Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Naples Development on the Santa Barbara Coastline Delayed

Photo: Environmental Defense Center

The Surfrider Foundation Santa Barbara Chapter has led the 10 year fight to block development of a key Gaviota Coast property, along with its partner organizations the Environmental Defense Center and the Naples Coalition. So last week they were overjoyed at the news of a bank auction/foreclosure sale of a 1,035 acre parcel known as Naples, located on the Gaviota Coast.

First Bank, who initiated the foreclosure proceeding, set a minimum bid of $50 million for the property. No one entered a bid, including the land's former owner, Orange County developer Matt Osgood, thereby making First Bank the new owner of the property. Naples had been slated for a massive development of 71 luxury-style homes averaging 8,000 square feet in size. Following last week's foreclosure sale, Osgood's development plans are uncertain at best.

"Last week's forced foreclosure sale of Naples is a testament to the work of our chapter, our partners, and all those who have never given up on preserving the Gaviota Coast," said Surfrider Santa Barbara chair Sandy Lejeune. "That an overwhelming majority of citizens both in and outside of Santa Barbara oppose development on the Gaviota Coast cannot be overestimated," Lejeune also said.

After 10 long years of struggle this victory has re-energized the Surfrider Foundation Santa Barbara Chapter! They continue to be on constant alert for any threats to the Gaviota Coast and are vigilant in their strategy of "constant pressure endlessly applied" to preserve the last remaining 20 miles of undeveloped coastline in southern California.


You can help the Santa Barbara Chapter in their efforts to permanently preserve the Gaviota Coast’s rural character and unspoiled nature for future generations to enjoy?

Sign the Petition to Preserve The Gaviota Coast.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Surfrider Foundation Isla Vista Chapter Presents: Concert for the Coast!

-Thy Squid
-Soul Minded
-Return of Charles
-Boombox Orchestra
-Stick Figure

Come and enjoy a day full of free awesome music, great environmental groups tabling, sick raffle, and MORE! (21+ BYOB)

All proceeds from the raffle will go to the Naples Coalition!

Check out our facebook page:

and our website: http://www.surfrider.org/islavista

Friday, May 14, 2010

Naples Foreclosure Sale - Update

On Thursday, March 13, 2010, the County of Santa Barbara administered a bank auction/foreclosure sale of 1,035 acres of the Santa Barbara Ranch on the Gaviota Coast. First Bank, who initiated the foreclosure proceeding, set a minimum bid of $50,000,000.00 for the property.

No one present entered a bid, including the land’s former owner, Orange County developer Matt Osgood, who attended the foreclosure sale. As the institution foreclosing on the property, First Bank is the new owner, and will receive all the conditional permits and tentative entitlements according to the deed of trust.

The property, commonly referred to as “Naples”, had been slated for a massive development of 71 luxury-style homes averaging 8,000 square feet in size – double the current average Gaviota Coast home size – just two miles west of the urban limit line. Following today's action, the future of Mr. Osgood’s development plans is now, at best, uncertain.

Mr. Osgood has retained ownership of two of the parcels on the Santa Barbara Ranch that were part of a development approved by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors in October, 2008. Interviewed after the foreclosure sale, Mr. Osgood indicated that he will likely attempt to regain control of the foreclosed property in the future.

While the value of the Naples property remains uncertain, it seems clear from today’s action that it is less than $50 million; how much less is still an open question.

Whatever happens, we now have an open door to begin discussions with First Bank. We hope those discussions can lead to an opportunity to purchase all or some portion of the property in fee and/or easement.

We look forward to this challenge as we are confident that the Santa Barbara community can and will rise to this large conservation effort as they did with the Carpinteria Bluffs, the Wilcox property, and Ellwood Mesa.

Recognizing that our efforts to preserve this property will require constant vigilance and resourcefulness, the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation will continue to monitor all aspects pertinent to today's action, as well as work toward permanent solutions for preserving both Naples and the entire Gaviota Coast - the last remaining stretch of undeveloped coastline in southern California.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Reception for preserving the Gaviota Coast a success

There is one single, public area in Southern California that is still pristine. It is virtually untouched. It's the Gaviota coast, just north of Santa Barbara. The local Santa Barbara chapter, which is currently being led by the extremely capable and passionate Sandy Lejune, has been fighting to protect this area for over a decade.

Last night in Montecito, at the home of Olaf and Eva Guerrand-Hermes, supporters of preserving the Gaviota Coast came together for a special evening reception benefitting the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. Guests in attendance learned about the very real and pressing threats to this stretch of coast, and why it is so important to preserve the Gaviota Coast for future generations to enjoy.

The reception was organized by Steve Blank, Shaun and Carla Tomson and Sandy Lejeune... and special thanks to the Guerrand-Hermes family and Barefoot Wines.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Please sign our Petition to Preserve the Gaviota Coast

THE GAVIOTA COAST, located in southern Santa Barbara County, includes the coastal watersheds between Coal Oil Point in Goleta, to Point Arguello on Vandenberg Air Force Base, and the remainder of Vandenberg’s coast to Point Sal. Surfrider’s Santa Barbara chapter is working to preserve the 20-mile stretch of the Gaviota Coast between Goleta and Gaviota, which draws more than a million visitors to its beaches, coastal canyons and mountain trails every year.

In just over two generations, more than ninety percent of southern California's once-unspoiled coastline has been lost to development forever. Expanding urbanization has displaced agriculture on fertile coastal plains, reduced public beach access, and stressed coastal watersheds and marine ecosystems. Rapid population growth in the region has led to dramatic loss of native biological diversity, and a general decline in the health of ecosystems we depend on. The Gaviota Coast’s intact ecosystems, riparian and wildlife corridors, important coastal farmland, rare and endangered animals, unique tidal wetlands, and Native American cultural sites are all gravely threatened by development.

Please sign our petition to permanently preserve the Gaviota Coast for future generations to enjoy! Thanks so much for your support. Spread the word, and please consider joining Surfrider Foundation so we can continue to work on important issues like this.