Friday, October 23, 2009

County Takes Steps to Rescind a Giveaway at Naples

On Tuesday, Oct 20th, the Board of Supervisors initiated rescission of two ill-conceived development agreements for the Santa Barbara Ranch Project at Naples. The Board also took steps to facilitate Coastal Commission review of the Project and restated its own commitment to reviewing Naples related issues with a wide lens and an open mind.

Exactly one year ago, an Orange County developer obtained approval from the County to develop a 71 unit luxury residential development on a portion of the Gaviota Coast known as Naples. In addition to approving a subdivision and other entitlements for the controversial project, the former Board of Supervisors approved two "Development Agreements", which are contracts between the County and the developer that lock in the approvals and prevent the County from changing the law or rules applying to the project. Today, the current Board introduced an ordinance rescinding the development agreements, and took an important step toward protecting the County's interests and ability to respond to changed circumstances.

Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr had asked County staff to evaluate the potential for canceling the development agreements at a hearing in June. Supervisor Farr's request followed the developer's unusual action in February of rejecting some, but not all, of the project approvals, and threatening to develop the coastal portion of Santa Barbara Ranch at much higher densities than the approved project.

In addition to their action on the development agreements, the Board also directed Staff to further investigate the status of the project description and to then send a single revised Notice of Final Action to the Coastal Commission for review.

The Board is scheduled to consider adoption of the ordinance rescinding the development agreements at the October 27, 2009, Board hearing. EDC and our friends at Surfrider and the Naples Coalition hope that you can attend!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oct 20 - County Board of SUP's Consider Rescission of Development Agreements

P.O. Box 1099, Goleta, CA 93116
COALITION Ph: 805.683.6631Link

For Immediate Release
October 13, 2009


When: TUESDAY OCTOBER 20, 2009
Estimated time of hearing is unknown at this time. Meeting agenda and staff report can be found at
Where: County Administration Building, 105 East Anapamu 4th fl, Santa Barbara
Broadcast on Channel 20 and streamed at in real time.

The Santa Barbara Ranch development is a 71 large lot residential development located two miles west of Goleta on the rural and agricultural Gaviota Coast. The development received tentative approval by the Board of Supervisors in late 2008 after unanimous opposition by the community (not a single citizen, unaffiliated with the developer, spoke in favor of the project over the years of public testimony).

The Supervisors conditionally approved separate Development Agreements in Ordinance 4694 for the inland and coastal portions of the Naples development specific to Santa Barbara Ranch on October 21, 2008. This ordinance embodies conditions which must be satisfied before the Development Agreements are effective including project approvals by the California Department of Conservation and the California Coastal Commission. These conditions have not yet been satisfied and therefore the Development Agreements are not in full force or effect.

The conditions that the County relied upon in approving the development agreements changed materially in February 2009 when the developer withdrew his application for the coastal portion of the Project. This in effect revoked most of the purported County benefits in the development agreements and undermined many of the mitigation measures required in the EIR. Further, the developer has failed to respond to Coastal Commission requests for biological information. Finally, Santa Barbara Ranch’s partner, Dos Pueblos Ranch, recently announced they had placed Dos Pueblos Ranch on the market. These conditions provide a basis for revoking the development agreements.

The Naples Coalition strongly urges the Board of Supervisors to cancel the development agreements so that future Boards may be able to respond to changes in circumstances.

Canceling the Development Agreements will not cancel the underlying project approvals.

About The Naples Coalition:
The Naples Coalition is a Santa Barbara County, CA-based public benefit corporation with representation by local non-profit groups including the Citizens Planning Association of Santa Barbara County, Gaviota Coast Conservancy, League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara County, Los Padres Chapter of the Sierra Club, Santa Barbara Chapter of Surfrider Foundation, Santa Barbara Chapter of the Audubon Society and Santa Barbara Community Action Network. The Naples Coalition is dedicated to the preservation of the rural character of the Naples property on the Gaviota coast. Specifically, the Naples Coalition is responding to Vintage Communities, an Orange County development company that purchased the Naples town site lots and has an application pending with the County of Santa Barbara to build up to 72 large luxury houses on the rural Naples property. The Naples Coalition seeks to preserve the rural character of the Naples area from this development’s impacts.

Visit for complete information regarding the development at Naples.
Visit of information about Naples and the Naples Coalition.
Visit for a summary of the 120 year development history of Naples.

Marc Chytilo, Esq Phil McKenna
Attorney for the Naples Coalition Naples Coalition Board Member
Phone: 805-682-0585 Phone: 805-682-0302
Email: Email:

SAVE THE DATE! December 11, 2009

You are invited to join the Surfrider Foundation's Santa Barbara Chapter in celebrating the Holidays and helping support their ongoing effort to preserve the Gaviota Coast.

The silent auction will feature unique hand-painted surfboard fins from Robert Heeley, Larry Iwerks, Rebecca Lovejoy-Stebbins, Matt Moore, Sean Kirkpatrick, Ned Evans, Rob Havassy, Rick Rietveld, and Jesse Balmer... along with fine art and photographs. Please check back as we post updates on the auction items.