Governor Signs Bill Offering Public Hollister Ranch Beach Access
A very green Hollister Ranch from 2017 (Photo: John Wiley)
By edhat staff
Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Wednesday that will produce public access to the exclusive Hollister Ranch beaches by 2022.
Assembly Bill 1680, introduced by Assemblymember Monique Limòn, amends the California Coastal Act of 1976 requiring a public access plan to be developed by April 1, 2021 with the beaches opening on April 1, 2022.
Hollister Ranch landowners have argued that public access to the 8.5 miles of beach should be banned or restricted and it's already accessible by boat or watercraft. After the bill's introduction, they've publicly called it unnecessary and a possible legal overreach.
"The state Legislature, the state Constitution and the Coastal Act have all reaffirmed the public’s right to the beach. With [AB1680] and after almost 40 years, the state of California has made a clear statement that no matter your zip code, all Californians deserve a chance to enjoy our public parks and beaches. Hollister Ranch is no exception,” wrote Assemblymember Limòn on Twitter.
Governor Newsom echoed this by stating beaches should be public. "As Californians, respect and reverence for our beaches is in our DNA, so much so that we enshrined public beach access into our state constitution... I’ve long fought to protect these public treasures for future generations and to ensure any person can experience their beauty. That won’t change now that I’m governor,” he said to the Los Angeles Times.
The law will also make it a crime with a fine of tens of thousands of dollars for any person or group who tries to prevent public beach access.