For 40 years, coastal advocates have long hoped for a window of opportunity to facilitate the public’s right to access the 8.5 mile stretch of state-owned beaches along what is known as the private, gated community of Hollister Ranch.
In the summer of 2018, an ad hoc alliance of coastal and environmental justice community organizations united to form the Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance (GCTA). The GCTA seized the opportunity to intervene in a Settlement Agreement between Hollister Ranch and the State-- one that excluded the public's interests and voice-- and to advocate before governmental agencies for public access to this section of the Gaviota Coast. The settlement abandons overland easements intended for public beach access plans-- specifically those dedicated to the Coastal Commission in 1982 as a condition of the YMCA Coastal Development Permit.
In conjunction with litigation and advocacy work, the Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance aims to achieve a community-based solution for the already enthusiastic base of public supporters who are rallying for just access to the coastline -- a right guaranteed by the California Constitution and the California Coastal Act.