000/mo? The 8 they are trying to save are on the West Mesa next to undeveloped area. The other 12 are being built no matter what.

dukemunson Feb 25, 2021 02:13 PM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

A follow up (to any/all fired up about this):

Are you angry about the 5 affordable housing units built on the property as part of this project as well? As per the agreement, not only did SB get the preserve land...they also got 5 affordable housing units (and the preserve and affordable units had to be built first). This was the slam dunk of all slam dunk deals for SB...a stunning preserve and 5 affordable housing units! Are we all outraged that the affordable units are on the preserve as well?

Idesofmarch Feb 25, 2021 05:10 PM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

I would be surprised if most of the protesters voted at all. Seems like everyone is so quick to be outraged about something, and it's turned into an outrage contest, and whoever "wins" gets the most sympathy points via likes on their social media pages. Victim olympics I believe it's come to be known as.

Basicinfo805 Feb 25, 2021 04:43 PM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

Pitmix you take in a few homeless in your pad, we know you can. And then (if you) make some money then you can decide if you want to give it back away just to have it wasted. Report back in a decade or so and until then you probably should ... rethink (wanted to go harsher). Your philosophy sends all of us down the tubes.

Sarah Gertrude ... Feb 25, 2021 05:51 PM
Eight Activists Arrested While Protesting San Marcos Foothills Development

HEY GUYS - they only arrested NATIVE YOUTH who were in the middle of SUN PRAYER ... even though there were plenty of white people there. The Sherif CHAINED THEM TOGETHER and put one in solitary when they got to jail. It’s was BADLY HANDLED. Religious Freedom matters.

Pages

Please Login or Register to comment on this.